Blue Grouse’s winemaker led the initiative, but it would not have been possible without the enthusiastic co-operation of every winery and grape grower in the valley (Citizen file)

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Buyers across the province will soon be able to pick up a bottle of wine marked as from the Cowichan Valley thanks to a new sub-geographical designation now officially being recognized under B.C. law.

“Officially recognizing the Cowichan Valley as a distinct and unique wine grape-growing region in B.C. is a testament to the hard work, passion and dedication of the many local entrepreneurs and staff in the wine industry,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley. “This is a well-deserved accomplishment for all those involved in producing exceptional wines and memorable winery experiences.”

According to a press release issued Friday morning, “defining geographic zones on wine labels connects consumers with the unique geographic area the grapes are grown and the wine is made in and increases exposure to the region for both wine and tourism businesses.”

The Cowichan Valley sub-GI is roughly defined as the area between the Cowichan watershed, the eastern coastline from Mill Bay to Maple Bay and the western area of Cowichan Lake.

“The Cowichan is home to family-owned and operated wineries and grape growers who have been part of the valley for generations,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “They take pride in the wines they produce and recognizing their hard work, skills and growing reputation on the B.C. and international stage is overdue. They make great wine in the Cowichan from the grapes grown in the valley, and the designation both respects and promotes that.”

The Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan and joins the Golden Mile Bench, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Falls and Skaha Bench in the Okanagan Valley.

“The newly announced Cowichan Valley sub-GI recognizes our unique terroir and solidifies Vancouver Island’s position as an up-and-coming wine destination,” said Blue Grouse Estate Winery owner Paul Brunner. “Bailey Williamson, Blue Grouse’s winemaker, led the initiative, but it would not have been possible without the enthusiastic co-operation of every winery and grape grower in the valley. We are proud to be part of such a cohesive group of wine lovers and look forward to being part of an exciting future.”

Tourism Cowichan’s Jill Nessell said now Cowichan can rightfully recognized as a top-quality wine-producing region.

“Wine enthusiasts can now add Cowichan as an area to explore wines produced with this unique terroir. While the award-winning wines and beautiful vineyards draw thousands of visitors to Cowichan every year, it is the extraordinary people behind the wines that create memorable wine-tasting and tour experiences for locals and visitors from across the globe,” she said.

It’s about time Cowichan is recognized for its efforts, said Miles Prodan, president of the BC Wine Institute.

“Having Cowichan Valley officially recognized as a distinct and unique wine grape growing region in B.C. is testament to the maturity of the wine growers and producers in the region,” he said. “To put it simply, when you now see Vancouver Island, Cowichan Valley, BC VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) on a bottle, it is your guarantee that you’re sipping a wine that is 100% grown and made in this particular terroir of British Columbia.”

BC Winecowichan valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

Charity tackling ‘weekend hunger gap’ bracing for tripling of students in need

Backpack Buddies was serving 1,300 students per week in March, by June that number doubled

BC Supreme Court tosses out application to stop work on Highlands quarry

Highlands District Community Association will not suffer irreparable harm if work begins, says judge

Victoria council pushes for December byelection

City staff concerned with timeframe and planning needs prior to byelection

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read