2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the British Columbia’s Vitner’s Quality Alliance (BC VQA). For those that are not familiar with the BC VQA, it is a standard that was created in the 1990s to guarantee you that the wine you are drinking is made from 100% BC grown grapes. This means, anything bottle of wine with a BC VQA seal is a true reflection of the land region where the grapes are grown and the dedicated and talented people who carefully craft them.
This year, at the annual Spring Bloom Trade Tasting event, 90 BC VQA approved wineries gathered at the Vancouver Convention Centre to pour trade members a taste of their spring release (over 350 wines showcased!).
As BC’s wine industry has grown from 17 wineries in the 1990s to a stunning 250 as of March 2015, here are four new BC wineries that have recently been stamped as BC VQA and is highly recommended for you to grab a bottle or visit their winery for a taste of BC.
Evolve Wine Cellars (Summerland, BC)- Evolve is the newest winery on Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive. In fact, it opened to the public on May 16th, 2015. Led by Christa-Lee McWatters Bond and Harry McWatters, their goal is to gently transform the fruit that Mother Nature creates, into wines that can be enjoyed by all.
TRY: 2012 Cabernet Merlot, 2014 Rosé, 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 Pinot Blanc
Singletree Winery (Abbotsford, BC)- It’s a taste of Fraser Valley! Singletree Winery is committed to showing the world what the Fraser Valley is capable of. The winery was named for a single harness yoke that was commonly used in the late 1800s. The Singletree was an essential tool that allowed fertile land in the Mt. Lehman area to be cleared to make way for farms.
TRY: 2013 Pinot Noir, 2014 Siegerrebe, 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 Pinot Gris
TIME Estate Winery (Oliver, BC)- TIME Winery is the next big winery project in the South Okanagan desert, with Harry McWatters, grandfather of the BC wine industry, coming out of ‘retirement” to make wines from the province’s most awarded vineyard. The visitor centre will open in 2016 but hard hat tours are available.
TRY: 2012 Meritage, 2014 White Meritage, 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2013 Sundial
Another winery on Vancouver Island that is worthy of mentioning but has not been BC VQA approved (though it uses all BC grapes and is made in BC), is Blue Grouse Winery on Vancouver Island, BC.
Blue Grouse Winery (Cowichan Valley, BC)- Blue Grouse recently opened up its new winery facility on Cowichan Valley. The new facility features a new, sustainable and enviro-friendly tasting room that will bring you a true refreshing and cooling taste of Blue Grouse.
TRY: 2012 Paula, 2013 Pinot Gris, 2013 Ortega, 2013 Quill Rosé
Do you know any or have tasted any other new BC wines? Let us know.