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SKAHA BENCH Wine Country

Skaha Bench Wine region

On May 13, 2019, wineries in the Skaha Bench joined the Naramata Bench, Okanagan Falls and Golden Mile Bench, near Oliver, as wineries that meet the requirements of the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation. There are now four sub-geographical indications (sub-GIs), or sub-appellations, in British Columbia. Skaha Bench covers a 10-kilometre stretch from the outskirts of Penticton and along the eastern shore of Skaha Lake. The sub-GI includes areas of rock outcrop, Heritage Hills estates, and orchard lands.

Wineries in Skaha Bench include Blasted Church, Black Dog, Painted Rock, Pentage and Crescent Hill. A map of the sub-appellation will be available soon at the BC Wine Authority website.

Average 1,450 growing degree days (estimated).
Average daily temperatures are slightly higher on the Skaha Bench than at Penticton airport.
Long frost-free period due to lake proximity and west-facing slope aspect.
Prominent gullies that drain cold air off the landscape to the lake shore.
Dominant soil is Olhausen series, consisting of wind-blown (eolian) top layer overlying stone-free glacial lake sediments components of silts and fine sands.

  • CHARDONNAY
  • MERLOT
  • PINOT GRIS
  • PINOT NOIR
  • PINOT BLANC
  • SYRAH
  • CABERNET FRANC
  • CABERNET SAUVIGNON

The Ice Age shaped Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park by carving out canyons and vertical cliffs, which now attract rock climbers.

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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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