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Bulletin Detail
Date April 8, 2013 
Title We Must Temporarily Suspend New Wine Offerings! 
Bulletin Untitled Page

I really, really hate to do this, but the LCBO has made it necessary for us to stop taking new orders for wine until such time as we are able to work out a viable ordering and delivery process with the folks at the Province’s beverage alcohol monopoly.

The LCBO licenses about 30 wine clubs through its Private Ordering Department, and allows them to purchase wine privately from around the world. This all stems from the LCBO’s series of responses and reactions to Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian’s ruling (Feb. 27, 2013) that the LCBO must end their practice of collecting personal information from wine club members. Ms. Cavoukian determined that in most circumstances the LCBO had no practical reason for insisting that wine club orders include members’ names and addresses and thus ordered the LCBO to cease this practice and destroy all related records by May 28, 2013. John Szabo, a respected local wine authority recently wrote an interesting article about the situation.

The LCBO has announced that it will appeal the Privacy Commissioner’s order and has issued revised operating procedures for wine clubs. At this stage I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say this new edict is vague, unworkable, severely diminishes service to you and flies unabashedly in the face of the Privacy Commissioner’s ruling. We have repeatedly requested answers to our many related questions and have asked for a face-to-face meeting to iron out the many problems the LCBO has inflicted upon all of us; but, so far to no avail (note, this all started more than a month ago).

To make matters as bad as they can get, the LCBO has refused to process the Private Orders that we gave them last week. We are awaiting resolution of this latest dilemma.

What is very curious about all this is that, on your behalves, we have provided the LCBO with a million dollars of new-found revenue since Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club was formed. We do virtually all the work; they get the vast majority of the revenue. One would think that they would want to encourage and nurture the thirty or so wine clubs they have authorized in the Province.

However, I remain passionate and positive about what we do. I really enjoy our close relationships with our small artisan vignerons and with our clients who seem to thoroughly enjoy the hand-crafted wines they produce. Rest assured I will do everything I can to restore a favourable working relationship with the LCBO on all of our behalves.

Hopefully we will soon be able to assure you that your wine orders are being processed by the LCBO. And, we look forward to presenting the glorious wines that Charles Pacaud of Domaine La Croix Chaptal has in store for you.


Jim & Hélène