This is what I wrote, predicting the morass of regulations re: wine at Farmers' Markets, September 2008, more than 5 years ago...
Monday, September 15, 2008
Wine to be sold at Farmers Markets in Toronto
This just in from Wine News Service...
TORONTO - (WNS) - In a stunning victory for the Farmers Market movement in Ontario, the provincial government has decided to allow wine to be sold at Farmers Markets. There are restrictions, of course, all applied by the LCBO which had apparently fought the issue tooth and nail.
First, the wines can only be sold in a closed-off tent no more than three metres by three metres by three metres in size. It has to be located in the northeast corner of every market, for the sake of consistency. Portable potties must also be provided. Only LCBO personnel will be allowed to sell, and there will be no sampling.
Second, purchasers are restricted to a maximum of two bottles only, one red and one white.
Third, the wines have to be tied-in to the ethnic character of the region. Hence, the wines at Withrow Park on the Danforth must only be Greek wines. The wines at Dufferin Grove park must only be Portuguese wines. The wines at Riverdale Organic Market must only be organic wines.
As part of the pilot project, the wines will only be in the city of Toronto, and, in typical LCBO fashion, will only be available this year starting in October, just before the markets shut down for the winter. The Dufferin Grove Market, open all year, is expected to be under heavy pressure for winter sales of Port and Madeira from Portugal.
Little Fat Wino, commenting from his home in rainy Eastern Ontario, said: "Once again the fruit wineries in Ontario have been shut out. This business of selling at Farmers Markets was originally OUR idea -- it was stolen from us by the government looking for additional revenue streams." It was pointed out to him that all Ontario wines, no matter what their origin, were shut out. An unnamed source in the LCBO Research Department responded: "We don't consider Ontario wines and fruit wines to be real wines exhibiting terroir. These Ontario wines can be made anywhere and do not reflect the regional character."
More as the story develops...