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Golden Mile Bench is a thing; dream becomes reality for some Okanagan wineries

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March 30, 2015 - 11:38 AM

OLIVER – Soon, when you open a bottle of wine from one of 11 select wineries in the South Okanagan, you will notice something new on the label.

The Golden Mile Bench sub-geographical indicator, or sub-appellation, is a first in B.C. meant to mark wines grown in a specific region with at least 95 per cent of the grapes coming from that area. It’s part of the B.C. Vintners Quality Alliance system, which guarantees authenticity and quality standards.

"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,” Tinhorn Creek Vineyards President Sandra Oldfield says in a media release. “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."   

The designation, announced by the provincial government this morning, March 30, will legally identify where grapes are grown. In this case, the escarpment southwest of Oliver which runs south from Fairview Road and near Highway 97.

"The designation of the Golden Mile Bench sub-appellation is a reflection of the maturation and progress of B.C.'s premium wine industry,” B.C. Wine Institute President Miles Prodan says.

The list of wineries to benefit from the indicator include: CC Jentsche Cellars, Checkmate Artisanal Winery, Culmina Family Estate Winery, Fairview Cellars, Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery, Hester Creek Estate Winery, Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards, Golden Mile Cellars, Rustico Farm and Cellars, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, and Willow Hill Vineyards.

The Okanagan Valley was named by USA Today as the world’s second best wine region last year.

There are five designated wine regions in our province including the Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. They produce 80 different grape varieties, according to the release.

B.C. grape producers generated almost $45 million in cash receipts in 2013, and during the same year, wine exports of $7.8 million, according to statistics provided by the provincial government.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at or call 250-491-0331. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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