Communiqué from the BC Wine Appellation Task Group meeting, June 2, 2015

Industry Survey To Be Launched June 15th

Summerland, BC – The BC Wine Appellation Task Group continued constructive and cooperative discussions aimed at tackling longstanding issues affecting the growth of the BC wine industry sector at its second formal meeting. The Task Group met in advance of a wine industry stakeholder online survey to be conducted June 15 – July 3. Wine industry stakeholders are strongly encouraged to have their say by participating in the survey.

DSC04980Several weeks of industry engagement, including town hall meetings, discussion groups, consultations in person, by phone and email have provided the Task Group with a strong understanding of wine sector priorities. The Task Group continues to engage industry representatives from the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Fraser Valleys, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and emerging wine producing regions such as Creston, Kamloops and Lillooet, as well as grape growers, liquor industry representatives and wine media. A summary of those discussions is available at – see page titled “What People Are Saying”.

Four themes have emerged from the consultations so far:

  • On new wine appellations in British Columbia – and how they would work should industry support them;
  • On making the certification of origin of grapes mandatory for wine producers;
  • On tasting panels and the future of the BC VQA standard;
  • On streamlining the auditing process to reduce the cost of regulatory requirements for wine producers.

The Task Group is in agreement that this is a pivotal time of growth for BC’s wine industry, and that bold steps are needed.

“Look at any new world wine region and you can see they all reached a turning point such as the one British Columbia faces today,” says Ezra Cipes, Chair of the BC Wine Appellation Task Group. “Their success resulted from reaching a consensus, working together and speaking with one voice.”

“It is only in recent years that we have witnessed remarkable growth in the scale and international reputation of wines produced in regions such as Washington and Oregon, New Zealand and Argentina,” adds Task Group member Ian Macdonald, president of Liquidity Wines. “Each of these wine regions went through a similar process such as the one the Task Group is conducting now, and came to discover how to gain respectability in the world of wine. We have an unprecedented opportunity to do the same for BC wine.”

The Task Group survey will be launched online beginning Monday, June 15th and close July 3rd. Winery license holders, as well as industry stakeholders from grape growing, hospitality and retail sectors, as well as wine media are invited to participate. Results of the survey will be announced this summer.

Also at the second meeting, the BC Wine Appellation Task Group struck a sub-committee to draft a position on ICB wines.

The work of the Task Group continues over the coming weeks. Updates on the Group’s progress will be made available online at


BC Wine Appellation Task Group

  • Ezra Cipes, Summerhill Pyramid Winery
  • Christine Coletta, Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
  • Bill Eggert, Fairview Cellars
  • Andy Johnston, Averill Creek Vineyards
  • Derek Kontkanen, Inniskillin Okanagan
  • Eugene Kwan, Chaberton Estate Winery
  • Ian MacDonald, Liquidity Wines
  • James Mack, Ministry of Agriculture
  • Christie Mavety, Blue Mountain Winery
  • Harry McWatters, Time Estate Winery
  • JAK Meyer, Meyer Family Vineyards
  • Rhys Pender, Little Farm Winery
  • John Skinner, Painted Rock Estate Winery
  • Bob Tennant, Terravista Vineyards
  • Don Triggs, Culmina Family Estate Winery
  • James Mack, Ministry of Agriculture


Mike Klassen, Executive Director
BC Wine Appellation Task Group

Cell (604) 377-5499