What Grape Vines Need

There’s tons of vegetation in Canada and we make some tasty wines here too, but why do we have only two main regions? The Okanagan and Niagara.

Quail's Gate Estate

Quail’s Gate in the Okanagan Valley, in the interior of British Columbia.

We have so much land here in Canada, wouldn’t it be awesome if it were like Italy? Grapes vines all over the country! I know we’re trying new sites. In fact, there are vineyards just outside Vancouver (a good 4 hour drive from the Okanagan Valley) and on Vancouver Island. I haven’t tasted many of these, actually, just one and sadly it wasn’t that good.

Like all plants, vines need:

  • heat
  • carbon dixoide
  • sunlight
  • water
  • nutrients.

In terms of heat, the average temperature during growing season needs to be between 16 and 21 degrees Celsius for grapes to ripen properly.

I’ve also learned that good wines are made from grapes grown in areas with high diurnal range. This means the difference in temperature between day and night. The bigger, the better in this case.

Other factors can influence the quality of grapes such as altitude, aspect (slope) of the site, proximity to a body of water, and of course, wine making techniques.

When I figure out what’s going on just outside Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, I’ll be sure to share. There’s obviously a reason why vineyards are at these locations. They obviously see potential. I will have to dig further when WSET 3 is done.

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