Canada: B.C. Industry Prepares for Shake-Up
(Wines&Vines) - Small and mid-size wineries are hoping for a bigger voice as the British Columbia Wine Institute undertakes a governance review.
Right now, large wineries have three representatives at the institute, while small and medium-sized wineries have two each. Meanwhile, the unique concerns and challenges of each group have strained relationships among members and prompted smaller wineries—those producing 5,000 cases and less—to seek greater representation.
“I personally feel very strongly that all categories should be represented by the same number of directors, and my suggestion would be there be three directors in each of the small, medium, and large categories,” Harry McWatters, a veteran of the industry with more than four decades’ experience, told Wines & Vines.
A founder of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery and Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards, McWatters worked with Vincor Canada following its purchase of the properties before striking out on his own as a private consultant and educator.
He has since launched a new line of wines under his own name and become familiar once again with the concerns of small wineries.
While the British Columbia Wine Institute is charged with marketing and promoting wine made entirely from B.C.-grown grapes and bearing the B.C. Vintners’ Quality Alliance designation, McWatters said smaller wineries have concerns distinct from those of large wineries and deserve a strong voice. Moreover, of the 235 grape wineries in the province, just four are deemed “large.”