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Three new wine regions proposed for Central Okanagan

New applications before the British Columbia Wine Authority could see three new wine appellations added to the four already in existence in the Okanagan. The three applications are in the central Okanagan.
New applications before the British Columbia Wine Authority could see three new wine appellations added to the four already in existence in the Okanagan. The three applications are in the central Okanagan.

The Okanagan could see three new wine regions if applications currently before the British Columbia Wine Authority are approved.

Formal applications to create three new sub-geographical indications, or appellations (a wine region defined by geo-political classifications) are currently before the wine authority.

An application for a Lake Country appellation was submitted on Feb. 16.

The application involves 2,500 hectares along roughly 20 kilometres of eastern Okanagan Lake shoreline. The area is known for its relatively long, cool growing season and the 100 ha of vineyards included in the region are known for Pinot noir and rich aromatic white wines.

An application for East Kelowna Slopes was made March 1 and includes 2,500 ha along the escarpment overlooking Mission Creek and its floodplain between the mouth of Mission Creek and Bellevue Creek.

The climate is described as cool and well-suited to growing white wine cultivars such as Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Pinot noir is the most widely planted grape, accounting for 80 per cent of the reds planted in the region.

The third application involves South Kelowna Slopes, an area of approximately 800 ha mostly in the South Mission area of Kelowna.

The cool, long growing season is conducive to growing Pinot noir, and white wines such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer.

The three applications will require a vote among stakeholders before they are forwarded to the Ministry of Agriculture by the B.C. Wine Institute for approval.

There are currently four sub-geographical indications, or appellations, in the Okanagan valley, including the Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Falls, Naramata Bench and Skaha Bench.

Vancouver Island is home to the Cowichan Valley appellation.


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