According to a recent BC Wine Institute press release "sales of BC VQA wine have grown by over $40 million over the past 4 years." Great news for fans, supporters and creators of BC wine. I imagine that the increase has a lot to do with more quality-driven wineries joining the fray each year and thus supply has been increased greatly in that time. I'd be curious to know if the increase in revenue matches the increase in new wineries over that time, but in the end what the press release is saying is that folks in BC are buying more BC products and that's good news no matter what a query into the distribution of the revenue would reveal. We're miles away from an Australia-like over-saturation of the market, thus expansion of vineyards, regions and producers is still a very positive thing here in BC.
BC residents are buying so much, in fact, that the press release goes on to state "BC VQA wines are the best selling premium category in BC, ahead of all other countries (imports), and behind only cellared-in-Canada non-VQA wines." Again, a 'good news despite' situation with this statement as it reveals that the highest selling category of wines are the easy-drinking and simple "cellared-in-Canada" wines that got so much press during the Olympics.
Yes, the bad news is this means your friendly neighbors are buying, mostly, plunk. So, why not invite them over (I think I'm safe with writing "them" as they don't likely read wine-related websites) for a nice glass of BC VQA wine one night and educate their palates on the difference? This goes for the excellent non-VQA, but produced from BC fruit exclusively, wines as well like Blackwood Lane or La Frenz Winery. I tried this very exercise recently and blew the minds of my Sawmill Creek-buying neighbors when I poured for them a gorgeous La Frenz Winery 2009 Riesling. They're eyes were literally opened wide.
Good to see one BC industry excelling in this tough economy as "Sales are over $191 million (12 month rolling ended September 2010), an increase of 13.8% over the previous year." Well done you BC Wine consumers you!
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2010