07/18/2012 04:39 EDT | Updated 09/17/2012 05:12 EDT

New Vancouver urban winery brings wine-on-tap concept to BC consumers

VANCOUVER - A Vancouver commercial urban winery, with a tasting bar equipped with 36 taps, has opened in the city's historic Railtown district.

Visitors to the Vancouver Urban Winery can select from rotating wine-on-tap choices from British Columbia and international vintners at the 7.3-metre-long bar made of Douglas fir.

Also in the space is FreshTAP, a subsidiary that packages wine for wineries entering the emerging wine-on-tap market, the company said in a release.

FreshTAP receives finished wine from participating wineries, which is then transferred from casks into 19.5-litre stainless-steel kegs. Wine kegs are distributed to partnering venues where they are fitted into tap systems (similar to the concept of beer on tap). This means the wine does not oxidize and customers in bars and restaurants who order wine by the glass will receive a pour that tastes the way the winemaker intended.

The tap concept also helps the environment since one keg eliminates the need for 26 bottles to be produced, including their labels, corks or caps. To date, Vancouver Urban Winery has filled 1,210 kegs, eliminating 31,460 bottles from production.

FreshTAP is currently working with 26 wineries, including Blasted Church, Nichol Vineyards, Joie Vineyards, Laughing Stock, and Hester Creek, to name a few.

Customers at Vancouver Urban Winery can try local artisanal food and wine pairings on Thursday and Friday evenings (or anytime when calling ahead). Each selection is announced via social media on the preceding Wednesday.

Wines on tap cost $10 for five one-ounce pours, and food and wine pairings are priced between $17 and $25 for five wines paired with five bites.

A shop sells gourmet products, Okanagan Vinegar Brewery selections, bottles of the Vancouver Urban Winery's wine label, Roaring Twenties Wine Co., and artwork.

For more information, visit or call 604-566-9463.