Golden Mile Bench is the first official sub-appellation for B.C. wine thanks to the B.C. government, on March 30, approving the designation.
The move comes a few days after the industry created the B.C. Wine Appellation Task Group, which will develop the process for how to create future sub-appellations.
Winery owners in the Golden Mile Bench strip of the southern Okanagan spent years doing substantial research to make their case that their area has a distinctive terroir. The B.C. Wine Authority then recommended that the B.C. government approve the new sub-appellation.
Having the Golden Mile Bench sub-appellation approved means that the eleven wineries in the area will be able to put the words “Golden Mile Bench” on the front of their wine bottles to indicate origin.
New regulations and inspections will be carried out to ensure that 95% of the grapes used to create wines identified as being from the Golden Mile Bench were grown in what is now about 790 acres of vineyard in the area.
The list of 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, and Willow Hill Vineyards.
There are five designated wine regions in B.C. including: Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and Gulf Islands. They produce more than 80 different grape varieties.