British Columbia’s wine industry began in the 1850s – Keremeos Review
For many years, wine production has been part of the Okanagan Valley.
The earliest records of wine production in the area were from Father Pandosy’s Okanagan Mission in 1859. There is no evidence of wine production at Father Nobili’s St. Joseph Mission (1845) at Garnet Lake (Historical Park of the Priest Camp.)
According to Nobili’s letters, he wrote about a beet crop. He has been described as being “overly fond of beets”.
In Summerland, Harry McWatters founded Sumac Ridge Estate Winery with his partner Lloyd Schmidt in 1980. He was also founding president of the British Columbia Wine Institute and Vintner Quality Alliance Canada, Standards for Wine Quality Levels.
McWatters, who passed away peacefully in July 2019, was known as the grandfather of the province’s wine industry. He has received numerous awards and honors for his work.
Today, the province’s wine industry contributes approximately $ 2.8 billion annually to the provincial economy. There are a total of 370 licensed wineries in the province, with 284 licensed wineries. Over 80 grape varieties are produced in 929 vineyards, with over 4,100 hectares of land planted.
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British Columbia Wine History