Discovering the wine region of British Columbia
British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province, located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The diversity of landscapes here – from rainy islands to desert-like valley floors – means that a wide variety of Grapes are planted here. They include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
While volumes are lower than those of the province of Ontario, British Columbia is home to a rapidly growing wine industry.
This is mostly located on the Southern edge of the province aLong the international border with the United States.
North to south, the province of British Columbia is longer than California and larger than Texas. However the entire wine industry occupies the southernmost 250 kilometers (150 miles) of the province, in a Select few regions where the macroClimate is favorable to premium viticulture.
The British Columbia wine authority recognizes Designated Viticultural Areas (DVAs) in the province:
Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands have, as one would expect, the most maritime climates
Okanagan Valley and Similkameen Valley on the USA border, have climates which are more continental in character
Fraser Valley is located just west of Vancouver city and reaches inland from the coast, and transitions between the two climate types
In addition there are a number of regions were recognized as Geographic Indications in 2018.
They are often bracketed together under the "emerging" banner:
The Kootenays in the southwest corner of the province, where Pinot Noir is the main grape
Lillooet, in the Cariboo Chilcotin region and west of Kamloops, whose first Vineyard was planted in 2004
Shuswap, north of the Okanagan Valley, has around 40ha (100 acres) of vineyards, planted to cool climate varieties
Thompson Valley, inland and further north, is at the limit of cool climate winemaking. Riesling, Marquette, Maréchal Foch and Chardonnay are the main varieties
Most viticulture in British Columbia takes place in the Okanagan Valley, nestled between the Cascade and Columbia mountain ranges where Harsh weather systems from the west and north do not often reach. This long, narrow valley is considered to be Canada's only desert, and the Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot do well here, particularly in the south around Osoyoos. The region's few lakes serve to moderate temperatures here, and Warm days followed by cool nights give rise to a distinctively Bright style of wine.