27 Mar Wine Grape Varieties Grown in the Okanagan
Wine is Geography
Where grapes are grown, the soil they’re grown in, the weather, the air, the sun and the growing techniques all affect the character and quality of the wine.
It’s an unfamiliar concept today. We’ve come to expect standardization in products as a guarantee of quality. We’d probably all agree standardization is great when you’re buying a car. It’s tough to buy parts for a one-of-a-kind car.
But wine thrives on regional nuance, and its finest interpretations and expressions are decidedly regional. In fact, wine is at its best when pushed to be increasingly site-specific.
The great wines of the world are the result of skilled grapegrowers and winemakers working together to bring out the unique qualities of the grapes that nature provides. The Wines of British Columbia are among these great wines.
Nearly every style of wine is produced across the whole spectrum of sweetness levels that include still, sparkling, fortified and dessert wines—most notably ice wines.
There are more than 60 grape varieties grown in the Okanagan including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Auxerrois blanc, Marechal Foch and Cabernet Franc.
Additionally many German varieties are still found throughout the Okanagan including Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Bacchus, Optima, Ehrenfelser, Kerner, Seigfried Rebe.
In the 21st century, growers have been planting more warm climate varieties typically not associated with the Canadian wine industry. Recent plantings include Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo, Trebbiano, Pinotage, Malbec, Barbera and Zinfandel.