After a two-year interruption, the California Wine Fair returned to Vancouver on April 25th.
Sustainability was front and centre, with the focus on the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program. 80 percent of California wine is now certified sustainable, though only 178 wineries hold the designation. With just under 5,000 wineries in the state, it’s clear this initiative is led by the major players. That’s no surprise to those who have been following California wine here at GOW. Take Jackson Family Wines, one of the most significant sustainability champions. They co-launched the International Wineries for Climate Action initiative and have their own road map for change. They have the resources to drive serious change and are generous in what they share. Hopefully others are listening.
The other theme was regionality. This isn’t a new story, but it’s an important reminder that California wine extends well beyond the borders of Napa and Sonoma. There’s tremendous diversity to be found across a range of grape varieties, wine styles, regions, and price points. If only we British Columbians could get access to the full gamut of what’s happening. It’s an exciting time for California wine, and the upcoming Premium California Wine Release at BC Liquor Stores showcases some – but certainly not all – of the Golden State’s most thrilling wines.
Here is a top ten of some of our favourite California wines that we've recently tasted, whether at the California Wine Fair or the tasting bench.