In a year of not-so-great news, a ray of light: British Columbia is reporting a record number of sales last year for the province’s food and beverage processors. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2019, sales were up $700 million to a record $10.5 billion. That includes a $137-million increase in winery sales.
B.C.’s wine industry by the numbers
• 929 vineyards, including more than 350 licensed wineries
• More than 60 grape varieties produced
• 84 per cent of B.C. vineyards are in the Okanagan
• About 12,000 people employed
• 14.5 million litres of B.C. wine sold in the province annually
• Top international markets include China (54 per cent); Taiwan (23 per cent) and the United States (11 per cent)
• $2.8 billion annual economic impact on the province
With more and more municipalities opting to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics, Corby Spirit and Wine is getting ahead of the game with a plan to use only 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging within five years. Already, the Toronto-based company is using post-consumer recycled material where plastic is still needed, and through Pernod Ricard, is a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy.
What better way to spend an evening in Whistler? The mountain resort municipality is bringing back its Whistler Wine Walks every Friday night in October. Each week, public and private galleries offer a taste of culture and wine. Participants can choose from one of two routes (Village and Upper Village), with a wine-tasting, canapé and art experience at each 20-minute stop. All safety protocols will be in place, group size will be limited, and tickets ($10 to $15) must be purchased in advance.
The University of British Columbia is moving its acclaimed Wine Research Centre from Vancouver to its Kelowna campus, adding to the valley’s growing hub of facilities such as the Summerland Research Centre and Okanagan College’s Wine Sensory Centre in Penticton. The WRC, which includes a sensory lab, is one of only two such research centres in Canada, and will be led by director Jacques-Olivier Pesme, a founding member of the Board of the Institute of Vine and Wine Science in Bordeaux.
Kelowna city council is supporting the creation of a 625-capacity downtown wine centre in the former Keg restaurant location. No word yet on who the operator will be, but the proposed establishment will feature a wine bar, lounge, rooftop deck, interpretive centre with tasting room, an education centre and wine shop.
@ Vitis Magazine