It’s official, Okanagan Falls is now recognized as it’s own unique wine region.
The east side of the Okanagan Valley from Vaseux Lake to just north of Shuttleworth Creek was recently added to the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation meaning eligible wineries can their wines as coming from Okanagan Falls.
The area-specific labeling helps people recognize wines are made with local grapes, and enhances the area’s overall reputation as a wine and agri-tourism destination.
Okanagan Falls is the second sub-appellation in British Columbia. The other is the Golden Mile Bench near Oliver.
“There is a tremendous amount of collaboration, science and research that goes into defining more precise regions within an appellation, which is based very much on terroir,” stated Miles Prodan, CEO and president, BC Wine Institute in a press release. “Wine is about place, and we are proud of the hard work by industry and wineries coming together to define and certify these meaningful and scientifically unique regions producing distinctive world-class wines. This is a true testament to the maturation and progress of BC VQA’s premium wine industry.”
At the end of April several other communities were also recognized as new geographical indications including Thompson Valley, Shuswap, Lillooet and the Kootenays.
An additional change implements a flat fee for small wineries to enable and encourage more wineries to participate in the BC Wine Authority’s programs.
“British Columbia wine is enjoyed both here at home and around the world, and consumers will now be able to identify the unique terroir and wine from Okanagan Falls,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Congratulations to the wine producers in this fantastic area and I look forward to seeing the Okanagan Falls label on BC VQA bottles soon.”
* Okanagan Falls, located in the southern Okanagan, includes about 150 hectares of vineyards that produce over 1,100 tonnes of grapes per year.
* British Columbia now has 12 official geographical indications.
* The other six geographical indications are British Columbia (provincial), Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Fraser Valley, Similkameen Valley and the Okanagan Valley.
* Currently there are four eligible wineries in the Kootenay region, one in Lillooet, eight in Shuswap, and four in the Thompson Valley.