The Wine Research Centre’s mission is to conduct pioneering and globally significant research in enology and viticulture and to develop highly qualified human resources who will promote the technological advancement of the wine industry in British Columbia and Canada. This initiative is based on a concept of collaboration with researchers at the University of British Columbia on both the Vancouver and Kelowna campuses, at other educational and research institutions, and with all facets of the wine industry.
Dr. Hennie J.J. van Vuuren as Founding Director established the Wine Research Centre in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC-Vancouver in 1999. In 2001 construction of the Wine Library was completed and it was officially opened in September 2002. In 2002 and 2003, additional faculty were recruited including a Canada Research Chair in Yeast Genomics/Enology. In 2004, faculty and researchers moved into newly renovated laboratories in the Food, Nutrition and Health Building. Since then the Wine Research Centre has expanded and > 20 scientists now conduct research on Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Vitis vinifera.
Graduates experienced in experimental design, genetic, biochemical and molecular technology, fermentation technology and viticulture will be positioned to play a major role in future technological developments and growth of the wine industry in Canada. The Wine Research Centre provides a much-needed focus for expertise in wine research in western Canada and represents a unique alliance between the University, industry, government and the community.
On the Vancouver campus, the Wine Research Centre has a modern and fully equipped Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. This offers a comprehensive range of research services for the food and beverage industry including analyses of fragrance and aroma compounds, flavonoids and anthocyanin’s in fruits, as well as metabolite profiling of small molecules.
Researchers in the Wine Research Centre also have access to the outstanding research facilities in the Michael Smith Laboratories (MSL) which is conveniently located adjacent to the Centre. The MSL has established itself as a force in the global biotechnology research community.