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Penticton News

Liquor policy changes good news for local wineries

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton and Painted Rock Proprietor John Skinner discuss policy changes to the province's liquor act on July 28.

PENTICTON - Local wineries continue to benefit from promised changes made to the liquor act by the provincial government.

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton announced liquor policy changes that will make it easier for wineries to hold special occasions such as weddings at Painted Rock Estate Winery this morning, July 28.

“Special occasion licenses were an issue. Brides have enough to worry about without having to run around getting a special occasion license. The ruling today allows other spirits to be served at wineries, hard liquor, beer or cider,” Ashton says.

The changes will also work in reverse for craft breweries, cideries and distillers who will now be able to offer wine during functions in their outlets.

Under new policy, winery customers planning an event no longer need to apply for a separate Special Occasion License.

“It’s cutting red tape, and making a big difference,” Ashton says, adding the province is trying to get rid of red tape, trying to make it less difficult for residents and tourists to enjoy their experiences in B.C.

In order to ensure the focus stays on the host’s products, the new regulations will allow up to 20 per cent of the product sold at the winery, cidery, brewery or distillery to come from off the property. The products do not have to be local, but Ashton says the province is encouraging operators to look locally first.

Painted Rock Proprietor John Skinner says the policy changes will be a big boost for his winery, where 25 weddings are planned for this year.

“We’ll probably do another 10 or 15 events, and it’s a whole new revenue channel. It’s employing locals, it just makes a ton of sense. It’s great for us as a winery, it’s great for the province,” he says.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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