The UBC Wine Library, housed in the Food, Nutrition and Health Building, has the capacity for long term storage of over 20,000 bottles of wine under optimal conditions. It currently holds over 4,500 bottles comprised of three major collections and a number of smaller collections, all of which have been donated to the University by vintners or private collectors.
Shortly after the Library was established in 2002, several wineries in the Okanagan Valley donated two cases each of selected wines to establish which grape varietals do best in specific microclimates in BC, and to study the long-term aging abilities of those wines. Wines in this collection were primarily from the 1998-2001 vintages. From 2003 to 2008, bottles from each winery were opened and analyzed for aroma and flavor compounds by GC/MS and LC/MS, and evaluated for organoleptic properties through sensory analyses by an expert panel. Results of the chemical analyses were published in 2019 (Bejaei et al. Beverages 2019, 5, 57; doi: 10.3390/beverages5030057).
A second collection consists of highly-prized 1st and 2nd growth French wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, including some of the most acclaimed wines such as Chateau Latour (dating back to the 1945 vintage) and Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. All of these wines have been donated by private collectors, who receive tax receipts based on the appraised value of the wines.
A third collection consists of Napa Valley (California) Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots from 1990-2000. The Wine Library also has smaller collections of (i) Canadian icewine and international dessert wines; (ii) champagne; and (iii) vintage port.
The Wine Library has a tasting salon seating up to ten with the ability to entertain fully catered lunches or dinners. Distinguished guests who have previously visited the Wine Library and tasting salon include four Nobel laureates, university presidents, provincial and federal cabinet ministers, and winemakers from across the globe.