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Vancouver Island 

Common Grape Varieties:Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Ortega, Marechal Foch, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer

Key Wine Events: Victoria International Wine Festival (September)

Average Daily High Temperature (July): 20C

Annual Hours of Sunshine: 2109

Average Annual Rainfall: 583 mm

Acreage: 280

Soil Type: Silty, gravelly, sandy clay, volcanic rock


The picturesque Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island is the only sub-geographical indication recognized by the BC Wine Authority outside of the Okanagan Valley.

The significance of this means the valley can be identified on the labels of wines produced from that area and provides consumers with a sense of place. The Cowichan Valley’s climate is comparable to the Mediterranean with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters and a maritime influence. It’s these unique growing conditions that set it apart from those on BC’s mainland and interior.

The Vancouver Island wine industry in general is unique in its own right. It is the second largest wine growing area in the province in terms of winery numbers, but is distinct in its unique terrain and being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The Island is sheltered from the sea by nearby mountains, and is one of the province’s nine main Geographical Indications (GI). 

There are about 20 grape wineries here in the Comox Valley, Central Island, Cowichan Valley, and south island, with about 430 acres of planted vineyard. The maritime clime means the summer heat is kept reasonably at bay. In the Cowichan Valley – one of the warmest parts of the island – the average high summer temperature is 25 C. Historically, there are less than 10 days per year where the mercury surpasses 30 C.

While heat-loving, bold red varieties might not thrive on the island, it makes up for it with a longer than average growing season due to a lower risk of frost and little to no snow in the winter.

The island’s Indigenous heritage can be appreciated in the stunning artwork that stands in tribute to the culture. The Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwakaw’akw people have navigated the coastal waters and rainforests for generations. Indigenous experiences available to travelers include art galleries, heritage sites, wildlife and nature tours and fishing expeditions.

For those looking for a lively urban excursion, Victoria is a charming seaside city with a central harbor and Old World Charm.


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