One of the few red grapes BC actually excels at is Merlot! It’s BC’s most planted grape with roughly 641 hectares (1,585 acres) covering the province. It hasn’t really increased much in plantings lately according to BC Wine Trends. Last year the BC Wine Group Council released its survey in tonnage – 5530.19 tons of Merlot picked in BC accounting for just over 16.5% of all grapes (35% of red grapes) in the province.
You can often find it produced as a single varietal or in a Bordeaux style red blend with Cab Sauv & Cab Franc. Cabernet Franc is actually one of the parent varietals to Merlot!
In typical fashion, BC Merlot tends to be medium to full body, medium tannins and flavours that include red fruit, black cherry, plum, chocolate and violet. Overall these grapes produce soft and easy drinking reds worthy of many food pairings.
Some wineries to check out are Bordertown, Hillside, Lock & Worth, Quails Gate & Upper Bench