There is good debate on whether Cabernet Sauvignon should be grown in BC! Many critics believe that our climate does not allow the proper growing conditions this grape needs to ripen properly. When Cabernet is under ripe it still contains a compound called pyrazine, this gives the wine a distinct green bell pepper aroma and flavour. Now technically this flavour is not a fault and should not be confused with similiar aromatics found in this grape like mint and eucalyptus.
Some people are instantly turned off of certain flavours in wine and will write a wine off if it evokes too much of a negative experience, and so they should. It is about discovering your likes and dislikes. The debate comes from wine professionals who criticize or fault a BC wine for having such flavours, because our Cab Sauv doesn’t have the same profile as ones from California, Australia, or even Bordeaux.
I think the next 10 years will be about discovering what it means to be BC. We will focus on a style that consistently gives us the best quality and then its about “owning it”. Making it crystal clear to our consumers what that style is and why. I don’t think all Cabernet Sauvignon’s from BC are great, but the ones I do like, I would be proud to take traveling with me.
And yes, I do think we can ripen Cabernet Sauvignon in BC.