Tuesday, August 16, 2011

B.C. closes in on 10,000 acres of vines






Vineyard acreage in British Columbia continues to rise, although the rate of growth has slowed significantly.

This emerges from the most recent vineyard census, just released by consultants Lynn and John Bremmer, who operate Mount Kobau Wine Services in Oliver. The census is done with the backing of the B.C. Wine Institute and the B.C. Grape Growers.

The 2011 census is the fifth since 1999. That census counted 1,693 hectares (4,184 acres of wine grapes). The 2011 census tallied 3,964 hectares (9,866.52 acres) in 2011.That compared with 3,626 hectares (9,066.32 acres) in 2008; and 2,653 hectares (6,632 acres) in grapes in 2006.

They also surveyed planting intentions and projected that another 376.37 hectares (930 acres) could be planted in 2012 and 2013.

The area under vines in British Columbia has experienced eight-fold growth in the past two decades, although the rate of increase is now slowing, largely due to a shortage of suitable sites.

British Columbia’s vineyard area is still small compared with other regions. Ontario has about 6,070.5 hectares (15,000 acres) of vineyard; Washington State has 16,166 hectares (40,000 acres) and California has 261,514.5 hectares (535,000 acres).

These are the regions the grapes grow.

Region Hectares Acres
Oliver 1,433.92 3,543.18
Osoyoos 610.94 1,509.62
Kelowna/West Kelowna 377.07 904.46
Penticton/Naramata 363.31 897.74
Similkameen Valley 279.82 691.44
Okanagan Falls 218.05 538.81
Vancouver Island 174.77 431.87
Peachland/Summerland 143.53 354.67
Fraser Valley/Lower Mainland 106.62 263.45
Lake Country/Vernon 74.49 196.43
Gulf Islands 46.80 115.64
Kaleden 46.65 115.29
Spallumcheen/Shuswap 39.25 97
Kamloops 26.81 66.25
Lillooet/Lytton 21.93 54.20
Kootenays 27.84 68.82
Other B.C. regions 7.13 17.65

These are the mostly widely planted red varieties. Just over 52% of all the grapes are red.

Variety Hectares/acres % of reds % of total grapes



Merlot 647.88/ 1,600.90 31.15 % 16.23 %
Pinot Noir 383.94/ 948.71 18.46 % 9.62 %
Cabernet Sauvignon 305.61/ 755.17 14.69 % 7.65 %
Syrah (Shiraz) 221.16/546.50 10.63 % 5.54 %
Cabernet Franc 209.41/ 517.45 10.07 % 5.24 %
Gamay Noir 66.21/ 153.73 2.99 % 1.56 %
Maréchal Foch 55.56/137.30 2.67 % 1.39 %
Blattner Reds 39.37/97.29 1.89% 0.99%
Malbec 38.83/95.96 1.87% 0.97%
Petit Verdot 26.54/65.58 1.28 % 0.67 %

These are the most widely planted whites.

White variety Hectares/acres % of Whites % of total grapes

Pinot Gris 431.27/1,065.67 22.54% 10.80%
Chardonnay 370.98/916.68 699.88 19.39 % 9.29 %
Gewürztraminer 285.97/706.64 14.95 % 7.16 %
Riesling 177.77/439.27 9.29% 4.45%
Sauvignon Blanc 158.92/392.70 8.32% 3.98%
Pinot Blanc 107.61/ 265.92 5.63 % 2.70 %
Viognier 82.56/204.01 4.32% 2.07%
Ortega 28.69/70.90 1.50% 0.72%
Ehrenfelser 28.54/ 70.52 1.49 % 0.71 %
Blattner Whites 25.36/62.66 1.33% 0.64%


Within the white varieties, Viognier plantings have increased 24% in the past three years, followed by a 19.6% increase in Riesling plantings and a 14.8% increase in Pinot Gris plantings.

Decline acreage is reported for Sauvignon Blanc, due to winter kill. And sadly, that reliable workhorse, Pinot Blanc, has suffered a 28% acreage drop, likely because consumers consider it a bland variety.

Among the reds, Cabernet Franc plantings rose 32.3%, followed by Pinot Noir (up 19.6%), Maréchal Foch (up 12.9%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (up 10.9%).

2 Comments:

At August 22, 2011 at 9:43 PM , Blogger www.wineandlaughter.com said...

Interesting read John, keep up the great work!

 
At December 22, 2011 at 5:41 PM , Blogger 3stuges said...

Hi John,

Amazing how the grape industry rose from the ashes in the '80s.

Do you know anyone growing NY Muscat in the OK Valley?What's your opinion of this varietal?

Cheers,

Stu

 

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