The Okanagan Wine Region of British Columbia, Canada

  • Donna M. Senese
  • Wayne Wilson
  • Bernard Momer


This discussion of the Okanagan wine region takes a historical perspective of the political economy of wine in one nascent New World wine region. The Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada, has enjoyed recent and rapid growth as a wine-producing region since grapes were first produced here over 100 years ago. A primarily historical geography of the winescape examines the influence of French Oblate missionaries who introduced wine production, as well as the secular influences of European agricultural settlement and transportation improvements that opened the region to wider markets. The contemporary political history of the Okanagan wine region reveals the strong influence of government protections since the 1960s which have allowed a massive planting of Vitis vinifera to satisfy changing domestic market demands for premium wines. Subsequent to the post free trade era, the Okanagan has experienced a rapid acceleration of the industry, considered here as a response to market-driven demands for local products in a globalized industry. Diverse landform and climatic conditions combine with the political economy of terroir in the Okanagan where, like other New World wine regions, the existence of place-based authenticity is branded through estate patrimonialization and linked closely to the tourism industry.


Grape Variety Wine Industry Pinot Noir Grape Production Wine Region 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Community Culture and Global Studies, IK Barber School of Arts and SciencesUniversity of British Columbia OkanaganKelownaCanada
  2. 2.Kelowna MuseumsKelownaCanada

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