BC wine region is the finest & most beautiful in the world

By / Magazine / January 28th, 2020 / 46

British Columbian wine has evolved remarkably over the past 30 years and BC is now one of the finest and (without question) most beautiful wine regions 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.


Editor-in-chief for Quench Magazine, Gurvinder Bhatia left a career practising law to pursue his passion for wine and food. Gurvinder is also the wine columnist for Global Television Edmonton, an international wine judge and the president of Vinomania Consulting. Gurvinder was the owner/founder of Vinomania wine boutique for over 20 years (opened in 1995, closed in 2016) which was recognized on numerous occasions as one of the 20 best wine stores in Canada. Gurvinder was the wine columnist for CBC Radio for 11 years and is certified by Vinitaly International in Verona Italy as an Italian Wine Expert, one of only 15 people currently in the world to have earned the designation. In 2015, Gurvinder was named by Alberta Venture Magazine as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People. He is frequently asked to speak locally, nationally and internationally on a broad range of topics focussing on wine, food, business and community.

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