February 02, 2019
What a great time to try BC Wine. Restaurants around BC offer a selection of BC wines on their wine lists and operators and sommeliers are ready to offer pairing ideas about what wine matches your dish choice - or what dish matches your wine choice.
The first grapes were planted in BC in 1859. Today, there are 369 licensed wineries operating in the province - over 9 official provincial appellations (Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island, Thompson Valley, Shuswap, Lillooet, Kootenays) and emerging regions (Thompson Valley, Shuswap, Lillooet, Kootenays, Northern BC).
Remarkably, 800,000 visitors go to wineries in BC every year to sample the more than 60 grape varietals which showcase the flavours and terroir of BC.
From February 23 to March 3, The Vancouver International Wine Festival offers restaurateurs and the public an opportunity to try wines from 27 different BC wineries all under one roof. Winery owners and winemakers will be in attendance to share their passion for the industry and stories about their wines.
For something uniquely BC, the festival offers Artisan Sake Maker - traditional Japanese hand-made sake. The brewery, located on Granville Island, focuses on sustainability and locality in their winemaking practice and uses Fraser Valley grown rice in their production. These fresh sakes are in small batches in cycles that roughly correspond to the changing of the season.
When dining out in a local restaurant this month, ask them to recommend a BC wine that will make your dining experience great. Or check out these participating wineries when you get a chance on your travels around BC:
Photo credit: Tarryn Parker