Okanagan Valley wineries propose new designation area

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SOUTH OKANAGAN - Okanagan Valley wineries may receive a new official designation after a study revealed that an original agricultural landscape is a contributing factor to the production of unique wines. 

Golden Mile Bench wineries, located near Oliver, have submitted a proposal to become the first official sub-Designated Viticultural Area of the Okanagan Valley DVA. A study conducted by scientists at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Pacific Research Centre in Summerland showed the area has a combination of landform, landscape position, and other features that make it distinct within the Okanagan Valley.

Area wineries have been working on getting this designation since 2009. The Okanagan Valley DVA makes up about four-fifths of all B.C.’s vineyard area but the agricultural differences that divide the area give wines a unique taste, and that is why producers want sub-designated areas.

The proposal was submitted to the B.C. Wine Authority on May 20, 2014, that will conduct consultations within the region before voting on what action to take. There is no deadline for when a decision must be made and producers say there is no existing time estimate for when the designated area will become official.

Participating wineries include, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, Gehringer Brothers, Hester Creek, Iniskillin Okanagan, Fairview Cellars, Golden Mine Cellars Inc. (Road 13), CC Jentsch Cellars, CheckMate Artisinal Winery, Rustico Farm and Cellars, and Culmina Family Estate Winery. 

To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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