We are excited to share our Celebrate the Wines of British Columbia 
Newsletter with you to highlight and review what the BC Wine Institute has been up to in the last three months. 

Through this newsletter,
as well as our presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, we invite you to connect with the BC Wine Institute. Please feel free to give us your feedback at any time.
In This Issue

The second quarter of 2014 saw some significant progress for the BC Wine Institute. Some positive changes to inter-provincial trade barriers, an issue we have been and continue to advocate strongly for, were implemented and
we see borders across the country opening. In meetings with federal officials, we received a new commitment that the government would increase pressure on the provinces that have yet to open borders.


Provincially, the BC Wine Institute has continued to advocate for more direct involvement in the implementation of Parliamentary Secretary John Yap's Liquor Policy Review recommendations, specifically with in-aisle grocery store licensing and changes to the BCLDB wholesale model.


Internally, the BC Wine Institute presented and voted on governance changes. These changes came as the result of a third-party governance review conducted by Deloitte. The report looked at the overall governance structure, vision and operation of the BC Wine Institute. This included a survey of members, as well as best practices research. The recommendations were adopted by the membership at the Annual and Extraordinary General Meeting in September. These changes saw an increase in the number of Board of Directors, as well as changes to the winery categories. 


From an export perspective, the BCWI continued to advance our strategic focus on the West Coast USA and Hong Kong. This included the launch of a new program with the Whole Foods Market in the Pacific Northwest and growth in membership of the program.


In addition, the BC Wine Institute hosted a group of top trade and media from Hong Kong who were able to visit with a selection of wineries that sell in Hong Kong or who are attempting to enter the market.


Miles Prodan


The second quarter of the year has been an exciting time for the Wines of British Columbia. Market share of BC VQA wine continues to grow, with most recent figures from August showing a 20.53% increase in dollar sales over the previous year. Direct from winery sales continue to increase, accounting for 27.23% of BC VQA wine sales in the province, indicating a busy touring season for wineries all over BC.


The touring season saw the expansion of the Visa Infinite Wine Country Program. The program, in its third year in British Columbia, promoted more than 30 BC wineries offering unique value adds and experiences. The Visa Infinite program runs until the end of December so there is still time for cardholders to visit local participating wineries.


As fall sets in and your thoughts turn to winter you may think the wine touring season is coming to an end - but this is not the case for many wineries that remain open and offer unique events and experiences for visitors. Check out for winery operating hours and fun events over the colder months.


The excitement spreads outside the province with the launch of eight BC VQA wines in the Pacific Northwest US through Whole Foods Market. The BCWI has been working with Whole Foods Market for over a year to facilitate the release of this quality assortment of BC VQA wines. The release was launched on September 30 to 40 influential media, garnering wide-spread coverage. Whole Foods Market has a commitment to selling premium-quality products that are consistently sourced and produced locally, making it the perfect fit for our BC VQA wines. 


Maggie Anderson


Communications activities were highly elevated in the second quarter of 2014. Partnerships with organizations such as Tourism Vancouver, Tourism Whistler, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and the Watermark Beach Resort enabled the BC Wine Institute to reach 75 media at three events held in Vancouver, Whistler and the Okanagan.


In addition, the BC Wine Institute organized events and held familiarization tours for more than 25 additional media including writers and photographers for the New York Times, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, USA Today and the venerable Karen MacNeil from the Wine Bible (in partnership with the Pinot Noir Celebration). We are very excited about these highly influential media and look forward to sharing the results.


Along with these activities, the last quarter also saw the launch of a brand new consumer focused newsletter called The Vine, which reaches a highly targeted list of thousands of wine enthusiasts and wine country travellers. It's an excellent way to keep BC VQA wine top of mind with consumers.


The next quarter will include a continuation of great partnerships with tourism organizations and ongoing media relations efforts in key markets via events as we roll into 2015 and the 25th Anniversary of BC VQA.


Tracy Clark


On September 25, the BC Wine Institute held its Annual and Extraordinary General Meeting where members voted in favour of governance changes and elected a new Board of Directors.


Among the governance changes, that came from recommendations following third party review by Deloitte, was an increase in the number of board members to nine from seven - three representatives each from large, 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.


In addition, members voted to change the threshold between small and medium wineries, lowering it to 60,000 litres from 90,000 litres of 100 per cent BC grape wine sold by a winery annually. 


Read the full press release. 


The BC Wine Institute has released its annual report for fiscal 2014. 


Click here to read the report.


By the end of August, the BC VQA provincial wine market share had reached an impressive 20.53%.


In both July and August, BC VQA saw record growth of its share of the total BC wine market over the same months in 2013, up 18% and nearly 14% over the previous year, respectively.


BC VQA Winery Direct sales ended August at 27.23% of the total BC market and with a growth of 21% over the previous year. July was equally impressive, with 30% growth over 2013.


Summer Grilling with 

BC Liquor Stores

Summer grilling was on the mind as the weather heated up. In July, 12 participating BC VQA wines were promoted in 12 BC Liquor Stores with a free gourmet spice packet made by BC's own Kootenay Spice. The 'wine marinades' were attached around the neck of the participating wines to draw attention to our delicious home grown category.


In addition, the same 12 wines were promoted in 10 select BC Liquor Stores with 20 in-store tastings. Consumers had the opportunity to "try before you buy" and more than 3,000 of them took advantage of this.


Read the press release.


In-Store Tastings & BC Day Party

Kicking off the in-store tastings at BC Liquor Stores in August was the Meet Your Maker with BC VQA Wines event held on BC Day. This event drew more than 300 people to the 39th & Cambie BC Signature Liquor Store in Vancouver.  Along with increased wine sales on the day of the promotion, 30 in-store tastings of 12 BC wines held throughout the province encouraged consumers to continue purchasing BC VQA wine.


Read the press release.


Whole Foods Market USA Launch

As part of its efforts to increase sales in the US, the BC Wine Institute partnered with Whole Foods Market to launch the sale of eight wines in 15 stores in Washington and Oregon. While the sales didn't begin until October 1, promotion of this exciting initiative began in August and September. The BCWI promoted the new program to a group of Pacific Northwest media, who were hosted in BC for three days in August, as well as via a launch dinner in Seattle where 28 media tasted through each of the eight wines that would be featured in the promotion.


Read the full press release.


Discover Calgary  

The Discover BC VQA Fall Release Tasting in Calgary continues to see growth in participating wineries and attending trade and media. This year in Calgary, 34 wineries showcased their BC VQA wines to influential buyers from Co-op Wine Beer Spirits, KD's Fine Wine & Spirits , 5 Vines Wine, Craft Beer & Spirits and more. 


Colour BC VQA Fall Release Trade Tasting Vancouver

The Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting in Vancouver attracted a record number of participating wineries and attendees. 94 wineries showcased more than 350 BC VQA wines to a crowd of 515 trade and media. This was the second tasting where we included a "Get to Know Our Grapes" table, which showcased a selection of newly released Merlot BC VQA wines and was a great educational piece on our most planted red grape. Through trade and media surveys we received excellent feedback. "Best wine tasting of the year," said one participant. "This event and Bloom are the two most important annual tastings for my staff," reported another.



This year was the 10th annual ChefmeetsBCGrape! More than 530 consumers came to experience 94 wineries and 14 of BC's best restaurants in the ultimate celebration of BC VQA wine and food. The 14 restaurants paired their small plates with 14 BC VQA wines in an attempt to win the "Best Dish" and "Best Pairing" awards.


"Best Pairing" award went to JoieFarm Gamay and La Pentola's pheasant terrine, "Best Dish" went to P2B Bistro & Bar's Mexicaninspired prawn bite, whose dish was paired with Church & State Wines' Sauvignon Blanc.

Direct and indirect media coverage of the BC Wine Institute and Wines of British Columbia and its members reached more than 191 million people from July 1 to September 30.


Total media value for media coverage totaled $296,031, which was nearly double the first quarter. The chart below is a highlight of the articles released by country.



During that period, the BC Wine Institute hosted more than 16 media in wine country and more than 130 media at BC Wine Institute events, as well as through partnerships with tourism organizations and businesses in BC, Alberta and Seattle.  Media hosted in wine country included travellers from the US, Hong Kong, Mexico and throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario for publications and blogs that reach millions collectively.


Highlights from July to September


Vineyards Vacations

The BC Wine Country was the cover story in an article in WestJet's Up! Magazine, which reaches two million readers and was valued at $18,500. That does not include the extensive online reach of the publication!


Fifteen Years of Okanagan

Last year Julie Pegg of EAT Magazine visited to source information for a retrospective on BC wine. The article came out in the September issue (pages 42-44).


USA Today 10 Best

The BC Wine Institute utilized all of its social media channels to help drive the campaign that saw the Okanagan Valley named the second Best Wine Region to Visit in the world. This article went viral and reached more than 100 million people.


Great Northwest Wine / CNBC

The launch of a promotion to sell BC VQA wine in Whole Foods Market stores in Washington and Oregon received major coverage in both the US and Canada.


The BC Wine Institute distributes its Press Releases to more than 300 media to promote initiatives and marketing efforts by the BC Wine Institute, information on industry changes, as well as to promote BCWI member wineries, the Wines of British Columbia and BC wine tourism.


Click here to view Media Releases.


Level 1 

November 3 & 4, Calgary

The seminars, led by BC wine educator and Georgia Straight columnist Kurtis Kolt, include an educational overview, interactive dialogue and a tutored tasting through BC VQA wines from classic to contemporary styles that illustrate where we are and where we're headed. 


Level 2

November 8, Whistler

Cornucopia Wines of British Columbia Trade Seminar

Trade and Media will join presenter Rhys Pender, MW and discover the journey that BC wine has taken.


Click here for more information.
BC VQA wines are entered in numerous competitions around the world each
year and achieve amazing success. The BC Wine Institute provides a consolidation service for certain Canadian, US and international competitions. 

The following is an update of recent awards for BCWI member wineries this quarter. Click links for more details. 

San Francisco International Wine Competition (June)

Double Gold: 3

Gold: 9

Silver: 37

Bronze: 41


WineAlign National Wine Awards Of Canada (June)

Platinum Medal: 8

Gold: 37

Silver: 140

Bronze: 127


Mondial Des Pinots (August)

Gold: 2

Silver: 2


Winery of the Year: Painted Rock Estate Winery

Gold: 18

Silver: 54

Honours: 153


Okanagan Wine Festivals Society BC Wine Awards (October)

Premier's Wine: See Ya Later Ranch Rover 2012

Platinum: 4

Gold: 29

Silver: 99

Bronze: 96


The BC Wine Institute is looking for a qualified professional to fill the role of Marketing Coordinator. We are accepting applications until November 14.


For the full job description and application details, click here.

The BC Wine Institute currently has 133 member wineries and 15 grapegrower partners. 


To view the complete list of members, click here.
British Columbia Wine Institute: Visit us online at (consumer) | (member & media) 

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