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New wine app hopes to boost Okanagan’s wine tourism

A new wine app hopes to give B.C.'s wine industry a boost as the province eases pandemic-related restrictions.
A new wine app hopes to give B.C.'s wine industry a boost as the province eases pandemic-related restrictions. Showcase Photography

The B.C. Wine Institute has launched a new app to help promote the province’s wine industry.

With British Columbia slowly reopening its doors after weeks of coronavirus closures and restrictions, the Wines of B.C. Explorer app is a tool designed to safely welcome back wine lovers to tasting rooms at 234 wineries throughout the province.

Most of those 234 wineries are located in the Okanagan Valley.

Read more: Coronavirus: B.C. wineries prepared to reopen across the province

The new app, which is being supported by Destinations B.C., offers up-to-date information on pandemic-related protocols at individual wineries, as well as locations, operating hours and promotions.

“As wineries re-open across the province, they’ve been able to update the Wines of B.C. Explorer app to list their new hours and protocols based on what they are doing during the reopening and recovery phase,” said Kim Barnes, marketing director of the B.C. Wine Institute.

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“We believe this new app will be a significant benefit to wineries and wine lovers alike, connecting them whether in person or apart.”

The app also offers personalized, expert recommendations based on users’ flavour profile. The app then directs wine lovers to the nearest liquor store featuring their favourite wines.

Luxury Okanagan winery strives to set new standard in Oliver
Luxury Okanagan winery strives to set new standard in Oliver

The new app was recently put to the test by Top Chef Canada judge Mijune Pak.

Pak kicked off the campaign with a B.C. wine road trip, using the Wines of B.C. Explorer app to discover new and elevated winery experiences.

“It was so incredible to visit B.C. wineries again and to see how they’ve really elevated the experience following the re-opening,” said Pak. “They’ve really gone above and beyond to create a positive and memorable experience.

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“The app helped me find the wineries, let me know their new operating hours and what kinds of experiences they were offering. It also helped me find B.C. wines that were suited to my personal taste.”

B.C. VQA celebrates 30 years of wine excellence
B.C. VQA celebrates 30 years of wine excellence

Smaller, boutique wineries are also getting more exposure with government-owned liquor stores launching their ‘Boutique Wines from B.C.’ campaign.

The campaign allows 19 additional small-lot, boutique B.C. wines to be sold at B.C. liquor stores for the months of July and August.

The goal is to introduce people to boutique wines they may have yet to discover at their favourite B.C. liquor store.

The new app campaign coincides with the 30th anniversary of B.C. VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) as many of the celebrations had to be put on hold this year due to the pandemic.

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