White Bear Wines donates $100,000

To Benefit Great Bear Rainforest Conservation in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, April 20 /CNW/ - White Bear Wines - an Artisan Wine Co. brand - was created one year ago to generate awareness for and to help preserve British Columbia's endangered Great Bear Rainforest. This Earth Week, on its first anniversary, White Bear Wines will donate $100,000 to help protect the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. Located on BC's west coast, the Great Bear Rainforest spans 21 million acres and is the habitat of grizzly bears, coastal wolves, salmon and rare white Kermode or Spirit Bears, which are found nowhere else on the planet. Only 400 Spirit Bears remain, a low number in a species that acts as a critical umbrella aiding many other animals' survival.

Crafted by Artisan Wine Co, White Bear Wines is part of Anthony von Mandl's Okanagan wine portfolio. The wine's grapes are cultivated in sustainable vineyards and are 100% Okanagan grown. The first vintage of White Bear Wines was released last May with 15% of all sales committed to Tides Canada's White Bear Fund, World Wildlife Fund Canada and other partners to support the conservation of BC's Great Bear Rainforest. A hit with consumers, White Bear Wines is the top selling new wine brand in BC over the past year.

"As a family owned winery with roots in the Okanagan for almost three decades, we take a long term view of the land and its stewardship. Our ecosystems are all interconnected with salmon spawning on the Pacific Coast found swimming in our local Okanagan streams. Preserving an incredible treasure like the Great Bear Rainforest is critical both now and for future generations and I hope this donation will inspire others to help protect such a vast and integral part of BC's heritage," said Anthony von Mandl, Proprietor Artisan Wine Co.

"Tides Canada thanks and celebrates Artisan Wine for its commitment to promoting the sustainability of the Great Bear Rainforest," said Ross McMillan, President and CEO of Tides Canada and one of the principal architects of the $120 million conservation financing package for the Great Bear Rainforest. "The philanthropic contributions from the sale of the White Bear Wines will help foster the success of important conservation efforts in this globally significant region."

This Earth Week and Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Week, Artisan Wine Co. Proprietor Anthony Von Mandl will present the $100,000 cheque and scholarship fund at an anniversary reception on Tuesday, April 20 at 2:30 pm. Representatives from the Rainforest Solutions Project and World Wildlife Fund Canada will be present in support of their respective conservation efforts in the region. Fine art photographer Marni Grossman will also be in attendance, displaying her visually stunning Great Bear Rainforest photography.

Recommended by wine critiques, the wine was described by Wine Access Magazine as a "good, versatile and well priced Sauvignon Blanc that supports a great cause" and the Pinot Blanc by the Winnipeg Free Press as "over delivering for the price with light creaminess that's quite attractive on the palate". The wines were also honoured with silvers at the Selections Mondials des Vins 2009 and Intervin International Wine Competition 2009.

Artisan Wine Co has committed to continuing its donation of 15% of all revenues this coming year and consumers can find these refreshing whites in BC at Artisan Wine Shops, VQA Wine Stores, and BC Liquor Stores, and in Alberta at specialty wine stores. These crisp, fruit forward table wines are an excellent value at approximately $12.95 a bottle. For more information please visit www.whitebearwines.com.

About Artisan Wine Co.

Artisan Wine Co. is founded in British Columbia's world renowned Okanagan Valley. A natural extension of the Pacific Northwest wine region, the Okanagan is located approximately 300 km east of the Pacific, nestled in a rain shadow of the Coastal and Monashee mountains. The Valley is dotted with a series of lakes, which provide moderate year round temperatures, ideal for grape cultivation in the region's five sub-appellations. Our sustainably managed vineyards span the breadth of the 160 km Valley, which is arid and hot in the southern Black Sage/Osoyoos area and milder in the northern Kelowna region. These contribute to our extensive portfolio of fine wines. The brands range from classic and traditional to irreverent and fun. For more information please visit www.artisanwineco.ca.

About Tides Canada

Tides Canada provides philanthropic, financial and project management services to change makers - philanthropists, businesses, social entrepreneurs and civil organizations. Tides Canada led the $4 million Canadian fundraising campaign and supported coalition building among Canada's leading environmental organizations to ensure a healthy future for the Great Bear Rainforest. Founded in December 2000, Tides Canada has offices in Vancouver and Toronto. www.tidescanada.org/

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE ARTISAN WINE CO.

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Lori Pike, Director of Public Relations, Artisan Wine Co., T: (604) 264-4029, E: lpike@artisanwineco.ca

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