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Recent changes in B.C. wine industry to help growth

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The B.C. wine industry now has a new task force and a new sub-geographical indicator or sub-appellation – both of which will work to grow and promote the province's wineries

Oliver and Victoria, B.C. – Wine producers in B.C. have reason to celebrate.

In just the past few days a new task force has been established and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture made another announcement approving a new sub-geographical indicator wine2or sub-appellation – a first for the province.

Task group

The task group, which includes 11 B.C. wine producers has a mandate to make recommendations on ways to improve the appellation system for wine produced form 100 per cent B.C. grapes.


The province says the B.C. Wine Appellation Task Group will review the current system of appellations and the B.C. Vintners Quality Alliance program (BC VQA) in order to recommend changes to the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation.

Appellations are used to legally identify where grapes for B.C. wines are grown.

The task group was initiated by the B.C. Wine Institute Board of Directors in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the B.C. Wine Authority.

The task group members are:

  • Ezra Cipes, Summerhill Pyramid Winery
  • Christine Coletta, Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
  • Bill Eggert, Fairview Cellars
  • Andy Johnston, Averill Creek Vineyards
  • Derek Kontkanen, Inniskillin Okanagan
  • Ian MacDonald, Liquidity Wines
  • Christie Mavety, Blue Mountain Winery
  • Harry McWatters, Time Estate Winery
  • JAK Meyer, Meyer Family Vineyards
  • Rhys Pender, Little Farm Winery
  • Don Triggs, Culmina Family Estate Winery
  • James Mack, Ministry of Agriculture

The task group is scheduled to meet this month and all their recommendations will be presented to the industry, which will then be put to a vote to all wine producers in B.C. Improvements will then be presented to the B.C. government this fall.

Sub-geographical indicator or sub-appellation 

The new sub-geographical indicator is for the Golden Mile Bench in the Okanagan Valley wine region. The sub-geographical indicator or sub-appellation allows wineries that meet the requirements of the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation to label their wines Golden Mile Bench. It signifies a commitment to the consumer that at least 95 per cent 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.

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
• 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.

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