When a consumer pops the cork on a bottle of delicious B.C. wine, it marks the end of a long journey from soil to shelf for the winery and winemaker.
To help more wineries and winemakers with that journey, the B.C. government is working to strengthen the province’s wine sector by providing the BC Wine Grape Council with $30,000 to develop an industry resource guide.
The is the first time a guide will be produced for the wine sector. The guide’s content will be aimed at supporting new vineyard and winery operators throughout the province and preparing them for success.
“As a vineyard co-founder myself, I know this diverse industry is more than a career. It’s a lifestyle, and you have to wear many hats to be successful,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “I also know that our award-winning B.C. wines begin in the vineyard. The industry can be complicated for new growers and people wanting to be part of the wine industry. The information in this guide will help new grape farmers and vintners develop a path from quality grapes to award-winning B.C. wines.”
When the guide is ready in 2020, it will be available on the BC Wine Grape Council website and will be linked to other industry organizations. The guide will be kept up to date with new information covering a wide range of topics, including:
- descriptions and links to the many agencies, organizations and associations that support the B.C. grape and wine industry;
- supplier and services resources;
- comprehensive information on what is needed to run a business;
- tips on things to think about before getting into the industry, whether starting a new winery, investing in or purchasing an existing business; and
- regulatory agency information, including links to forms, information, licensing and contacts.
“With new land-based wineries opening each year and existing wineries changing ownership, a comprehensive guide to navigating the many regulatory requirements is long overdue,” said Kathy Malone, chair, British Columbia Wine Grape Council. “The BC Wine Grape Council, along with our partners, the BC Wine Institute and the BC Wine Authority, are delighted that Minister Popham has recognized this need and provided the assistance to get this project off the ground.”
Miles Prodan, CEO and president, BC Wine Institute, said, “We applaud the minister and BC Wine Grape Council for delivering a comprehensive resource guide for winemakers, grape growers and business owners who currently work in or are considering work in the B.C. wine industry. Offering guidance and clarity around regulations and business operations, among other key information, helps integrate all our efforts and aligns with the BC Wine Institute’s Wine BC 2030 Long-Term Strategic Plan.”
The resource guide will be supported with provincial funding and will be administered through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia.
- More than 60 different grape varieties are produced in the province, including Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
- In 2017, B.C. wineries took home more than 2,000 medals in national and international competitions.
BC Wine Grape Council: https://bcwgc.org/
BC Wine Institute: http://winebc.com/
BC Wine Authority: http://www.bcvqa.ca/
Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia: https://iafbc.ca/