How Many Vineyards are in BC?

Have you ever wondered how much area of BC is covered with wine grapes?  Well it has been steadily growing.  The 2011 BC Grape Acreage Report was recently released and has some very interesting statistics that I would like to share with you.

Some Findings from the Report:

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.

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

The most planted varieties in order of acres:

  1. Merlot  (Take that “Sideways”.  My comment.)
  2. Pinot Gris
  3. Chardonnay
  4. Pinot Noir (Wow, Pinot Noir 2nd most planted red grape!)
  5. Cabernet Sauvignon
  6. Gewurztraminer
  7. Syrah
  8. Cabernet Franc
  9. Riesling (Another interesting fact.  I thought it would be higher than Gewurztraminer.)
  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

All these wine grape stats and more are available at the BC Wine Publications and Reports web page.  Enjoy!