VICTORIA - A consumer campaign led by the British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) is receiving $100,000 from the B.C. government's Buy Local Program.
The initiative will feature B.C. Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wine and showcase foods that are locally grown, raised and caught in British Columbia.
The BCWI campaign will transcend traditional media platforms through the use of social media and establish a virtual meeting place where consumers can discuss B.C. wine and agrifoods. The content will include information on wine and food produced in regions throughout the province and users will be offered wine pairing suggestions from sommeliers and recipes from local farm-to-table chefs.
A quarterly consumer media campaign will also be established with the goal of reaching an audience of 1.3 million a week. There are also plans to offer a number of unique events featuring B.C. foods and B.C. VQA pairings including Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna and Whistler.
British Columbia's award-winning wine industry is home to more than 860 vineyards. The majority of the industry is concentrated in the Okanagan, although viticulture can be found in five different regions of the province, each with its own unique climate and soils. Included in the international medal winners are B.C. ice wines that are made from grapes naturally frozen on the vine before harvest, yielding some of the highest-quality dessert wines in the world.
The Buy Local program offers successful applicants matching funds up to $100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns.
Building the local market for B.C. foods is a key commitment of government's Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the BC Jobs Plan, to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.
The provincial government's Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick -
"The British Columbia wine industry has seen incredible growth over the past decade and more than 10,000 people now have jobs in the wine and grape industry in our province. I congratulate the British Columbia Wine Institute on their leadership and look forward to viewing their consumer social media campaign while sipping on a glass of B.C. wine."
British Columbia Wine Institute executive director Miles Prodan -
"This program is meant to provide B.C. residents with great "buy local" culinary experiences and ideas and by doing so generate awareness and provide economic and social benefits to all local B.C. producers, restaurants and wineries, including homegrown B.C. VQA wines."
- More than 60 different grape varieties are produced in British Columbia. The top ten grape varieties include: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah (Shiraz) and Cabernet Franc.
- In 2011, exports of B.C. wines were valued at close to $5.8 million, an increase of over 300 per cent since 2008.
- The B.C. wine industry's $2 billion economic impact is a significant driver to the provincial economy. For every bottle of wine produced in B.C., there is $42 of economic impact generated.
- B.C. VQA-designated wines are guaranteed to be made with 100 per cent B.C. grapes.
B.C. Buy Local program: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html
B.C. Wine Institute: http://www.winebc.org/
Keep up to date on the latest in B.C. foods and beverages: https://www.facebook.com/FoodsBC
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (cell)
BC Wine Institute
250 762-9744, ext 103
250 317-8688 (cell)