10 Ways the BC Wine Business has Changed
Over triple growth - There were under 100 wineries in BC in 2003, and currently there are 341 wineries today. The Naramata Bench alone has grown from 8 wineries to over 40 in the same time period, all on a 19 km stretch of road… now that’s high density wine tasting.
Wine tourism has exploded - BC gets 1.5 Million winery visitors each year and the Okanagan was ranked "#1 Wine Destination in the World" by Huffington Post.
Increased Focus on Local - Eating local, drinking local and buying local is a strongly supported philosophy throughout North America and BC loves its BC wines!
Co-opetition in sub-regions – Having the competition cooperate has proven to be a successful strategy for sub-regions like the Naramata Bench. There are now 8 regional marketing associations telling their story.
More sophisticated consumers – Wine drinkers can now pronounce wine names like Viognier and Gewurtztraminer as they continue to explore both BC & global wines.
Canadians to enjoy Canadian wines – in 2012, the federal law prohibiting interprovincial shipping of Canadian wine across provincial boarders was abolished, opening up the possibilities of selling BC wine to all Canadians. Now if only we can get the provincial liquor boards to all agree.
Exporting develops – BC wineries are now exporting wine outside of Canada, including Asia, Europe, US and beyond, and we aren’t talking just ice wine.
More winemaking talent than ever – There's a 2nd generation of motivated, adventurous winemakers, both home-grown and globally educated creating interesting and quality products.
Use of new technologies – Not inhibited by tradition or inertia, BC wineries explore the latest technologies including concrete eggs and amphora fermenters.
Wines are being taken more seriously – Gone are the days of Baby Duck and odd Hybrid varietals. BC wines are winning more and more medals at international competitions against other global wines.