Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
10.10.2008  
 

B.C. Wine Authority Up and Running

Industry members will advise independent directors on administering new standards

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
British Columbia Wine
 
Averill Creek Vineyards, on B.C.'s scenic Vancouver Island.
 
Vancouver, B.C. -- An independent authority is now in place to oversee British Columbia wine producers. The five-member board elected in September to advise the directors of the B.C. Wine Authority held its first meeting via teleconference on Oct. 9. The advisory board is the final step in establishing the authority, which was originally announced in 2004.

The advisory board brings together members of industry to advise the authority's three directors--who are independent of the industry-- regarding the administration and enforcement of new standards adopted in 2007 governing wine production in the province.

The advisors represent a cross-section of the province's wineries and winemaking regions, and include Andy Johnston of Averill Creek Vineyard, representing wineries on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands; Eugene Kwan of Domaine de Chaberton, representing wineries in the Fraser Valley; Jeff Martin of La Frenz Winery, representing wineries in the Okanagan; winemaker Derek Kontkanen of Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate, representing large wineries; and Tyler Galts, operations manager at Quails' Gate Estate Winery, representing mid-size wineries.

British Columbia Wine
 
Andy Johnston, owner of Averill Creek Vineyard, represents wineries on Vancouver Island and B.C.'s Gulf Islands on the advisory board.
"Without our guidance they don't have a lot to go on, do they? Because they're not wine people," Andy Johnston told Wines & Vines, while taking a break from his Pinot Noir harvest. "It's obviously going to take some fine tuning, and that's what we're going to be involved with."

A second, face-to-face meeting is scheduled within six weeks.

The new regulations governing the production and marketing of B.C. wines became law through a provincial order-in-council on July 18, 2007. The regulations set a minimum standard for B.C. wines, state which grape varieties are acceptable for B.C. wines (labrusca varieties are prohibited, for example), and establish minimum Brix levels required for grapes, among other criteria.

The regulations also set forth labeling standards with a view to ensuring that consumers have a clear understanding about what they're buying. The onus is on wineries to ensure what they're selling is what they claim it to be, however, though the authority will audit wineries once every three years on a random basis. All wines labeled as B.C. wines meet the provincial standard as administered by the new authority, and wineries must be paid-up members of the authority.

While the Vintners' Quality Alliance program (previously the benchmark for premium wine in both B.C. and Ontario) was the basis of the new regulations, the VQA standard is not grandfathered into the new regulations. Henceforth, wines bearing the B.C. VQA designation must be in compliance with the new regulations.

Some wineries will have to address inconsistencies in labeling. Cabernet Merlot, a designation allowed under the former VQA standard, isn't allowed under the provincial rules. Instead, the dominant grape variety must be clearly stated on a wine's label, with other varieties listed in order of presence. That means wine with, say, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot must list each grape variety individually, according to its proportion in the wine.

Johnston believes the authority will be an effective arbiter of wine quality in the province. The B.C. Wine Institute previously administered quality standards for B.C. wines under the VQA program, as well as marketing and lobbying initiatives. But the institute's various roles led to concerns in some quarters that it might be in conflict with itself as both administrator of the Vintners' Quality Alliance standard and the marketer of the same wines. In addition, many wineries in the province opted not to join the institute rather than submit to its production standards. Since an effective enforcement regime didn't exist, wineries didn't face penalties for not joining the institute.

The new regulations were put to an industry vote in 2006 to assure buy-in. Producers rejected an initial draft, prompting revisions that resulted in the regulations adopted last year.

BCWI officially transferred responsibility for administering production standards to the new wine authority at the end of August 2008. The transition allows the institute to focus on promoting and marketing B.C. wines as well as representing the industry in its relations with government.

B.C. Wine Authority directors include Hugh Gordon, Layne Marshal and Jeffrey Thomas. The general manager of the authority is John Nixon, a consultant based in Richmond, B.C.
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  
July 2015 $603 million
6%
$8,136 million
6%
July 2014 $568 million $7,701 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
July 2015 $66 million
9%
$1,906 million
14%
July 2014 $61 million $1,674 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
July 2015 323
4%
262
18%
July 2014 312 222
     
 
MORE » Released on 08.13.2015
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • September 6
     
    Harvest Wine Celebration
     
  • September 11-13
     
    Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic
     
  • September 17
     
    Winejobs.com Summit
     
  • September 18
     
    Owning and Operating an Urban Winery or Brewery
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Nielsen Unpacks Package Design »
 
Okay, I'll state the obvious (to anyone with CPG experience) - the Wine Biz is...
Reader: Joel Miller
 
Article: Nielsen Unpacks Package Design »
 
Very interesting reading. Certainly agree with the more indirect approach of evaluating the extent to...
Reader: Roger Brooks
 
Article: Experimental Solution to Pierce's Disease »
 
Congratulations to the team! It is amazing what can be done with biological controls. Keep...
Reader: Bruce Coulthard
 
Article: The Spiciest Wines You Have Ever Tasted »
 
There are some wines from New Mexico are infused with pepper flavors. Also, The Wine...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Does Red Blotch Affect Wine? »
 
I have a grapevine in my polytunnel in east London which is showing signs of...
Reader: Guest
 
 


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
 Tasting Room Associate
 Sonoma, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Bottling Mechanic
 Lodi, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Bottling & Warehouse C...
 Lodi, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Production Supervisor
 Lodi, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Brand Ambassador, Full...
 Austin, TX
Sales and Marketing
 Project Administrator
 Geyserville, CA
General Administration and
 Tasting Room Associate
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Manager Retail Sales
 Denver, CO
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Sales Professiona...
 Worcester, MA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Hospitali...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





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

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 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.