We are excited to share our Celebrate the Wines of British Columbia Newsletter with you to highlight and review what the BC Wine Institute was up to during the Fourth Quarter of Fiscal 2016. 

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

Each year, the BCWI Industry Recognition Award honours an individual, business or organization for support of the BC Wine Industry and BC VQA Wine through media, research, policy, regulation, education, advocacy or other means significantly contributing to the overall strength and long-term viability of the industry.
Given out at the BCWI AGM, the award celebrates the extensive community of BC wine champions who are passionate about the BC prosperity of the BC Wine Industry. Below is a list of the distinguished past recipients:

2015 - Jurgen Gothe (Media)
2014 - Senator Ross Fitzpatrick (Industry Pioneer)
2013 - MP Dan Albas and MP Ron Cannan (Industry Champions)
2016 Nominations
Now in its fourth year, nominations are now open for the BC Wine Industry Recognition Award to all organizations, businesses and individuals affiliated with the BC grape wine industry. Individual self-nomination is not accepted; however, organizations or businesses may apply directly. Current Board members and employees of the BC Wine Institute are not eligible for the Award of Distinction.
If know of someone deserving, you are encouraged to complete the online nomination form below by Friday, May 20. 
The BCWI Annual General Meeting will take place Tuesday, July 5 at Manteo Resort in Kelowna, BC.  In addition to the AGM, there will also be special guest speakers and panel discussions on important issues and developments in the BC Wine Industry. 
The BCWI is also pleased to partner with the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) for our AGM program and social dinner where both the BCWI's BC Wine Industry Recognition Award and the CVA's Canadian Wine Industry Awards will be announced.
Please look for further details over the coming weeks.
Q4 was an extremely busy and exciting time for the Wines of British Columbia with our wonderful wines being showcased not only in our beautiful province, but internationally as well. The BCWI hosted the Wines of British Columbia booth at the 38th Vancouver International Wine Festival, showcasing the two largest wine producing regions in British Columbia as well as wines from newer regions in our province. Over 29,000 attendees, both trade and consumers had the opportunity to take a sip through our wine country. Exciting wines like the Harper's Trail Riesling from Kamloops really made an excellent impression and expanded the attendee's minds about the grapegrowing regions of BC. The BCWI was thrilled to work with the CVA and other provincial associations to secure Canada as the 2017 theme region for the festival, on the final night an operatic rendition and cirque du soleil aerial acrobat unveiled the announcement to an operatic rendition of O Canada followed by an ongoing performance to I Believe by Nikki Yanofski which brought back the Canadian patriotism of the 2010 Olympic Games. The planning is well underway for the 2017 festival and we couldn't be happier to showcase the Wines of British Columbia in the 150 anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. 
In March the Wines of British Columbia joined Wine Country Ontario and the Wines of Nova Scotia under the Wines of Canada Banner to showcase Canadian wines to the world at ProWein 2016 in Dusseldorf, Germany. This was the largest showing of both Canadian and BC wines to date. Eight wineries from BC participated and poured wines for an all trade and media audience, more than 55,000 trade and media from not only Europe but word wide attended the show over the three days. In addition to our Canadian pavilion the Wines of Canada had daily seminars hosted by Dr. Jamie Goode, each seminar began with an overview of Canada's wine region and then focused directly on one of the three regions represented at the show. All of the seminars were well attended and generated great interest in our regions and wines. Participating in shows like ProWein position wines of British Columbia and Canada on the international wine stage. Thank you to all of the wineries who recognize this and participate in these international activities.

During this last quarter, the BCWI hosted a total of 24 media and wine and culinary judges for media related activities including; two familiarization tours welcoming two travel writers from California, one wine blogger from New York and the associate editor for Decanter Magazine to our beautiful region; a Winemakers' Dinner for 14 influential Canadian Culinary Championships Gold Medal Plates Judges; a trade/media lunch and masterclass in Calgary with renowned sommelier Brad Royale and Matt Kramer from Wine Spectator; and finally the Visa Infinite dining series hosting two prominent wine and food writers from Vancouver and Calgary. The BCWI also participated as a sponsor of the Dine Out Vancouver Media Preview and Grape Debate, as well as the media launch events for Dine Around Thompson Okanagan and Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria, enabling the BC Wine Institute to reach more than 70 media in Kelowna and Victoria.

Hosted Media:
Stefanie Michaels (California -
Arnette Stricker (California - AFAR Travel Magazine &
Elizabeth Schneider (New York -
Wine for Normal People)
Tina Gellie (UK - Decanter Magazine)
James Chatto (Ontario)
Sid Cross (Wine writer)
Andrew Morrison (Scout Magazine)
Mary Bailey (The Tomato)
John Gilchrist (The Calgary Herald)
CJ Katz (Regina - food writer, TV Cook)
Noelle Chorney (Saskatoon - Amazon in the Kitchen Blog)
Chef Barbara O'Hara (Winnipeg)
Chef John Higgins (Toronto)
Robert Beauchemin (Montreal restaurant critic and food writer)
Anne DesBrisay (Ottawa Magazine)
Bill Spurr (Halifax - The Chronicle Herald)
Chef Bob Arniel (St. Johns)
Chef Perry Bentley (Okanagan College)
Linda Garson (Culinaire Magazine)
Steve MacNaull (Vancouver Sun, The Province, Daily Courier)
Joanne Sasvari (Freelance wine & food writer)
Shelley Boettcher (CBC news)
Tom Firth (Cowtown Wine)
Darren Oleksyn (Calgary Herald)

Media-related Events:
Canadian Culinary Championships Gold Medal Plates Judges Welcome Dinner
Dine Out Vancouver Media Preview & The Grape Debate
Dine Around Thompson Okanagan Launch
Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria Launch
Okanagan Winter Wine Festival Winemaker's Media Dinner
Media & Trade Lunch & Masterclass with Matt Kramer

Although we don't have the sales reports for March yet, here are some highlights from the January and February Q4 sales reports: 
  • Total Provincial Wine Market Share in BC averaged 16.58%, outpacing Total Market Share by 7%
  • Total BC VQA Sales Growth over the previous year averaged 10.52%, outpacing Total Market Growth by 7%
We recently received some statistics from the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) reporting BC VQA Wine sales by province for the R12 ended December 2015. Overall, BC VQA Wine sales (in litres) are outpacing total wine sales and were up 9.28% over 2014.


Overall exports of BC wine in 2015 were up 12% over 2014. Here are some highlights from our latest export reports:


The Vancouver International Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine events in the world, offering something for every level of wine drinker, collector and trade professional. From February 20 to 28, 2016, more than 50 wine events took place, including the highly anticipated International Festival Tastings on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. 

The BCWI was once again was part of the Vancouver International Wine Festival with our Wines of British Columbia regional booth focused around our diverse wine regions, how local terroir is reflected within our wine, and offering a broad selection of BC VQA Wines from across the province. 

In addition to our regional booth, 26 BC wineries showcased more than 100 BC wines during the Festival Tastings. The 2016 participating BC wineries where: 

Averill Creek Vineyard
Poplar Grove Winery             
Bartier Bros. Vineyard & Winery
Quails' Gate Winery
Black Sage Vineyard
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
See Ya Later Ranch
Culmina Family Estate Winery
Stoneboat Vineyards
Gold Hill Winery
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Harper's Trail Estate Winery
SunRock Vineyard
Thornhaven Estates Winery
Hester Creek Estate Winery
Tightrope Winery
Meyer Family Vineyards
TIME Estate Winery
Mission Hill Family Estate
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Osoyoos Larose Estate Winery
Unsworth Vineyards
Painted Rock Estate Winery
Wayne Gretzky Okanagan

It was also announced at the festival that Canada will be the theme country for the 39th annual Festival aligning with the commemoration of Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation. The 2017 Festival will take place February 11-19, 2017, celebrating Wines of Canada.

"It has been 20 years since Canada has been our theme country and our nation's wine culture has evolved greatly over this time," said Harry Hertscheg, VIWF Executive Director. "This will be the largest showcase of Canadian wines ever assembled at an international wine festival and we're looking forward to telling the Wines of Canada story to wine enthusiasts throughout the Pacific Northwest, trade professionals across Canada, and the wine industry globally."

Wines of Canada is a collaborative initiative of the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA), British Columbia Wine Institute, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario (WMAO), Vignerons indépendants du Québec and Winery Association of Nova Scotia working together to bring the country's best wines with the world. 

Additional event details and participation information will be distributed in the coming months, but be sure to mark your calendars to participate in 2017!

In collaboration with The Somm Journal, the BCWI hosted a Somm Camp in the Okanagan. During this three-day camp from March 20 to 24, 2016, 12 influential wine buyers and sommeliers from the West Coast of the United States had the opportunity to visit many of BC's best wineries and get up-close and personal with the people behind our amazing wines.
The Somm Camp will not only result in these key sommeliers visiting our region, but we will also receive two articles in The Somm Journal, pre and post camp. Please click here to view the pre camp article 'A Quiet Revolution in British Columbia' now available in the current issue of The SOMM Journal.
"That was a most enjoyable and rewarding trip. Very well executed.  I really learned a lot, not only about the layout of the region and what varietals are produced, but also some great insight to techniques in the vineyard and winery. And what a beautiful backdrop you have there. The weather was perfect such fresh air. On my wine travels so far I have yet to experience so many mind boggling, dynamic features happening in one area. The Okanagan Valley deserves to be known and discovered by the American wine drinkers. Your little secret is up."
David Kristiansen, Lead Sommelier, Pebble Beach Resorts
CLICK HERE to view photos from the tour!
Grape Debaters Sid Cross and David Scholefield
The Wines of British Columbia was pleased to once again partner with Tourism Vancouver and sponsor Canada's largest food and drink festival. This is the 14 season of this multi-dimensional culinary festival which saw over 100,000 local and visiting guests participate. 
At a Glance:
  • 289 participating Restaurants
  • 73 participating BC Wineries 
  • 288 BC VQA Wines listed
  • Estimated economic impact $4.37 million
81% of restaurant survey respondents did offer BC VQA Wine throughout the festival and 49% reported adding new listings for the festival. Over the course of the festival, 42% of respondents also reported that their sales of BC VQA Wine increased as compared to a regular 17-day period in winter.

The Wines of British Columbia were prominently featured at festival events including the media launch, 6-Course Discourse, and The Grape Debate. The public events were each sold out and we received excellent feedback from attendees about the quality of the events and the wines. 

The Wines of British Columbia was proud to sponsor the Menu Launch and Media & VIP Reception at the Victoria Conference Centre. 16 wineries participated in this key event, attracting more than 300 savvy consumers, key restaurant trade, and high-profile media.

As the exclusive wine sponsor for this event, only BC Wine Institute Winery Members had the opportunity to pair their wines with the prix fixe menus from the 68 participating restaurants. 
The event's title was refreshed this year from "Wine and Dine' to "Dine Around" to refresh the brand and increase audience reach.  This year's event saw an increase in restaurant participation from 43 in 2015 to 55 in 2016 and BC Wine Institute Winery Members had the exclusive opportunity to pair their wines with the prix fixe menus.   
At a Glance:
  • 55 participating restaurants
  • 37 participating BC wineries
  • 7,500 meals served
The Wines of British Columbia were also featured at the launch party where more than 300 guests were treated to BC VQA Wines from 22 local wineries and culinary delights from 17 participating Dine Around restaurants.  

This marketing partnership is a fantastic opportunity for our BCWI Member Wineries to showcase their wines to Visa Infinite cardholders along with celebrity chefs working together to create unforgettable culinary experiences in award-winning restaurants.  

The 2016 Winter & Spring series gave 23 wineries the platform to introduce their wines to hundreds of guests at these restaurants:

YEW Seafood + Bar

The Cookbook Co. Cooks
River Café
The Nash 
March 3, 2016 saw a full day of wine events as the BCWI hosted Matt Kramer, contributing editor at Wine Spectator, as we promoted the Wines of British Columbia to trade, media and consumers in Calgary.
The day kicked off with a book signing of Matt's most recent book True Taste: The Seven Essential Wine Words at the new Midtown Market CO-OP Wine Spirits Beer location with the first 40 customers purchasing a bottle of BC VQA Wine receiving a free copy. As part of the month long Wines of British Columbia in-store promotions in all 23 CO-OP Wine Spirits Beer store in Alberta, customers were treated to a full array of the featured BC VQA flyer wines to taste and try before they buy.
River Café was the back drop for the remainder of the day's activities with guest host Matt Kramer. VIP trade and media were invited to experience a BC VQA Wine paired lunch followed by an informative Masterclass tasting of BC VQA and international wines.
A lineup of sixteen wines were tasted in the blind Masterclass consisting of Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. BC Wine Ambassador, Brad Royale, was on hand to co-host alongside Matt as they led the group through the tasting and discovery of BC Wines. BC Winemakers were on hand to speak to their wines as they were revealed and shared their thoughts behind creating wines with BC expressions.
'I loved how they paired a red and a white with each plate."
Lana Turner, Category Manager, CO-OP Wine Spirits Beer
"In my work, I have to be familiar as possible with them, but the blind tasting was definitely eye-opening."
Linda Garson, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Culinaire Magazine
The action packed day ended with a consumer dinner to kick off Big Taste Calgary 2016 with more than 90 in attendance. Matt and Brad once again guided this group of guests though a journey of BC VQA Wines from a sparkling reception, beautiful BC whites, big bold reds and an Icewine to conclude the evening. Once again, guests' tasting skills were challenged in blind side-by-side tastings of BC VQA and international wines. The Wines of British Columbia not only held their own, but shone throughout the dinner! BC Winemakers had the opportunity to unveil the wines and share the passion behind their wine. 
Click here to view photos from the day's events.

The Wines of British Columbia was once again wine sponsor for the popular consumer event, Big Taste Calgary from March 3 to 13, 2016. For 10 days in March, Calgary's finest foodies descended on downtown to celebrate world-class cuisine and BC VQA Wines with fixed menu selections from over 90 participating restaurants and over 20 BC wineries.
This year's 2016 Trip for Two to BC's Wine Country Winner was Alan Bunyan. We had 1085 unique contest entries throughout the promotion with more than 3,000 visits to from Alberta.
37 in-store tastings where held in sixteen stores with more than 2,440 customer samples provided, resulting in 1166 bottles sold during the tastings.
As part of this partnership, each year CO-OP Wine Spirits Beer Managers attend our Wines of British Columbia Ambassador Programs, Level 1 & 2 to become leading experts in our local BC Wine Industry. To further support and grow this relationship, the BCWI will be hosting 10 new CO-OP managers and Wine Category Manager Lana Turner on a BC Wine FAM Tour during the first week of June 2016.
Direct and indirect media coverage of the BC Wine Institute and Wines of British Columbia and its members reached almost 200 million from January 1 to March 31.

Total media value for media coverage totaled $470,820. The chart below is a highlight of the articles released by country.

Highlights in the news from January through March:
BC VQA Wine-in-Grocery created a lot of buzz in the fourth quarter with the opening of Kelowna's first wine-in-grocery store in February. Miles Prodan's interviews with radio host, Drex about BC VQA Wine in Grocery. The Lynda Steele Show: Wine is coming to grocery shelves | CKNW AM 980     
Read what Jamie Goode has to say about representing Wines of British Columbia at ProWein 2016 in March. The Goode Report: Commonwealth Cousins - Canadian Wine in the UK Market| WignAlign
Head judge of the Canadian Culinary Championships Gold Medal Plates writes about the awards and his experience at the BCWI Winemakers' welcome dinner.

The Wines of British Columbia shone at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. The BCWI issued a media release stating Wines of British Columbia representing the second largest region, after Italy, to showcase at the 2016 Vancouver International Wine Festival.

In partnership with River Café and The Big Taste Calgary, the BCWI hosted a remarkable trade and media luncheon and masterclass with Matt Kramer and Brad Royale moderating the events. Attendee, Geoff Last, wine columnist for the Calgary Herald, contributor to City Palate Magazine and General Manager of Bin 905 did a great write up on the events. BC Wines poised to join the big leagues| The Calgary Herald

As a main sponsor of this year's Dine Out Vancouver Media Preview and events we are always pleased to see great write ups mentioning the value of BC VQA Wines. The results of the 2016 Dine Out Vancouver Festival are highlighted in the following article. Dine Out Vancouver records another phenomenal year| Travel and Tour World

Icewine harvest in BC always generates a lot of media buzz. Sara d'Amato speaks to BCWI's Laura Kittmer about this year's harvest in BC for a round-up on Canada's Icewine harvest 2015. Frozen Harvest| WineAlign
For the full list of Q4 media clippings click here.


Congratulations to Kalala Organic Estate Winery for having the top ranked wine in the entire competition! 
Over the course of the competition, 782 wine samples from 39 countries were tasted. After four days of judging, the panels awarded medals to 259 (1/3) of the 782 wines entered. The distribution of medals is as follows:
Gold Medals 63
Silver Medals: 196
Of the 31 entries consolidated by the BCWI, 8 received medals. 
GOLD (1)
Kalala Organic Estate Winery 2013 Chardonnay Icewine
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate 2014 Grand Reserve Chardonnay
JoieFarm 2013 "En Famille" Reserve Chardonnay
Liquidity Wines 2013 Chardonnay
Nk'Mip Cellars 2014 QwAM QwMT Chardonnay
Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2013 Chardonnay Icewine
Summerhill Pyramid Winery 2010 Cipes Blanc de Blanc
TIME Estate Winery 2013 McWatters Collection Chardonnay
Click here for full results. 
Of the 17 entries consolidated by the BCWI, 12 received a medal. 
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2014 Mingle
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl 2nd Chapter Vineyard Syrah
Church & State Wines 2014 Lost Inhibitions Red
GOLD (1)
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Syrah
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2013 Reserve Chardonnay
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery 2013 Reserve Meritage
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Chardonnay
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Meritage Red
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Merlot
Church & State Wines 2013 Gravelbourg Chardonnay
Church & State Wines 2014 Lost Inhibitions White
Church & State Wines 2014 Pinot Noir
Click here for full results. 


In order to ensure the Wines of British Columbia stay top of mind in key markets and to ensure consumers and industry remain informed on issues affecting the industry, the BC Wine Institute regularly issues press releases to a group of more than 300 media primarily in Canada and the US.

The full list of press releases issued in the last quarter, and beyond, is located in's Press Room.
British Columbia Wine Institute: Visit us online at (consumer) | (member & media)