15 things that changed the BC wine industry in 2011

15 things that changed the BC wine industry in 2011

South Okanagan
What's happening in BC wine country? A BCWineLover/CityCaucus.com cross-post

2011 was a watershed year for BC's young and evolving wine industry. Once again cool weather would test the resolve of both veterans and newcomers alike. The mild springs and hot summers British Columbia got used to during the last decade are doing a disappearing act, forcing wineries to adapt to much lower grape yields and in some cases causing inconsistent output.

On the bright side, however, BC wine seemed to shift into a higher gear in terms of its overall quality, and the industry gained respectability and influence both at home and abroad. It's easy to overlook our successes and lose track of the events that are helping to shape BC's wine industry, which is what brings me to write this industry retrospective.

What were the biggest events which impacted British Columbia's wine industry? I present them in ascending order of significance.

#15 Culinary experiences expand in the Okanagan

Two years back BC Wine Lover interviewed local wine pioneer Harry McWatters about what he felt the industry could do to add value to the wine travel experience in our province. His advice – seen in this short video clip – was to increase the number of culinary attractions. "We've had a deficit in great culinary experiences historically, and we're starting to see now a broader range of accommodation," remarked McWatters, who goes on to say the challenge is to expand beyond just the traditional (summer) seasonal business.

To that end, 2011 was the year Okanagan wine country saw an increase in choice for fine dining. In recent years the Naramata Bench has had a couple of options at Hillside Estate Winery and Lake Breeze Vineyards where wine travellers could pair with delicious dinner and lunch dishes.

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