Each year, BC’s wineries welcome over 1 million visitors - so what are you waiting for? April is BC Wine Month, and along with our partners at Buy BC: EAT DRINK LOCAL we’re encouraging everyone to support local wine grape producers by buying your vino locally. Throughout the month, you’ll find BC wines being showcased at government-run liquor stores and at special dinners.
British Columbia has 929 vineyards, and offers more than 80 grape varietals to choose from (more than 60 of which are grown in the Okanagan alone!) The mild temperatures in BC's Okanagan region has long made it a favourite for producing classic grapes like Pinot Noir - but a growing abundance of cold-weather grape varieties in other parts of BC mean that wherever you buy local wine, there's now a beautiful range of tastes to choose from. Sample favourites like Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay in the whites; Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the reds; along with lovely rosé wines...but what about the more adventurous flavours BC has to offer?
Refresh your options for whites with a local Viognier (think notes of peach, apricot and jasmine) or Ortega (floral and peachy). As for the reds, try Maréchal Foch (with aromas like fig, black cherry and smoke) and a Petit Verdot (plum and blackberry). For more suggestions including where and what to buy, Buy BC: EAT DRINK LOCAL has compiled a wide-ranging list of participating BC wine producers, including vintners that produce fruit, nut, herbal and even ice wines.
What’s a great way to discover more new favourites? Try a day trip to explore some of BC’s wine regions: either to established regions like the Okanagan and Vancouver Island or to emerging regions like Shuswap, Thompson Valley, Kootenays and Lillooet. Or, make it a weekend getaway...and don’t forget to pick up some locally made cheeses to sample with your finds!
If a trip to your local wine grape producer feels a bit far afield, don’t worry: your local BC liquor store can help you source all of these flavours. Once you’ve found a bottle of your favourite, it’s time to pair it with a delicious home-cooked recipe: fall in love with this easy weeknight risotto (featuring a BC white of your choice) or celebrate BC’s reds with this patio-friendly recipe for barbecue Coq au Vin. While you’re dreaming over dinner, take a chance on entering the BC Wine Institute Swirl and Sip contest, which features draws for amazing wine getaways.
Is there a varietal or vintner you’d like the We Heart Local BC community to get to know? Tell us about it on our Facebook or Instagram feeds.
Photo credit: BC Wine Grape Council