Business

Saskatchewan deal boosts flow of wine, spirits (with video)

B.C. wineries and distillers are gaining easier access to the Saskatchewan market as a result of an inter-provincial trade agreement.

Consumers in either province will be able to order wines and craft spirits directly from producers in the other and have them delivered once the deal takes effect next June.

The agreement was concluded by Premier Christy Clark and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall at a premiers meeting in Charlottetown.

Clark said the deal helps build momentum for freer trade with other provinces, long sought by the B.C. wine industry.

Previously, Saskatchewan consumers could only buy B.C. wines or spirits through provincial government stores in that province.

“Access to new markets is important as we look to build on the strength of our growing industry," said Tyler Dyck of the B.C. Craft Distillers Guild.

While Saskatchewan isn't known for its wine, craft distillers like Colin Schmidt of the Last Mountain Lake Distillery in Lumsden, Sask. are now hoping to tempt B.C. drinkers into trying his dill pickle vodka.

"We have a loyal following in Saskatchewan and cannot wait to share our award-winning spirits with consumers in British Columbia."

Talks among the premiers continue over options to liberalize trade in craft beer.

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