Wines of British Columbia

British Columbia Wine Institute


When it comes to wine, place matters. With each new vintage, it becomes more clear that BC wines have very special attributes. Our unique combination of environmental factors - water, weather, topography, geology - creates a habitat for vines which is unlike any other. Our vineyards benefit from a growing season with longer hours of daylight and greater intensity of light than other regions. The extended hours of intense light play a critical role in producing ripe fruit in our shorter growing season.

History - The Move To A Quality-Driven Wine Industry

The British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) was originally created by an act of the provincial legislature, the BC Wine Act, in 1990.

It was conceived as a component of a strategic plan of industry and government to create an internationally competitive wine industry. The strategy included the removal of labrusca and hybrid grape varieties and replanting vineyards to vinifera varietals, establishing an industry based on premium wine production.

The BCWI oversaw the development of the VQA program and conducted research and development (R&D) on behalf of the industry.

In 2006 the BCWI members voted to become a voluntary trade association with member fees to be based on BC wine sales. The VQA program and the regulatory oversight would go to the BC Wine Authority and the Research & Development and Health & Safety committees would move to the BC Wine Grape Council.

Role – Shaping The Voice Of An Industry

The BCWI plays a key role in the growth of BC’s wine industry. Our members represent 95% of total grape wine sales and 94% of total BC VQA wine sales in British Columbia.

BC VQA wines are now the second-largest category (behind only non-VQA Canadian wine) in BC sales and these sales continue to grow. BC VQA wines now dominate the quality wine market in BC – meaning British Columbians choose BC VQA wines over imported wines from any other region or country.

The BCWI works tirelessly to build and market the Wines of British Columbia (BC VQA) wine brand, creates the business climate that allows members to prosper, liaises with government and stakeholders on key business and regulatory issues and promotes the industry to key wine, food and travel media on behalf of its membership.

Social Responsibility

The British Columbia Wine Institute is dedicated to establishing the Wines of British Columbia as the preferred premium wine brand in BC; create a business climate that encourages investment in the quality of BC wines; provide leadership on key industry issues; and assist members in reaching their full potential. We strive to enhance the environment for the responsible consumption and enjoyment of wine at our member wineries and various retail partners across the province.

Members of the BCWI are proud of their wines and are committed to ensuring their wines are promoted and enjoyed responsibly by those adults who choose to consume them for the continued enjoyment and prosperity of the BC wine industry.

If you are a licensed BC grape winery or grapegrower interested in BCWI membership, please click here.


One of the joys of being a young wine region is that we are unencumbered by tradition. Everything is new, so everything is equally possible. Growers are free to plant what they want, and they have - with a vengeance. At last count, there were over 60 different grape varieties being grown in British Columbia; from Auxerrois to Zweigelt, there is something for everyone. The stylistic range is staggering: from the delicate herbal aromas of Siegerrebe or Bacchus to the funky earthiness of Syrah or the wild exoticism of Viognier. Few wine regions of the world can offer such diversity. However, traditional varieties such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and Riesling are not absent here; in fact, BC has proven that its wines compete with (and win against!) the world’s best.

Company Information

Address / Location: Suite 107 - 1726 Dolphin Avenue
Kelowna , BC , V1Y 9R9 , Canada
Phone: 250-762-9744
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Additional Links: Wine BC Website