Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch, has said on the occasion of the 39th Vancouver International Wine Festival, which opens Feb. 11th, 2017:

“For nearly four decades the Vancouver International Wine Festival has brought together wine professionals and enthusiasts from throughout British Columbia and around the world to celebrate an industry that has become increasingly important to the economy and culture of our province.

“In honour of our nation’s 150th birthday, Canada will be the festival’s theme country, featuring wines from the Okanagan Valley of B.C., to the Niagara Peninsula and Essex County regions of Ontario, to the growing regions of Nova Scotia. Seventy-six of Canada’s finest wineries will present bottles that show how our unique climates and abundance of varietals have earned Canadian wines their place at the international table.

“British Columbians take great pride in the quality and growth of our wine industry. Since 2001, we have seen the number of wineries operating in B.C. expand from 70 to over 330 today. These small businesses contribute $2 billion of economic impact and create over 10,000 jobs in our province. Our terroir-driven wines are a source of local pride here at home and are gaining a reputation for excellence across Canada and on a global scale, thanks to increased trade and tourism.

“Our wine industry has become a mainstay of B.C.’s cultural landscape, and this year’s festival is an excellent opportunity to showcase the best of what Canada and British Columbia have to offer.