BC Wine Institute Welcomes New Board of Directors and Awards Industry Leaders at 2017 AGM
July 17, 2017
For Immediate Release:
July 17, 2017
OSOYOOS, BC - Following another successful Annual General Meeting (July 11, 2017 at Spirit Ridge Resort, Osoyoos), the BC Wine Institute (BCWI) is pleased to announce its new Board of Directors.
Nine voting BCWI Directors represent all British Columbia wineries. Newly elected or re-elected members of the Board of Directors are:
- Greg Berti from Andrew Peller Ltd.
- Ezra Cipes from Summerhill Pyramid Winery
- Ian MacDonald from Liquidity Wines
Also continuing their terms on the Board are Bob Heiss (Gray Monk Estate Winery), Christa-Lee McWatters Bond (Evolve Cellars), David Wilson (Mark Anthony Group), Josie Tyabji (Arterra Wines Canada), Leo Gebert (St.Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate Winery), and Tony Holler (Poplar Grove Winery). BCWI President/CEO Miles Prodan, BC Grapegrowers' Association representative David Kozuki and Independent Director Douglas Friend remain on the Board as ex officio non-voting members.
"We appreciate the time commitment and dedication of our volunteer Board of Directors and committee members for the Wines of British Columbia and our industry," notes BC Wine Institute President Miles Prodan. "We look forward to working with our new and continuing Board members to evolve the BC Wine Industry and take the vision of our member wineries to the next level."
The BCWI would like to thank outgoing Director Erik Fisher from Monte Creek Ranch Winery for his contributions to the Board during his three-year term.
In the evening reception and awards dinner, BCWI Chair Christa-Lee McWatters Bond was honoured to present John Yap with the 2017 BCWI Industry Recognition Award in gratitude of his efforts towards the reform of liquor laws. The 2017 BCWI Award of Distinction was awarded to Harry McWatters, owner of Encore Vineyards, and to Howard Soon, long-time Master Winemaker of Sandhill, in recognition of each's outstanding leadership, commitment and passion for the advancement of the British Columbia Wine Industry.
"The Wines of British Columbia represent the diversity, passion, and vision of our wineries and our wine regions. It is through everyone's work that we continue to meet or exceed the objectives of the BC Wine Institute and together, we are making a positive difference." says BC Wine Institute Chair Christa-Lee McWatters Bond.
This past year set a benchmark for the BC Wine Industry as indicated in the recent Canadian wine and grape industry research study that reveals the industry now has a $2.8 billion impact on our provincial economy, creating 12,000 jobs every year - 20 per cent more than when last reported in 2013. The Total Provincial Wine Market Share in BC (litres) this year of BC VQA (certified 100% British Columbia grape wine) sales reached an all-time high of 17.6 per cent, and BC winery direct sales were up 13.6 per cent over the previous year.
About British Columbia Wine Institute
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 exceptional wine tourism experiences. The BCWI markets the wine and 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 industry that contributes $2.8 billion in provincial economic growth annually.
The BCWI represents all wineries in British Columbia to grow the premium market share for the Wines of British Columbia, while driving awareness of our world-class wines and tourism product - currently drawing 1,000,000 visitors with $600 million in tourism and tourism employment related economic impact every year. For more information about BC Wine Institute's programs and services, please visit: WineBC.com.
For details on BC VQA and the Wines of British Columbia, go to WineBC.com (consumer) or WineBC.org (media), like the Wines of British Columbia Facebook page and follo @WineBCdotcom on Twitter and Instagram.