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.
“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,” says Tinhorn Creek Vineyards President and CEO Sandra Oldfield. “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.”
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.
“British Columbia’s award-winning wine has a strong reputation both here at home and internationally for its high quality and value,” says Letnick. “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.”
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.
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.