If you are under the impression that there are more grape plants in B.C. than ever before, you would be correct.
Recently released data from 2019 shows vineyard acreage in the province increased 8% since the last report in 2014. The 2019 B.C. Wine Grape Acreage Report found there were 11,086 acres of wine grapes on 1,049 vineyards in 2019, which was up from 10,260 acres on 929 vineyards in 2014. Of those 11,086 acres, 86.8% of it is located in the Okanagan.
Not surprisingly, the number of grape wineries also increased during the five-year span, from 254 to 282. Oliver and Osoyoos led the way when it came to grape acreage increase, jumping 7.3%, while Penticton, Naramata and Kaledon had the highest percentage of total wineries in the province at 18.4%.
Merlot remains the top planted red grape in the province, but pinot noir has replaced pinot gris, a white wine, as the second most planted variety. There are 1,618 acres of merlot and 1,331 acres of pinot noir.
“The development of the 2019 B.C. Wine Grape Acreage Report supports Wine BC 2030 goals and aligns with Wine Growers British Columbia's annual operational plan objectives to provide all B.C. wineries and grape growers with access to accurate provincial acreage figures by region and variety,” WGBC president and CEO Miles Prodan said in a press release.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the collaborative efforts of the B.C. wine associations on this important initiative and especially thank the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, for their support of this project.”
Pinot noir is the top planted variety in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Penticton/Naramata/Kaleden, Lake Country/Vernon, Summerland/Peachland and Okanagan Falls, while merlot is the most popular in Oliver, Osoyoos and Similkameen Valley.
La Crescent, which covers 12% of vineyard acreage, is No. 1 in the Kamloops region.