Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
05.01.2013  
 

Licensing Requirements Pinion B.C. Wineries

In order to offer full alcohol service in its restaurant, British Columbia winery must file for non-farm use license

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
summerhill winery british columbia
 
Summerhill Pyramid Winery applied to operate its on-site restaurant with a food primary license (which would allow it to sell a full range of alcoholic beverages) in 2010. The application still has not been approved.
Kelowna, B.C., Canada—This spring, it looked like everything was coming together to allow Summerhill Pyramid Winery to operate its on-site restaurant with a food primary license.

But when its license application was sent to the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch for final approval, bureaucrats examined it closely. Summerhill sits within the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), designed to protect farmland from development. A food primary license is granted to applicants deemed a non-farm use under the regulations governing the reserve, and a food primary license for Summerhill would set a precedent.

B.C. wineries that serve food typically do so under a winery lounge endorsement, introduced in 2005, which allows wineries to sell and serve only “wine manufactured and bottled in British Columbia.”

A food primary license would allow Summerhill to serve a full range of alcoholic beverages in its restaurant, something not permitted under a winery lounge endorsement, and host weddings and other events without the need for a special occasion license.

The change would mean fewer hassles for wedding parties, which each require their own license, and remove a restriction to the winery’s operations.

“We’ll be able to make wine cocktails, serve a cold beer on our patio during the summer,” Ezra Cipes, CEO of Summerhill, told Wines & Vines this week. (Cipes said his plans call for serving B.C.-produced spirits and beers made from organic ingredients.)

“It’ll make us into a real restaurant,” he said. “This will better serve our neighbors and our neighborhood, so that we’re not such a seasonal place.”

But approvals outrun the seasons.

License application
For Summerhill, the current application process began in 2010; a previous bid for a food primary license in 2003 was met with rejection.

This time, everything seemed to be aligning in Summerhill’s favor.

The city undertook a public consultation, and Kelowna city councilors endorsed the license. The commissioners who oversee the reserve accepted the city’s endorsement and also support the license application (Summerhill offered to include a small parcel of land in the ALR as a concession to concerns that the license might diminish the agricultural character of its operations).

The sole holdout is the province’s liquor overseers, who could opt to take the application through another round of public consultations.

“That will be a three- to six-month process if we do,” Cipes said. “We’re going to try and avoid it because we had a public hearing and we dealt with all the issues already. This is existing business; it’s not like our business is changing.”

Summerhill isn’t unique in facing licensing challenges.

Shared hurdle
There’s no one liquor license tailored to the diverse activities of province’s wineries, which may be on farmland or off, subject to municipal bylaws or in unincorporated areas, and subject only to provincial oversight. Some wineries have restaurants on parcels that are grandfathered under the 40-year-old legislation that established the ALR.

“It’s a dog’s breakfast,” said Jim Wyse, proprietor of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery south of Oliver and its restaurant, the Sonora Room.

The restaurant previously operated under a food primary license, but Wyse relinquished it when the winery lounge endorsement became available because the new license covered the entire winery and reduced the paperwork required every time it wanted to hold a special tasting event somewhere on the winery premises.

But guests who wanted to order beer with their meal pushed back, prompting Wyse to retrace his steps and once more seek a food primary license. Regulators were amenable, but because Burrowing Owl sat on protected farmland it had to apply to the province’s Agricultural Land Commission for an exemption; reverting to the old license would make the restaurant a non-farm use under revisions to farmland-protection regulations.

A municipal concern regarding the impact of the license on area restaurants led to the land commission rejecting its application, leaving Wyse frustrated and the commission conceding that wineries don’t have it easy.

“It’s a hodge-podge,” Wyse said. “We’re all kind of stymied; even the (land commission) is stuck with this problem of what’s the best license to have. I think it’s really going to come back to the liquor licensing people.”

Right now, five of those people are working on Summerhill’s application, which may not receive approval until next year.

“We were really thinking that by 2013 we would have the license, but we don’t yet, and I don’t know if we will for this season or not,” Cipes said.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $575 million
5%
$7,743 million
6%
September 2013 $550 million $7,311 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 $163 million
16%
$1,708 million
11%
September 2013 $141 million $1,538 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
September 2014 166
14%
226
18%
September 2013 145 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 10.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • November 1-2
     
    A Wine & Food Affair
     
  • November 1-2
     
    Temecula Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting
     
  • November 5
     
    Single Vineyard Night
     
  • November 5-6
     
    Southeastern United Wine & Grape Symposium
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: What's Your Winery's IP Worth? »
 
If you would like more information on this seminar please visit The Seminar Group's website....
Reader: Danielle Bingham
 
Article: DtC Is Lifeblood of Wineries, Banker Says »
 
Seems like another locical option would be to have more small niche distrbutors. Consolidation of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Tasting Wine From PD-Resistant Grapes »
 
Congratulations Andy! Lots of grapebreeders and southern growers will be looking through the catalogs. i...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: The 'Sideways' Effect »
 
Thank you for this research that confirms what many thought about the pinot noir effect....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Fine for Volunteer Labor Makes Wineries Wary »
 
This is so incredibly asinine. And my taxes go to help fund these over-reaches? No...
Reader: Philburtonj
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Cellar Worker
 Healdsburg, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Director Of Hospitalit...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Staff Accountant
 Guerneville, CA
Finance
 Assistant Hospitality ...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Winery Control Technic...
 St. Helena, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Office Assistant - Ful...
 New York, NY
General Administration and
 Customer Service Repre...
 New York, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Operations/Production ...
 Plymouth, CA
General Administration and
 Seasonal Customer Happ...
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 N Ca Brand Manager
 San Francisco, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.