B.C. wine worth billions

B.C.’s wine industry continues to be a major economic driver, contributing $2.8 billion to the economy in 2015.

A recent Canadian wine and grape industry research study revealed the number, noting that B.C. wine accounts for 31 per cent of the country’s $9-billion wine and grape industry.

They say B.C. is the second largest wine industry in the country, behind only Ontario in terms of acreage, tonnage and wine grape sales.

“What is impressive about these numbers is that most B.C. wineries and grape growers are small, family-owned agri-businesses,” said Miles Prodan, the president and CEO of the BC Wine Institute.

“These small businesses are creating 12,000 full-time B.C. jobs,” he added.

In 2015, there were about 929 grape growers operating in British Columbia with a combined acreage of 10,260 grape-bearing acres.

Those grapes were spread out across 275 wineries that sold nearly 4.8 million nine-litre equivalent cases of wine.

The study said the average bottle of wine produced in B.C. generates $33.84 of business revenue, $5.42 of tax revenue and $8.91 of wages.

It also found that British Columbia wine industry tourism generated $600 million in revenue for the British Columbia economy in 2015, as about one million tourists visited British Columbia wineries.

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