BC Wine Institute September 26, 2014
BRITISH COLUMBIA - BC Wine Institute members voted in favour of adopting a new board structure at the organization's Annual and Extraordinary General Meeting in Penticton on Thursday.
"Parliamentary Secretary John Yap's final report on BC's Liquor Policy Review made a number of recommendations that are positive for the continued success of the BC wine industry," said Miles Prodan, President and CEO of the BC Wine Institute. "It's also an appropriate time for the BCWI to ensure, as an organization, we're positioned properly to maximize the opportunities and continue to build and expand the BC VQA category here in BC, across Canada and around the world."
A record number of votes were cast at the meeting, increasing the Board of Directors to nine voting members from seven - three representatives each from large, medium and small wineries.
The Board previously had two representatives each from medium and small wineries. The addition of an optional independent non-voting member was also approved. That person will be appointed at a later date.
"We congratulate the new Board of Directors," said Prodan. "The team at the BC Wine Institute looks forward to working with the new Board,"
The newly elected directors are:
- Ezra Cipes, from Summerhill Pyramid Winery (medium winery)
- Duncan McCowan, from Hillside Estate Winery & Bistro (medium winery)
- Bill Eggert, from Fairview Cellars (small winery)
- Christina Ferreira, from Squeezed Wines (small winery)
Large winery incumbent Greg Berti, from Andrew Peller, was acclaimed.
Also remaining on the Board from large wineries are Josie Tyabji (Chair) from Constellation Brands Canada and David Wilson from Mission Hill Family Estate Winery. Shaun Everest of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards (Vice Chair), from the medium winery category, and Spencer Massie from Clos du Soleil Winery, from the small winery category, will also remain on the board. Existing non-voting board members are Prodan and a representative grapegrower partner, who is appointed annually by the Board of Directors.
The changes were the result of recommendations that came from a third party governance review conducted for the BC Wine Institute by Deloitte over several months. The study analyzed industry best practices, reviewed the current structure and management of the BC Wine Institute and included a survey of BC Wine Institute members.
In addition to the changes in the board structure, BC Wine Institute members also voted to change the definition of the categories for small and medium wineries to better reflect the growth of small volume producers.
According to Deloitte, between 2009 and 2014 the number of voting members grew by 92 per cent (all of which has been in the small category) and the volume of 100 per cent BC grape wine sold in BC has grown by 45 per cent.
The small, medium and large categories are defined by the number of litres of 100 per cent BC grape wine sold in BC by a winery annually.
The change saw the threshold between small and medium wineries lowered to 60,000 litres from 90,000 litres.
The threshold for large wineries remains at sales (in BC) of more than 700,000 litres of 100 per cent BC grape wine annually.
As a result, the composition of the BC Wine Institute voting membership was changed. There are now 98 small wineries and 19 medium wineries, from 107 and 10, respectively. There are three large wineries for a total of 120 voting members.
The BC Wine Institute also has 19 non-voting associate members and 15 grapegrower partners.
Along with recommendations regarding Board composition and winery category size, the report also presented recommendations on committees and communication which will be considered by the new Board of Directors.
About the BC Wine Institute (BCWI)
Since 1990, the BCWI has played a pivotal role in taking BC's wine industry from a vision to an internationally recognized niche region producing premium wines and providing quality wine tourism experiences.
Representing 134 wineries throughout the province, the BCWI supports and markets the Wines of British Columbia (BC VQA), which gives consumers assurance they are buying a wine that is from 100% BC grapes. BCWI membership represents 95% of total grape wine sales and 94% of total BC VQA wine sales in British Columbia.
The BCWI also markets the wine regions of BC; delivers quality trade, media and consumer tastings; and acts as the voice of BC's wine industry by advocating to government on behalf of its members.