UBC Okanagan uncorks new Wine Research Centre headquarters

Wine research HQ to UBCO

The University of British Columbia is shifting its Wine Research Centre headquarters from its Vancouver campus to Kelowna campus, along with a new research hub. 

The move allows the WRC to have a dual-campus presence in both Vancouver and the Okanagan.

The WRC, one of only two such research centres in Canada and will be led Jacques-Olivier Pesme who is a founding member of the Board of the Institute of Vine and Wine Science in Bordeaux, France. He's been working with UBC since 2012 as a special advisor to the dean of the Faculty of Management.

“The Okanagan is an ideal environment for the next chapter of the WRC,” said the newly-appointed director.

“All the major research and education wine institutes in the world are situated in close proximity to vineyards, wineries and wine visitors. The WRC will combine operations between the Okanagan—home to more than 80 per cent of BC vineyard acreage, and Vancouver—a gateway to the world.”

The WRC was established in 1999 on and is dedicated to interdisciplinary research, education and development, with a core mission to support a sustainable Canadian grape and wine industry. 

Bringing together researchers, faculty and staff along with Canadian and international partner institutions to undertake research in oenology, viticulture, management and social sciences. 

“This is an important step towards the university’s mandate as a partner in regional socio-economic development," said UBCO’s provost and vice-president academic Ananya Mukherjee Reed.

BC’s wine industry has an annual impact of $2.8 billion and employs about 12,000 people.

“The WRC will bring together researchers from both UBC campuses, and build upon contributions to cutting-edge wine research conducted in facilities like the Michael Smith Laboratories on the Vancouver campus over the past two decades,” says Roger Sugden, dean of the Faculty of Management.

“BC’s wine industry has a major influence on the economy and society of regions across the province. The WRC will help the industry, and communities across the territory, to shape that influence by sharing knowledge and offering opportunities to explore different possibilities.”

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