OLIVER - The B.C. government has approved a request from the BC Wine Authority to establish a new sub-geographical indicator for the Golden Mile Bench in the Okanagan Valley wine region. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick made the announcement today at Tinhorn Creek Vineyard, one of 11 wineries that are included in the new Golden Mile Bench area.
The new sub-geographical indicator, or sub-appellation, is a first in British Columbia. It allows wineries that meet the requirements of the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation to label their wines Golden Mile Bench with a commitment to the consumer that at least 95% of the grapes in the bottle come from that specific area. Appellations are used to legally identify where grapes for B.C. wines are grown.
The list of wineries in the Golden Mile Bench include: C.C. Jentsch Cellars, Checkmate Artisanal Winery, Culmina Family Estate Winery, Fairview Cellars, Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery, Hester Creek Estate Winery, Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards, Golden Mile Cellars (Road 13 Vineyards), Rustico Farm and Cellars, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, and Willow Hill Vineyards.
The Golden Mile Bench region is on the prominent terrace escarpment southwest of Oliver that runs south from Fairview Road and near Highway 97.
In 2014, the Okanagan Valley was named by USA Today as the world’s second best wine region by the newspaper’s Reader’s Choice Awards. USA Today noted the Okanagan Valley offers excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation in between tastings.
Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick -
“British Columbia’s award-winning wine has a strong reputation both here at home and internationally for its high quality and value. The new Golden Mile Bench label will signify to consumers that the bottle they are about to enjoy is from this unique and specific area.”
Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson -
“I want to congratulate the 11 local wineries who unanimously endorsed this initiative. The word is out - Golden Mile Bench wine is ready to be shared with the world.”
BC Wine Institute President and CEO Miles Prodan -
“The designation of the Golden Mile Bench sub-appellation is a reflection of the maturation and progress of BC's premium wine industry."
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards President and CEO Sandra Oldfield -
“For 20 years I have dreamed of this day - a day when the land we have always known to be special can be officially recognized on our label. I am so proud of all the work that was done by wineries and the government to get sub appellation status for the Golden Mile Bench.”
- There are five designated wine regions in B.C. including: Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and Gulf Islands. They produce more than 80 different grape varieties.
- In 2013, B.C. grape growers generated farm cash receipts of almost $45 million. In that same year, B.C. wine exports were valued at $7.8 million nearly quadrupling since 2008.
- B.C. VQA is an appellation of origin system that guarantees authenticity and quality standards for B.C. wines.
British Columbia Wine Institute: http://www.winebc.org/
BC Wine Authority: http://www.bcvqa.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (cell)