Trade your Commute for Cabernet this Harvest Season

British Columbia Wine Institute Launches Wine and Culinary Tourism Campaign

The British Columbia Wine Institute launches its wine and culinary tourism campaign, BC Wine Country: Your Urban Escape, this fall to inspire British Columbia, Alberta and Washington travelers to visit BC’s wine regions this harvest season.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Destination British Columbia’s Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program on this extensive plan,” explains Maggie Anderson, BCWI marketing director. “Through this campaign, we are reaching out to neighbouring travelers and inspiring them to take a trip to BC’s wine regions and enjoy the many wine and culinary experiences available during this exciting time of year.”
BC VQA Wine sales (litres) are at an all-time high, up 17 per cent from 2015 across all channels with BC VQA Wine sales (litres) direct from cellar doors up 25.1 per cent from 2015. Visitors to BC in the first seven months of 2016 were also higher than ever before: up 12.5 per cent from last year, according to Statistics Canada.
“BC continues to gain global recognition for producing premium, internationally-acclaimed award-winning wines. Our wine regions are attracting tourists from all over the world to enjoy our exceptional wine touring experiences,” says Anderson.
Bartier Bros. Vineyard and Winery opened their winery in Oliver this summer and is thrilled with the success in wine sales and visitors during these first few months. “The new wine shop was busy all summer with a lot of visitors from the Lower Mainland and Alberta. Wineries in the South Okanagan Valley are still buzzing, saying their tasting rooms this year have been busier than ever before,” notes Jodi Bartier, wine shop manager. “We’re looking forward to remaining open on weekends throughout the fall and winter.”
More wineries are staying open this fall offering unique wine touring experiences for visitors throughout the cooler months. Even wineries with seasonal on-site restaurants will continue offering wine and culinary experiences throughout the off-season providing cooking classes and wine and food pairing tours.  “We are excited to provide our visitors with a sommelier-led wine and food experience that is otherwise hard to offer in the busy summer months,” says Anahita Pouget, marketing manager at CedarCreek Estate Winery.
After eight years of hosting their annual ‘Harvest Work Day’, Leslie D’Andrea, owner of Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery, was thrilled to add an extra work day for the second year in a row, to accommodate the increased interest from consumers wanting to participate in BC’s grape harvest. “It’s a great way for us to engage with our wine consumers and offer an experience that allows them to be a part of what is going to be a very exciting vintage for BC,” she says.
“When life is busy and the next holiday seems months away, harvest is when the vineyards come alive, chefs experiment with local seasonal ingredients, and hotel rates start to reflect the cooler temperatures. It’s all about that ideal getaway that BC wine country has to offer,” notes Anderson. “This campaign encourages everyday commuters to take a break from their day-to-day routines and enjoy some 100 per cent British Columbia wine right where it’s made.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for the catchy wine country getaway phrases: “Skip your chores for Chardonnay”, “Trade your commute for Cabernet” and “Ditch your meetings for Merlot” on billboards across BC and Alberta.
Wines of British Columbia will also be launching a new wine and culinary video in the coming months. For more information about the BCWI Wine and Culinary Tourism program visit,
About the BC Wine Institute
Since 1990, the BCWI has 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 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 – currently drawing 800,000 visitors with $476 million in tourism and tourism employment related economic impact every year. For more information about BC Wine Institute’s programs and services, please visit:

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