Friday, July 18, 2008

Wine Grapes of British Columbia

Colleagues, friends, fans and members of the general public often ask me -
Just what are you growing up there?
So, in an effort to shed some light on this dark secret, I will now reveal the top grapes by tonnage grown in BC. Almost all the grapes are grown in the Okanagan Valley, but there are significant acreages on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and in the Lower Mainland portion of the Fraser River Valley.
These figures are supplied by the British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) and are for the 2007 growing season.

Merlot 3258
Chardonnay 2479
Pinot Gris 1687
Pinot Noir 1532
Cabernet Sauvignon 1390
Gewurztraminer 1339
Pinot Blanc 1307
Other (< 60 tons) 1125*
Riesling 979
Sauvignon Blanc 977
Cabernet Franc 777
Syrah/Shiraz 613
Gamay Noir 486
Ehrenfelser 228
Semillon 202
Auxerrois 189
Marechal Foch 170
Bacchus 124
Chasselas 104
Chancellor 103
Muller Thurgau 102
Icewine Riesling 99
Chenin Blanc 84
Viognier 84
Vidal Blanc 75
Zweigelt 67
Madeleine Angevine 61
Kerner 42
Pinot Meunier 41
Optima 38
Verdelet 14

*In the other category there are a lot of hybrids and some vinifera. Petit Verdot, Pinotage, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Muscat are just a few of the smaller tonnage titles.

While there are no 'native' grapes indigenous to the area, there are some tasty Saskatoon berries just up the mountain behind my house right now.

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