BC wine region is the finest & most beautiful in the world
Wine from top producers: Tantalus, Quails’ Gate, Le Vieux Pin, Painted Rock, Orofino, Little Farm, et al., can stand with the best in the world; they continue to improve and deservedly receive international accolades and global attention.
However, I am concerned that the overall quality of wines from other BC producers has plateaued (perhaps even regressed) lately — a concern reinforced by my recent judging gig in the region. Too many appear to be riding the coattails of the province’s leaders. I tasted too many wines that were poorly made, lacked brand definition or mimicked the excessively oaked Aussie and California wines of the 1990s, despite many producers touting terroir and a sense of place.
In the context of the advanced level of maturity of the BC wine industry, developed over the past three decades, these findings are indefensible. Even more concerning: their producers have brainwashed themselves into believing that good sales imply superior quality. News flash: popularity does not always mean quality.
The BC wine industry receives a lot of support from local consumers and industry, regardless of the level of wine quality. There is a downside to such blind support. And wine writers who gratuitously and irresponsibly bestow ratings of perfection do little to validate the industry. A little tough love from the wine trade, wine writers and consumers would help to get the region back on track.
Perhaps the wine industry needs to redefine how it measures success. The BC wine industry is too young to be comfortable with producing mediocrity. All local producers should strive for quality to help the province evolve into one of the finest wine growing regions in the world.