New British Columbian Wine Supports Ecosystem Conservation

    WHITE BEAR Wine to Aid Great Bear Rainforest Preservation

    OLIVER, BC, May 6 /CNW/ - Artisan Wine Co is pleased to announce the
launch of WHITE BEAR Wines, at the EPIC sustainable living expo this week. New
aromatic BC wine, WHITE BEAR is 100% Okanagan grown and crafted. In
partnership with several environmental organizations, the winery has committed
to raise awareness and funds for the long term preservation of the Great Bear
Rainforest on BC's Central Coast and for the conservation of the Spirit Bear's
habitat. Developed solely to support the cause, 15% of sales from this wine
will be donated to marine and rainforest conservation in the Great Bear
Rainforest with World Wildlife Fund Canada and Tides Canada's White Bear Fund
and other partners.
    BC's Great Bear Rainforest is 21 million acres and is the largest
temperate rainforest in the world. It is of great significance globally for
its value as a carbon sink holder of CO(2) and for its extensive biodiversity.
It is home to grizzly bears, coastal wolves, salmon and the rare white Kermode
or Spirit Bear, which exists nowhere in the world besides this rainforest.
There are only 400 spirit bears in the world. Protecting habitat of this
umbrella species will aid many other species. A timely concern for all
Canadians, the BC government recently announced they were saving over 2
million hectares of the Great Bear Rainforest for parks and conservancies.
This is part of a larger, globally significant conservation effort that is
currently underway so that this rainforest can thrive for future generations.
    "The salmon spawn from the coast to the Okanagan and the ecosystem we
rely upon in the Valley for growing grapes is intricately tied to our vast
coastal reserve. We wanted to make a difference not just with the sustainable
viticulture practices, but also by helping preserve BC for the future and we
are proud to work with local environmental groups in support of this truly
global treasure," said Daniel Zepponi, President Artisan Wine Co. "We believe
conservation is the right thing to do for our environment and our business.
Consumers are incorporating sustainability along with affordability as part of
their buying practices. These wines are a great value at only $12.99, and are
not only ideal every day table wines, but are also for a great cause."
    "WWF-Canada is encouraged by Artisan's commitment to ecosystem
conservation in BC. The contribution from sales of WHITE BEAR wines will make
a real difference in our freshwater and marine work on the north coast. The
proceeds from Artisan will help us conserve eelgrass habitats. Many salmon
species - the major food source for Spirit bears - spend part of their lives
in eelgrass habitats so protecting these is vitally important and highlights
just how interconnected these species really are," said Michele Patterson,
Acting Vice President, Pacific Region.
    "Tides Canada celebrates Artisan Wine's ongoing commitment to
sustainability in the Great Bear Rainforest. This is a great example of how
business can be a force for change and play a role in creating a healthy
planet," 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.
    Described by Wine Diva Daenna Van Mulligen as "an honourable effort to
support habitat preservation of BC's Great Bear Rainforest", she recommends
them as "easy drinking whites, crisp and refreshing". The wines are available
in wine and liquor stores in BC and Alberta in the following varietals:
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, and later this summer an aromatic Riesling will
be released.
    More details on the wine and eco-initiatives are at Artisan Wine President Daniel Zepponi will also be
speaking about the cause, sustainability and viticulture practices at EPIC,
the afternoon of Sunday May 10. For additional information please visit If you are having an event and would like to support the
cause by serving WHITE BEAR Wines please contact us at

    About WWF Canada

    WWF, the global conservation organization, exists to stop the degradation
of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live
in harmony with nature. Our focus is to conserve the world's biological
diversity, ensure that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
and promote the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. In BC,
WWF-Canada is committed to an integrated Pacific Coast, a region of inspiring
natural beauty and diversity - from summit to seafloor. For more information
please visit

    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.

    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

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Lori Pike, Director of Public Relations, (604)
808-6655 or

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