News & Events

12 June, 2017


Last week the LCBO division of OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employees Union) triggered the countdown to a possible strike.
On Monday 26 June, LCBO employees can legally go on strike. At the same time, the LCBO also has the right to 'lock-out' unionized employees. The union represents 8100 hourly LCBO employees

In my opinion, the likelihood of an LCBO strike is the highest in my 24 years in this business. The climate in Ontario is changing, with the biggest (but not only) development being the introduction of wine and beer in grocery stores. You can find more detail on the LCBO position at and
There are several meetings scheduled in the next 2 weeks for negotiation, and we hope a reasonable agreement can be reached.

What does a strike mean?  We're not entirely sure, as it hasn’t happened in current times.

  • We assume that access to most of the products available exclusively at LCBO (spirits & premium imported wine) will be unavailable for the duration of the strike.
  • We assume this also includes the LCBO Consignment Warehouse, which is the supply channel for most of what we offer at The Vine – and the most important supply channel for imported wine to the hospitality industry.

How long will a strike last?  We have no idea whether it would be days, weeks or months.
Until we learn an agreement has been reached, we are assuming our last delivery day will be Friday 23 June  (in Toronto / earlier in the week for London, K-W, Muskoka, Ottawa, Niagara, etc - check with our office for details)
The deadline for ordering is noon on Thursday 22 June for delivery on Friday 23rd (again - earlier for outside Toronto).


Will LCBO keep some stores and/or the Consignment Warehouse open using management staff to operate?  We do not know what to expect.

What are your options?

  • Ontario VQA wines can be delivered from the wineries to you  - Cave Spring and 2027 Cellars will continue to be available without interruption. 2027 to licensees only due to license limitations
  • Grocery Stores – a limited (but growing) number of grocery stores across the Province now stock beer and wine, but the selection is limited – half the stores are permitted to sell only VQA wines (but can include VQA wines not sold at LCBO stores). The other half of the licensed grocery stores can sell Imported and VQA wines, with the caveat that only imported wines from the LCBO 'General List' (with a price over $10.95) can be offered. NO Vintages, Vintages Essentials or other specialty wines are permitted in grocery (VQA excepted). Spirits are also not permitted.
  • Note that Licensees are NOT permitted to purchase wine at grocery stores.

What should you do?  You have to make up your own mind about the probability of a strike, and the implications to your business, leisure, wedding, etc. I urge you to read the newspapers, talk to staff at your local LCBO store, and check out both OPSEU and LCBO websites. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
I can only recommend – my personal opinion – that a prudent approach is to be prepared. Licensees should probably stock up on core imported wines and key spirits. Individuals should also ensure they have what they feel they need – at least for the long weekend. Better safe than sorry, right? It’s not as if you won’t use the inventory anyway…

21 - 23 July, 2017

Niagara & Toronto

i4c - The International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration

Join us for the 7th annual i4c - tastings, events, seminars - showing off Ontario wine alongside the best in the world.

Get tickets and more info @

i4c - The International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration

Thursday 8 June, 2017

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri Tasting

Tre Bicchieri is the most heralded award in the Italina wine trade. Join us as we show off a few of the many Tre Bicchieri winners from our portfolio - Noeli Ricci, La Guardiense and Cocci Grifoni

Wednesday 7 June, 2017

Wines of Portugal

We'll be there, showing off the amazing wines of Lua Cheia em Vinhas Velhas - Wines & Winemakers.

Sunday 4 June, 2017

6 pm Lakeside @ Corus Quay

Toronto Taste

The fabulous annual event in support of Second Harvest.  We'll be there with many of our colleagues from the hospitality industry. Check out the list of participating restaurants and beverage companies and more importantly, buy your tickets at

Toronto Taste

30 May - 1 June, 2017

Chianti Classico Consorzio

Vicky Schmitt-Vitali from Le Fonti will be in town to show off her Chianti Classico wines. The three-day schedule includes seminars, tastings and a sommelier competition. Details to follow...

Chianti Classico Consorzio

Wednesday 10 May, 2017

New Zealand Wine Fair

We'll be there with Erica Crawford from Loveblock