When you sip your next glass of wine this spring, please pour it from a bottle from one of the wineries found within these pages. Okanagan small businesses need you not only shop local, but to think local and literally be local. The BC wine industry is optimistic, liberating and ethical these days—because practically 100 per cent of the money stays right here in the Okanagan. 

In the spring of 1989, one of the cover stories in Okanagan Life was B.C. Wines Take On The World. The final paragraph warned that E & J Gallo, the largest winery in the world, had just hired six new employees to handle BC outlets. The BC wine industry was reinventing itself by pulling out many of its low grade varietals and replacing them with ones better suited and of much higher quality—a wise move, because today, BC wines can and do, take on the world.  

So let us toast to meliorism: the belief that the world gets better; the belief that humans can improve the world. I believe that meliorism is something we all wish for—eternally. Even a small thing like buying a bottle, case or pallet of Okanagan Life’s Best of BC Wine Award Winners, will keep millions of wine dollars? local.

Take another sip and consider that Okanagan wine is also erlebnis; the experiences, positive or negative, that we feel most deeply, and through which we truly live; not mere experiences, but Experiences. The capital “E” experience of a local wine industry, I believe, far exceeds our simple but elegant conscious awareness of it. Neuroscientists have shown that the unconscious mind is much more powerful than the conscious mind, and it is in our subconscious or emotional brain that we taste, smell, imagine, dream and fantasize—about the earth, the soil, the gratitude, the weather, the harvest, the crush, the creative, the bottling, the passion, the love and the hands of local wine goddesses and gods. They create and openly display their love, optimism and gratitude for the earth in every sip!

You might not realize this, but about 500 to 1,000 wine related pictures or images just flashed in your emotional brain in under a second. This is how the unconscious brain works: lightning fast, pattern seeking and full of patriotism for the Okanagan.

Neuroscience confirms our deep theatre-of-mind experiences do not work with words—but images. It is our own personal movie—chocked full of family, friends and experiences that are remembered—through the “wine” filter: taste, aroma and experience.

Finally, please tell every winery you visit this year that you read about them in Okanagan Life. You see, we are 100 per cent local and we too think local, with 65 per cent of our pages dedicated to stories, articles and editorials.

E & J Gallo might be the biggest winery at four per cent of the world wine market, but that pales in comparison to Google—owning 95 per cent of market share in Canada. Too-big-to-fails are intrinsically evil for small business. Can you say anti-trust? 

Unlike the wine business, the Canadian advertising industry is pessimistic, restrictive and unethical these days—Google and Facebook not only suck 90 per cent of all Canadian digital advertising revenue out of Canada, but there is great evidence that most of the pageviews and clicks—are robots—and bots don’t buy many bottles of Okanagan wine, do they?