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British Columbia Wine

British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province, located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. While not as productive viticulturally as the more-continental province of Ontario, British Columbia is home to a rapidly growing wine industry, mostly located on the southern edge of the province along the international border with the United States. The diversity of landscapes here – from rainy islands to desert-like valley floors – means that a wide variety of grapes are planted in British Columbia, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

North to south, the province of British Columbia is longer than California and larger than Texas. The entire wine industry occupies the southernmost 150 miles (240km) of the province, however, in a select few regions where the macroclimate is favorable to premium viticulture. The British Columbia wine authority recognizes five Designated Viticultural Areas (DVAs) in the province: from the maritime-influenced climates of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, to Fraser Valley just west of Vancouver and the more continental areas of the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys.

The flag of British Columbia

Most viticulture in British Columbia takes place in the Okanagan Valley, nestled between the Cascade and Columbia mountain ranges where harsh weather systems from the west and north do not often reach. This long, narrow valley is considered to be Canada's only desert, and the Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot do well here, particularly in the south around Osoyoos. The region's few lakes serve to moderate temperatures here, and warm days followed by cool nights give rise to a distinctively bright style of wine.

A more boutique wine industry can be found in the islands surrounding Vancouver, where the less-predictable maritime climate and rugged topography is not as suited to commercial viticulture. Instead, many small producers make boutique grape and fruit wines from Pinot Noir, Riesling, cranberries and blueberries.

British Columbia's wine-growing history dates back to the mid-19th Century, when missionaries planted grapes for sacramental wines near Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley. However, the wine industry didn't really take off until a free-trade agreement with the United States in 1988 opened up possibilities for vintners, and a vine-pulling scheme encouraged growers to replace the Vitis labrusca and riparia grape varieties with higher-quality Vitis vinifera vines.

The British Columbia Wine Institute was established in 1990 to oversee the quality of BC wines, and the Vintners' Quality Alliance (VQA) system that was in place in Ontario was adopted by the province. To be labeled as a BC VQA wine, the grapes used must be grown entirely in the region and the wine must undergo a quality check to ensure it meets the British Columbia standards.

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Here are some wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin, Okanagan Valley, Canada Bordeaux Blend Red $43 3138
Mission Hill Family Estate Oculus, Okanagan Valley, Canada Bordeaux Blend Red $75 3240
Mission Hill Family Estate Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley, Canada Riesling $124 8649
Black Hills Estate Winery Nota Bene Proprietary Red, British Columbia, Canada Bordeaux Blend Red $48 9306
Mission Hill Family Estate Legacy Series Compendium, Okanagan Valley, Canada Bordeaux Blend Red $45 14895
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Vidal Icewine, Okanagan Valley, Canada Vidal $85 16939
Mission Hill Family Estate Legacy Series Perpetua Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, Canada Chardonnay $33 20831
Burrowing Owl Merlot, Okanagan Valley, Canada Merlot $33 23599
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley, Canada Riesling $85 24032
Mission Hill Family Estate Legacy Series Quatrain, Okanagan Valley, Canada Bordeaux Blend - Syrah $45 25916
Laughing Stock Vineyards 'Portfolio' Red, Okanagan Valley, Canada Bordeaux Blend Red $42 27410
Quail's Gate Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, Canada Pinot Noir $23 28285
Tinhorn Creek Merlot, Okanagan Valley, Canada Merlot $18 29316
Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, Canada Cabernet Sauvignon $47 29404
Gray Monk Estate Winery Kerner, Okanagan Valley, Canada Kerner $16 30330
Sonora Ranch Merlot, British Columbia, Canada Merlot $6 30522
Fairview Cellars Two Hoots, Okanagan, Canada Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot $25 31220
Screw It Pinot Grigio, British Columbia, Canada Pinot Grigio $8 32906
Burrowing Owl Meritage, Okanagan Valley, Canada Meritage $53 33825
Poplar Grove Winery The Legacy Red, Okanagan Valley, Canada Bordeaux Blend Red $48 35359
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, Canada Merlot $21 35627
Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, Canada Cabernet Franc $36 35894
Foxtrot Vineyards Pinot Noir, Okanagan, Canada Pinot Noir $48 35894
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley, Canada Riesling $107 36323
Inniskillin Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley, Canada Riesling $146 38424
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