Albertans with a thirst for B.C. wine can now take advantage of a bootleg smuggling getaway to get their hands on a bottle amid the province’s trade dispute with its western neighbour.

Luxury wine tour company Butiq Escapes is offering a “B.C. Wine Smuggling Escape for Albertans,” complete with private jet that’ll pick you up and fly your group to the Okanagan and the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island for a three- to four-night stay in B.C. wine country, before sending you home with 50 sommelier hand-picked bottles.

“We can not sit idly by and let our petty governments ruin all the fun for our good neighbours to the east in Alberta. We’ve turned our private jet wine vacation into a smuggling run for those wanting to get their hands on the goods,” the company, now in its third year, states on its website. “This cheeky escape is aimed at those who need a mid-winter vacation and want to pad their wine cellar a bit with some bootlegged vino.”

Ryan Clark, co-founder of Butiq Escapes, said the company’s “escape artists” can help customize each trip based on individual wine preferences or favourite spots in B.C. wine country. They’ll also deliver a few bottles before the trip begins to hold you over while the “drought” continues.

Screen grab from the Butiq Escapes website

The Alberta government banned imports of B.C. wine into the province on Feb. 6 in protest of the B.C. government’s stalling on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Albertans spent $72 million on B.C. wine last year, with close to 95 per cent of all Canadian wine sold within Alberta coming from the province’s western neighbour.

“A big portion of our business are Albertans doing wine tours here and that’s what made us jump on the tongue-and-cheek play right now because we recognize how many Albertans are coming and doing our tours alone,” Clark said. “It really kind of pissed us off … We thought it was kind of silly to attack what’s going on now with B.C. wine producers. We love our Albertan clients, there’s so many of you coming just with us every year so it was so annoying to see.”

The price of the tour starts at $13,000 for a group of four, which includes accommodation, flights, access to private chefs and the 50 bottles of wine for the road. Clark said the smuggling escape is perfect for groups of two …read more

Source:: Calgaryherald.com

      

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Luxury ‘smuggling escape’ offers Albertans a taste of bootlegged B.C. vino

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