Legal & Regulatory

Regulations For Okanagan Wine Industry In Favors Wine Makers

December 10
6:26 AM 2016

The Okanagan wine makers are celebrating new regulatory changes that support the easier process of making official sub-geographical indications. This means that they will soon be able to include more information on their bottle labels.

With the new regulations, the bottle labels will indicate the wine-making sub-regions. The golden mile bench south of Oliver is the first and only area in British Columbia approved to put in the label its wine-growing region. It received the special approval from the BC Wine Authority in March 2015. Other wine-making regions can now easily do the same because of the new regulations.

"Today's announcement is a game-changer," Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick said at a news conference Thursday morning at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna.

B.C. Wine Institute CEO and President Miles Prodan said, "Wineries in some of the areas of Okanagan Valley for instance like right here in Kelowna, if they choose to and want to work together they can now make a proposal to B.C. Wine Authority to have Kelowna recognized as sub area within Okanagan Valley,"

Wine makers note that different wines are produced since factors such as soil, climate and topography in different regions affect the product. The significance of the new regulation is that the different wines can now be distinguished.

The change may signify that the B.C. wine industry is maturing. Stakeholders also believe that the labeling regulations will also be benefit tourism as it may lure more visitors to the various wine sub-regions.

"If you want to start exploring the different wine regions within B.C. you now can start checking them off and going down the list and recognizing that those grapes and that wine come from a specific area," Prodan said.

The changes were urged by the recommendations of the Wine Appellation Task Group, which oversaw an industry led review of the appellation system for wines produced from 100% B.C. grapes.

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