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GOLDEN MILE BENCH Wine Country

Golden Mile Bench Wine region

The next step for understanding the terroir of BC is to create official sub-regions, known as sub-geographical indications (sub-GI) within the large area of the Okanagan Valley geographical indication. Sub-GIs demonstrate unique climates, soil types and the resulting wine styles. The Golden Mile Bench was the first sub-GI, created in 2015 within the Okanagan Valley wine region followed by Okanagan Falls, Naramata Bench and Skaha Bench. Expect additional sub-GIs in the coming years.

Located on the western slope of the valley south of Oliver and across from the Black Sage Bench, the Golden Mile Bench’s southerly aspect provides a warm climate. Its location on the west side of the valley it gets morning, rather than afternoon sunshine, making it a cooler region than its eastern neighbour.

A wine made exclusively from grapes grown in the sub-GI can use the term Golden Mile Bench as a Geographical Indication on a BC VQA Wine label. It’s the location the grapes are grown, rather than the location of the winery that is relevant.

Average 1,385 growing degree days.
Well-drained fluvial fans of stony gravelly sandy loams or gravelly loamy sands.

  • MERLOT
  • CABERNET FRANC
  • PINOT GRIS
  • CHARDONNAY
  • CABERNET SAUVIGNON
  • GEWÜRZTRAMINER
  • SYRAH

BC’s First Official Sub Region established in 2015, marking the start of the next evolution in the history of BC wine production.

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GOLDEN MILE BENCH

WINERIES

Exploring British Columbia’s vineyards reveals the unique terroir & diverse varietals flourishing in this picturesque Canadian province.

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A group of wine lovers sample fruit forward wines while enjoying a catered lunch next to gently sloping vineyards at an airy tasting room in an Okanagan Valley, British Columbia vineyard restaurant.

The Okanagan Valley

10,920

Acres Planted

222

Licensed Grape Wineries

With an ever-changing panorama, the valley stretches over 250 kilometres, across sub-regions, each with distinct soil and climate conditions suited to growing a range of varietals from sun-ripened reds to lively fresh and often crisp whites.

A vineyard with flat rows of grapes during growing season in the Kootenay region, home to backyard vineyards, family owned estate vineyards, and some award winning bc wineries.

Kootenays

117

Acres Planted

5

Licensed Grape Wineries

Located in the southeastern corner of British Columbia, the Kootenay region is home to pristine rivers, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, mineral hot springs, alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains.

Shuswap vineyard in Recline Ridge with pinot noir in BC’s wine country

Shuswap

107

Acres Planted

9

Licensed Grape Wineries

Wines have been produced here since 1997, predominately of cool climate varieties, which is understandable as it is one of the most northerly grapegrowing regions in North America.

The sun setting over a Thompson Valley vineyard with rugged mountains extending into the horizon.

Thompson Valley

93

Acres Planted

4

Licensed Grape Wineries

Nestled amongst the natural beauty of the North and South Thompson Rivers in and around Kamloops, the rain shadow of the high coastal mountains, the semi-arid conditions and diverse microclimates provide many creative options for our winemakers to shine.

A couple riding bicycles under an aqueduct through a vineyard in the Southern Okanagan, BC, Canada.

The Similkameen Valley

768

Acres Planted

22

Licensed Grape Wineries

The Similkameen Valley is a pristine stretch of vineyards, set amongst the dramatic backdrop of rugged and awe-inspiring mountains. Considered the “organic capital of Canada”, the area is known for small farms and producers dedicated to creating quality produce, delectable foods, and award-winning wines.

A photo of grapes growing at Banner Fraser Valley winery with an estate home in the midground.

Fraser Valley

194

Acres Planted

42

Licensed Grape Wineries

Encompassing Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, New Westminster to Delta, Langley, Aldergrove and Abbotsford in the east, the Fraser Valley wine region is dedicated to producing high quality, handcrafted wines with diverse varieties and styles: from unique fruit wines to delicious sparkling wines to fresh, fruit-forward table wines to fortified.

Lillooet

51

Acres Planted

2

Licensed Grape Wineries

One of the oldest towns in the province, Lillooet is located at the southern tip of the Cariboo Chilcotin region of British Columbia. The climate is very similar to the traditional grapegrowing regions in the Okanagan Valley with long, hot, dry summers. However, nights are cooler, making average summer temperatures slightly lower than the Okanagan, but at the same time preserving the fresh crisp acidity in the wines.

View of vines, ocean, and mountains at Saturna Island Vineyard, Gulf Islands, BC

Gulf Islands

110

Acres Planted

12

Licensed Grape Wineries

A vibrant community of wine producing islands – Salt Spring, Pender, Saturna, Quadra, Gabriola, Hornby, Denman – offer a glimpse into an easygoing lifestyle that allows time to savour the quiet moments with a fitting variety of unpretentious wines.

A home with sloping mountains in the background on a Cowichan Valley winery on Vancouver Island, BC.

Vancouver Island

321

Acres Planted

23

Licensed Grape Wineries

On Vancouver Island, grape winemaking really began after a provincial government-funded trial – the Duncan Project – identified Pinot Gris, Auxerrois and Ortega as promising varieties for this unique seaside environment.

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