B.C. wine industry wants more specific place names on bottles

Source: CBC News

The B.C. Wine Appellation Task Group will submit a report to the Ministry of Agriculture tomorrow proposing that wine-producing regions be given specific names or appellations.

The Task Group, made up of wine industry representatives, is recommending sub-geographical labels for the Okanagan Valley and other wine producing regions in B.C.

“The idea is that you can develop an identity for the product that is tied to its origin,” Ezra Cipes, chair of the B.C. Wine Appellation Task Group told Daybreak South host Chris Walker.

“In the top tiers of wine and as you get more premium, wine becomes a hedonistic pursuit, an aesthetic pursuit, and it’s about beauty, it’s about origin, and the beauty of these wines is where the wine is grown will tell you a lot about how it’s going to taste.”

B.C. already has an appellation — that’s what the “VQA” means on a bottle of B.C. wine.

However, what Cipes is asking for is a more specific set of appellations that ensures that all of the grapes in a bottle of wine come from a specific area, and aren’t sourced from elsewhere.

“So we can’t have these fuzzy rules anymore where someone’s putting Okanagan Valley on the label and some other people are saying some other sort of geographical location, that isn’t well-defined, or is meaningless,” he said.

Cipes says the task force is also recommending that the appellation system be made “friendlier” and more streamlined. He especially wants to see the removal of what he calls a “subjective” wine tasting panel that tastes wine to judge whether or not it is worthy of an appellation.

The task group will send its recommendations to the Ministry of Agriculture, which will review them and then put them to the wine industry in a plebiscite.

Cipes says the plebiscite might happen early next year.