Nova Scotia wine producers look forward to changes in controversial program

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March 18 was a busy day for many Nova Scotia producers. This was due to the meeting they had with Premier Tim Houston, which lasted more than two hours. The meeting was attended not only by NS wine producers and the Premier, but also by members of the Premier's current cabinet: Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow and Finance Minister Allan MacMaster.

And, to tell the truth, the first impressions of the producers who attended the meeting were quite positive. For example, Karl Coutinho, chair at the Wine Growers of Nova Scotia association, noted that "The meeting was good, it was our first chance, from the farm wineries' perspective, to sit down with the premier and his team and I think it was a great, positive first step." On the other hand, John Peller, owner of Peller Estates, lowered his expectations of the meeting somewhat, although he noted that "We had a great chat. Things are good. Everybody's happy and supportive with each other."

Let us recall that the main point of the meeting was a program announced in January, which, due to the controversy it caused, was put on hold. This program offered the same incentives to wine producers who imported grape juice from abroad or from other provinces as to all those who produced their own grapes within Nova Scotia.

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