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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
- 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.
BC Wine Producing regions and their wineries
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