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Landmark Canadian Icewine legislation comes into force

New Icewine protocols released by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency aim to stamp out fraud prevalent in Canada's most recognised wine brand.

Icewine…protecting legal definitions

The agency has released a summary and timeline regarding the new regulations. The protocols come into force on 1 January 2014.

Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the Canadian Vintners Association pointed to the importance of this domestic legislation to ‘narrowly define Icewine from grapes naturally frozen on the vine’ as well as other matters such as standardisation of labelling.

Paskowski, along with the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG), looks to build a national standard that will enable both government and retailers globally to benchmark quality Icewine.

As a luxury product, Canadian Icewine has been counterfeited both domestically as well as internationally for many years.

Randy Dufour, Director of Inniskillin Wines, an industry leader in this move, believes that ‘due to these changes growers and government agencies will be more effective in protecting the legal definitions and standards of Icewine globally, most notably in Asian markets, where fraudulent Icewines are marketed and sold with little to no resemblance to true Icewine.’

Dufour understands that these regulations are part of a process of eradicating the selling of wines falsely labelled as Icewine.

Bruce Wallner MS, an instructor at the Sommelier Factory in Toronto, who educates wine buyers and sommeliers, identifies this benchmark legislation as key in protecting Icewine.

However, he notes that consumer education is still important and an ongoing process from both government agencies and wine professionals.

Written by Emily Pearce

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