Unique Terroir of the Okanagan’s Golden Mile Produces Distinctive Wines

Golden Mile Bench one step closer to become Okanagan Valley’s First Sub-Appellation

golden-mile-sub-appellationWineries located on the Golden Mile Bench wine growing area near Oliver in British Columbia have submitted a proposal to become the first official sub-DVA “Designated Viticultural Area” of the Okanagan Valley DVA.

An in-depth scientific analysis by scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre – Summerland (AAFC-PARC Summerland) has shown the area has a combination of landform, landscape position, mesoclimate, air drainage and soil materials that make it distinct within the Okanagan Valley, contributing to the production of unique wines.

A group of producers in the area have been exploring the concept of proposing a Golden Mile Bench DVA since 2009. After much discussion, debate and an in-depth study of the region’s terroir by Scott Smith, M.Sc. Soil Scientist with AAFC-PARC Summerland in conjunction with Dr. Pat Bowen, Ph.D. Research Scientist, Viticulture and Plant Physiology also at AAFC-PARC Summerland, the final boundaries were decided. Wine consultant, Rhys Pender MW of Wine Plus+ helped to compile the proposal.

With the Okanagan Valley DVA comprising around four-fifths of all British Columbia’s vineyard area, yet producing wines from many different mesoclimates and terroirs, it is a widely held belief that there is a need to break this large, single appellation into meaningful, scientifically unique sub-DVAs that produce distinctive wines. Golden Mile Bench is the first such application to the BC Wine Authority.

The proposal was submitted to the BC Wine Authority on May 20.  The  Authority will conduct consultations within the region and a vote by ballot amongst the relevant stakeholders within the proposed region’s boundaries. Once the due diligence has been completed the BC Wine Authority will submit the proposal to the Minister for approval.

Any enquiries about the status of the proposal should be directed to the BC Wine Authority at www.bcvqa.ca

Wineries of the Golden Mile include:

  • CC Jentsch Cellars
  • CheckMate Artisanal Winery
  • Culmina Family Estate Winery
  • Fairview Cellars
  • Gehringer Brothers
  • Hester Creek
  • Inniskillin Okanagan
  • Golden Mile Cellars Inc. (Road 13)
  • Rustico Farm and Cellars Ltd.
  • Tinhorn Creek Vineyards