2011 BC Wine Grape Report: Acreage Expanding Across the Province

Press Release – (Kelowna, BC). It has been three years since the last release of the BC Wine Grape Acreage Report, and, although the reported actual acreages are lower than initially projected, plantings have not only increased in all five designated viticultural areas, but also in several regions beyond the traditional grapegrowing areas.

With 9,866.52 acres (3,946 hectares) of wine grapes planted in British Columbia, up 8.7% from 2008, the report’s author Lynn Bremmer of Mount Kobau Wine Services notes, “the overall grape acreage was limited in growth somewhat over the past three years due to a number of factors, including re-plants of existing vineyards to new varieties.” All of British Columbia’s designated viticultural areas have increased their number of vineyards by at least 5% since 2008, with the most significant regions of growth being Vancouver Island (up 24.3%) and the Similkameen Valley (up 19.2%). There are also new areas of growth throughout the province, including Shuswap/Spallumcheen, Kootenays, Lillooet/Lytton and Kamloops.

Varietal plantings showing some of the greatest increases include Riesling, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.

Miles Prodan, Executive Director of the British Columbia Wine Institute explains, “The expanded plantings in new and existing regions are further indicators of the industry’s success and the continued investment in the wine industry. As each designated viticultural area becomes known for signature varietals, consumers will learn where in the province specific varietals thrive, the next step for the Wines of British Columbia.”

2011 BC Wine Grape Crop Report Summary:

* There are 9,866.52 acres (3,946 hectares) of wine grapes in BC. 48 % White grapes, 52 % Red grapes. 95.7 % Vinifera grapes, 4.3 % hybrids

* Most planted varieties in order of acres:

1.       Merlot

2.       Pinot Gris

3.       Chardonnay

4.       Pinot Noir

5.       Cabernet Sauvignon

6.       Gewurztraminer

7.       Syrah

8.       Cabernet Franc

9.       Riesling

10.   Sauvignon Blanc


* There are *210 licensed grape wineries in BC and 24 additional growers indicated they will start a winery in the future

* There are 864 vineyards in BC (both winery and independently owned), with acreage distributed as follows:

–          81.7 % in the Okanagan Valley

–          7.0 % in the Similkameen Valley

–          8.3 % in the Coastal Areas

–          3.0 % in Other areas of BC


* 61.7 % of wine grape acreage is winery owned or controlled and 38.3 % is owned by independent grape growers

–          Average winery vineyard holdings is 28.97 acres

–          Average independent grower vineyard size is 6.6 acres


“The 2011 BC Grape Acreage Report offers critically important insights into the current state and trends of the BC wine grape and wine industry,” states Manfred Freese, President of the BC Grapegrowers’ Association. “Any new industry entrant, as well as existing producers, would be well advised to consider carefully the survey data and findings before putting in any new vineyard or winery.” Miles Prodan agrees and also encourages prospective industry entrants to speak with existing wineries to understand the market demand and industry trends before embarking upon a new venture.

The BC Wine Institute, BC Grapegrowers’ Association and Mount Kobau Wine Services are proud partners in the production of the 2011 BC Wine Grape Acreage Report. Data was collected and compiled confidentially by Lynn and John Bremmer of Mount Kobau Wine Services.

To view the complete 2011 BC Wine Grape Acreage Report, click here.


*Note, the number of licensed wineries in the 2011 BC Wine Grape Acreage Report differ from those provided by the Liquor Control & Licensing Branch (LCLB). The latest LCLB report from August 2011 showed that there are currently 196 licensed grape wineries in BC (225 wineries total).


About the BC Wine Institute (BCWI)

Since 1990, the BCWI has played a pivotal role in taking BC’s wine industry from a vision to an internationally recognized niche region producing premium wines and providing quality wine tourism experiences.

Representing 111 member wineries throughout the province, the BCWI supports and markets the Wines of British Columbia (BC VQA), which gives consumers assurance they are buying a wine that is 100% from BC. The BCWI also markets the Wine Regions of BC; delivers quality trade, media and consumer tastings; and acts as the voice of BC’s wine industry by advocating to government on behalf of its members.

About BC VQA

BC VQA = 100% BC Wine.  BC VQA is an appellation of origin system that guarantees authenticity of origin and stipulates minimum quality standards for BC wines.  Please visit winebc.com to learn more.


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