Travelling back from our recent trip to Dundee, Oregon I thought it would be an interesting exercise to compare BC Pinot Noir with the West Coast competition. BC is producing outstanding Pinot Noir but when you look at the big picture, the province only produces 2% of the left coast product. Oregon is by far the largest producer at 40% and the Willamette Valley is probably the closest to BC Wine in terms of micro-climate. I’m a fan of the fruit forward style Pinots from the Santa Barbara area made famous by Sideways, but I also enjoy the Burgundy-styled local wines.
Award Winning BC Pinot Noir
There are a large number of BC producers that make award-winning Pinot Noir. The interactive stats page provides you with a current listing.
The quality of BC Pinot Noir has continued to improve. As just one example, the 50th Parallel Estate, Unparalleled Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, 2014 received 90 points at the prestige 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards against global competition. By comparison, there were only 10 Pinots from Oregon and 5 from California that scored 90 points or more at the 2016 DWWA.
Karl Kliparchuk, @My Wine Pal and Sam Hauck, @Sam_WineTeacher have provided an excellent summary of recent BC Pinot Noir wine tastings. Brent Gushowaty also has an excellent blog for BC Pinot Noir information.
Pinot Noir Financials
The table below shows the average price/ton for the 2015 California Pinot Noir Crop.
The average 2015 Oregon Willamette Valley price was $2,350 ². By comparison, the BC Pinot Noir winemakers only paid $US 1,700 per to. Sara Shaw has indicated that a commonly used bottle pricing model was one hundredth of the cost per ton. This would price the average BC Pinot at $US17 per bottle. Given the very reasonable 2015 grape price, partially due to the 17 percent increase in production last year, and the excellent quality of the recent vintages, BC Pinot Noir has a very profitable future.
2. The preliminary prices per ton for grapes at the region and state levels from the 2015 Oregon Vineyard and Wine Production Census
3. Anthony Gismondi: B.C. Pinot Noirs snapping at Burgundy’s heels