4 new wine regions are being established in B.C.

Soon, you’ll be able to further identify where some of your British Columbia Vintners Quality Alliance (BC VQA) wine is coming from.

Later this year, the Ministry of Agriculture will be establishing four new wine regions in B.C.

The new regions are the Thompson Valley, Shuswap, Lillooet and Kootenays.

Currently, B.C. has six official geographical indications: British Columbia (provincial), Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Fraser Valley, Similkameen Valley and the Okanagan Valley.

“More and more people are starting to recognize the quality and diversity of B.C. wines found throughout our province, from Ortega in the Cowichan Valley, to Cabernet Franc in the Okanagan Valley and Rosé in the Creston Valley, and everything in between,” said Lana Popham, minister of agriculture.

“By helping B.C.’s wine regions identify and promote their own terroir, and making it easier for smaller wine producers to participate in the BC VQA program, B.C. wine drinkers will be able to make more informed choices as they select, enjoy and buy B.C. wines.”

The province will also prohibit the use of unregulated geographical indications, which will further strengthen the reputation that BC VQA wines come as advertised.

The ministry of agriculture will also support the creation of new sub-geographical locations to help bring more distinction to multiple wine growing areas inside bigger regions.

At the moment, the Okanagan Valley has the only official sub-geographical region, which is the Golden Mile Bench near Oliver.

“Recognition of these new official geographical indications, and addition of sub-appellations, reflects the maturation and progress of B.C.’s premium wine industry,” said Miles Prodan, president and CEO of the British Columbia Wine Institute.

“Not only are they a marketing tool for the regions, but also for wines made using certified 100% B.C. grapes.”

Nearly 200 B.C. wineries participate in the BC VQA program, representing around 75% of licensed grape wineries in the province.

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