The wines of British Columbia

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Yes, British Columbia makes wine. Great wine. British Columbia has the unique combination of extreme heat and cold that results in intense fruit-driven, fresh and structured wines.

90% of all vineyards are in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, a four hour drive east from Vancouver. Between Vancouver and wine country is the Coastal Mountain Range. These impressive mountains strip the moisture from the weather that comes from the Pacific Ocean and the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys enjoy dry, desert-like conditions. The dry desert region of the south Okanagan Valley (Osoyoos) is the northern point of the network of deserts that stretch right through the USA and into Mexico. Low rainfall and lots of sunshine.

British Columbia’s Wine Industry has grown from just 17 grape wineries in 1990 to over 255 (January 2016). The most planted white grapes are: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Viognier. The most planted red grapes are: Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Gamay Noir.

The British Columbia Wine Industry contributes $2 billion annually to British Columbia’s economy. Each year, British Columbia’s wineries welcome over 800,000 visitors.

(Wines of British Columbia March 2016, winebc.com)

 

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