History - The Move to a Quality-Driven Wine Industry
The British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) was 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 went to the BC Wine Authority and the Research & Development and Health & Safety committees moved to the BC Wine Grape Council.
Role – Shaping the Voice of an Industry
Since 1990, the BCWI played a pivotal role in taking BC's wine industry from a vision to an internationally recognized niche region producing premium wines and providing exceptional wine tourism experiences. The BCWI markets the wine and regions of BC; delivers quality trade, media and consumer tastings; and acts as the voice of BC's wine industry by advocating to government on behalf of an industry that contributes $2 billion in provincial economic growth annually.
The BCWI represents all wineries in British Columbia to grow the premium market share for the Wines of British Columbia, while driving awareness of our world-class wines and tourism product which draws about 1,000,000 visitors with $602 million in tourism and tourism employment-related economic impact every year.
The British Columbia Wine Institute is dedicated to establishing the Wines of British Columbia as the preferred premium wine brand in BC; creating a business climate that encourages investment in the quality of BC wines; providing leadership on key industry issues; and assisting 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 winery or grapegrower interested in BCWI membership, please click here.