British Columbia
Wineries

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Canada's most western province, its coastline bordering on the Pacific Ocean. A land of diversity ranging from coastal beaches to the mountain ranges of the Rockies and Coastal Mountains. From big cities (Vancouver, Victoria) to the small charming towns of Vancouver Island coastal inlets and the interior. The province is known for tourism, ski resorts, fishing, orchards, natural wildlife, spectacular forests, and wine.

BC's total land and freshwater area is 95 million hectares, larger than France and Germany combined. Only 30 countries are larger. British Columbia occupies about 10 per cent of Canada's land surface. The Okanagan Valley in central British Columbia is the largest and oldest grape growing region in BC. The region has seen a dramatic increase in its production of red wine. The top 10 grapes in the vineyard in order are: Merlot, pinot Gris, pinot noir, chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet franc, Syrah, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc.

Recent years have seen the development of other areas besides the now famous Okanagan. These include the Similkameen Valley, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, along with the Fraser Valley in the Lower Mainland of the Vancouver area.

Enjoy the wines of British Columbia. For additional information about BC Wine Standards


BC Wine Industry at a Glance (Nov 2014)

There are 278 licensed grape wineries in B.C. and growing

- There are 929 vineyards in B.C. (both winery and independently owned), with
acreage 9,900 distributed as follows:
 84.1 % in the Okanagan Valley
 6.4 % in the Similkameen Valley
 6.6 % in the Coastal Areas
 2.9 % in Other Interior areas of B.C

British Columbia VQA

BC VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) is the appellation of origin and quality standard for the Wines of British Columbia. Established in 1990, BC VQA certified wines must meet specific standards with respect to their origin, vintage and varietals. These wines are also assessed by a qualified panel and also must meet the criteria for quality characteristics before they can be designated as BC VQA. To put it simply, when you see BC VQA on a bottle, it is your guarantee that you’re sipping a wine that is 100% grown and made in British Columbia.

BC VQA BY THE NUMBERS:

  • 100% British Columbia grapes
  • 5 official Geographical Indications (GI)
  • 1 official Sub-geographical Indication (Golden Mile Bench)
  • 95% of grapes must come from specific region mentioned on the label
  • 85% of grapes must come from the vintage stated on the label
  • 85% of grapes must be the stated varietal

 

History: In 1931, Calona Vineyards opened as the first commercial winery in the Okanagan. For more on history of BC click here

2017 Facts

  • Exports of BC Wine have grown from $5.7 million in 2011 to $19.3 million in 2016 - an increase of 237 per cent.
  • There are more than 10,200 acres (4,130 hectares) of vines in British Columbia's five geographical indications.
  • BC's wine industry has grown from just 17 grape wineries in 1990 to 278 today.

B.C. wine drinkers will soon be able to buy BC VQA wines clearly identified as coming from the Thompson Valley, Shuswap, Lillooet and Kootenays. The four areas are being established as geographic indications, a standard element of appellation systems used around the world that help people identify wines in the marketplace, provide assurance as to the origin and quality of the wine, and promote agri-tourism. British Columbia currently has six official geographical indications: British Columbia (provincial), Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Fraser Valley, Similkameen Valley and the Okanagan Valley.

Winesofcanada.com has been dividing the wineries for year.

Quick Facts:

  • British Columbia is home to 929 vineyards, including more than 350 licensed wineries.
  • There are 4,130 hectares of wine grapes grown in B.C.
  • More than 60 grape varietals are produced in the province, including Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • In 2016, B.C. wine exports increased 4% over the previous year, to $9.7 million which is shipped to 17 international markets.
  • The top international markets for B.C. wine in 2016 were China (54%), Taiwan (23%) and the United States (11%).
  • British Columbia’s wine industry employs about 12,000 people, and has an economic impact of $2.8 billion annually on the province’s economy.
  • These initiatives in support of B.C.’s wine industry will be developed in the context of B.C.’s existing trade obligations.

Eau Vivre
Eau Vivre Estate Winery

BC Wine Producing regions and their wineries

~ Okanagan
~Similkameen
~ Kootenays
~ Vancouver Island
~ Gulf Islands
~ Fraser Valley
~ Off the Beaten Path
~ Mead
~ Cideries

~ BC Grape Varities
~ List of BC Wineries
~ BC Gallery



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