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Global wine slump affecting prices

Last Updated Mar 13, 2018 at 7:44 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

Some European reds, proseccos could see price hikes

BC Wine Institute says BC produced bumper crop last year, even with wicked wildfire season

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Wild weather is hitting wine lovers in the pocketbook, with the price of certain bottles expected to jump this year.

Some European reds and proseccos could see price hikes after global wine production slumped to 50-year lows in 2017 because of both extreme heat and extreme cold in places like Spain, Italy, and France.

But BC’s wine industry may not see much benefit, as bottles from some other countries become more expensive.

“The fact about our industry in British Columbia is that we are relatively tiny in the scale of the world. While we do export to some markets, it’s generally just to restaurants and key retail shops. We really don’t have enough that we would be able to take advantage of any price opportunity,” says Miles Prodan, president and CEO of the BC Wine Institute.

And even before potential price hikes for certain international bottles, Prodan believes BC wine prices are already competitive for local buyers.

“We do comparisons all the time and we are always pleasantly surprised when we hear BC wine really holds its own. While some people think that our wine could be viewed as somewhat expensive compared to some of the cheaper imports from around the world, when we compare wines of quality, we can hold our own and we are a very good value,” he tells NEWS 1130.

“I think what this is really showing us is that regardless of where it’s grown in the world, the wine industry is about farming and it’s all up to mother nature. You can have the greatest winemaker but if the grapes don’t come through, you’re really going to struggle,” he adds.

And Prodan says, compared to Europe, BC produced a bumper crop last year, even with a wicked wildfire season and smoky skies.

“While the fires were burning further north, the flames did not directly affect the grape growing area of British Columbia. And the smoke kind of mitigated the heat. We actually were able to capture the heat and really find a ripening.”

Prodan says the smoke did not taint the taste of the grapes and may actually have led to an “exceptional vintage.”

“The whites will be released very shortly and the reds will take a little longer to age in their barrels but I think it’s going to be a great year. We are looking forward to BC’s vintage 2017.”