The first ever BC wine law conference was held in Vancouver this past Thursday and Friday, November 12-13th. I co-chaired the conference with Chris Wilson of Bull, Housser & Tupper. I was very pleased with the overall conference. We had an excellent audience with an amazing depth of knowledge including representation from wineries, agents, retailers, restaurants and government. Here's an update on some of the issues that were covered:
- Great discussion from winery owners on the issues to consider when starting a winery - including Michael Dinn from Joiefarm and Andy Johnston from Averill Creek.
- Issues on getting product to market in the United States by Susan Johnson from Stoel Rives in Seattle.
- Overview of labelling requirements in Canada (by Dan Bennett from BHT) including an interesting discussion of the genesis of the "Cellared in Canada" labels which have caused recent controversy (by Arnold Schwisberg from Toronto). I'll post a separate update on this issue.
- Summary of issues to consider regarding trademarks and your wines (Chris Wilson of BHT).
- Operations risk management including common liability issues for your winery (by myself).
- Interesting discussion of winery related tax issues including SRED credits (John Ormiston of Deloitte).
- Rundown of the most common employment issues facing wineries (Herb Isherwood of BHT).
- Immigration issues including foreign workers (Alek Stojicevic).
- Fascinating discussion of mainly logistical issues facing retailers and restaurants (Rob Simpson of Liberty, Stan Fuller of Earl's and Brian Berry of AWSM).
- Really interesting update (with newsworthy content) on the shipping law situation in Canada (Ian Blue and Arnold Schwisberg, both from Toronto, as well as Sid Cross and Anthony Gismondi). I'll post separately on this.
- Ecommerce and website issues (Brent Johnson from Vin65).
- Taxation and Markup Issues (Tim Crowhurst of IVSA).
- Regulatory Compliance Issues (Bert Hick of Rising Tide)
- Regulatory Overview of BC Wine (Jeffrey Thomas of BCWA).
- Reform of BC Wine Laws (Scott Fraser of BCWI and myself).