Robert Bell's

Wines of Canada

Since 1992


British Columbia

Wine Standards


The British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) was created by an act of the provincial legislature, the BC Wine Act, in 1990.

The BCWI has the current standards listed on their website
Below is a brief summary of these standards as of June 2008


Any wine which bears the label Product of British Columbia or bears the name British Columbia
in a context other than domicile of the producer must be made from 100% BC grapes

Any wine label bearing a Viticultural area must be made us 95 % grapes grown there.

Designated Vineyards requires that all grapes must be grown in that vineyard

Estate Wines must be made from grapes grown in vineyards owned by the winery bottling the wine.

Wine Categories


1. Icewine shall be produced and labeled as a varietal wine
2. The pressing shell take place within the recognized Viticultural area,in which the grapes are grown
3. Grapes must be transferred from filed to press by the most direct route
4. The Viticultural area where the grapes are grown shall be declared on the display panel
5. Artificial refrigeration is prohibited except for tank cooling during fermentation and during cold stabilization prior to bottling
6. Juice pressed must achieve an overall minimum average of 35° brix
7. No batch less than 32°   brix may be use.
8. The residual sugar shall not be less than 100g/l at bottling
9. The residential sugar shall result exclusively from the natural sugar of the grapes
10. The actual alcohol shall result exclusively from the natural sugar of the grapes
11. the producer must file harvesting and pressing data
12. Vidal is the only hybrid grape allowed

Late, Select Late and Special Select Late Harvest Wine

1. Each category must be produced entirely from Fresh ripe grapes of which a significant portion has been desiccated under natural conditions. Producing a high sugar concentration.
2. For each category the residual sugar and actual alcohol shall result exclusively from the natural sugar of the grapes

Late Harvest Wine - shall be a wine produced exclusively from fresh grapes that have been natural harvest on a vine after achieving a min 23 ° Brix

Select Late Harvest - enhances to 32°   brix

Special Late Harvest Wine - enhances to 32° brix

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for additional information on the role of the BCWI click here

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