Important Message to Our Dear Alberta Wine Club Members

Dear Wine Club Members in Alberta,

Encountering a trade challenge reminiscent of a similar issue back in 2018 is disheartening for us at Bench 1775. Once again, we find the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) redirecting their focus towards BC wineries, a situation that may sound familiar from recent news. On January 22, 2024, the AGLC issued a letter to most BC wineries, emphasizing the immediate cessation of direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine shipments to Alberta. In response, the AGLC communicated that they would not accept any inbound shipments through their warehouse. While federally Bill C-311 allows for the free delivery of Canadian wine from one province to another, only British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia have granted their residents this privilege. It’s crucial to note that the AGLC’s jurisdiction is limited to regulating persons and activities within the province. The Alberta laws governing DTC shipping are crafted to regulate BC manufacturers exporting wine into the province.

Our Wine Shop & Wine Club Manager, Joshua Kim, has joined forces with Wines of BC to voice our concerns not only to the AGLC but also to the media in both BC and Alberta. “It was an honor to be featured on CBC Okanagan and CBC Alberta radio, but more importantly, I am tirelessly working to ensure that this conflict is addressed where it should be. At Bench 1775, we’re known for our outstanding quality and craftsmanship, and I want this trade dispute to be resolved as soon as possible,” says Joshua Kim. We understand your disappointment and perhaps frustration.

Here are some options we’re offering:

  1. If you have an alternative residential address outside of Alberta (friends or family), we can reroute your spring shipments.
  2. You can easily pause your membership until further notice.
  3. If you plan to visit us during the upcoming season, we can hold your spring shipments at our winery.
  4. Consider purchasing a gift card instead of wine for this spring shipment.

We deeply value your ongoing support. During these challenging times, if you opt to keep your membership (any action that does not involve canceling your membership qualifies as maintaining it), we would like to show our appreciation by presenting you with a $50 Gift Card. Please reach out to our Wine Club Manager at [email protected] to receive your gift card code. You can redeem this card once shipping resumes or when you visit the winery in person.

Please refer to the 2024 Spring Wine Club Shipment newsletter, and make sure to update your account and let us know your decision regarding this shipment by March 16th. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused and assure you that we will continue to collaborate with Wines of BC and AGLC to find a compromise. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Wine Club Manager, Joshua, at [email protected]. Thank you for your understanding and ongoing support.