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

Harrison Festival Society: Jill Barber up next in Still Running Concert series

Three-time JUNO nominee is set to perform in Agassiz on August 15

Seabird Island COVID-19 ‘scare’ has passed, Chief states

Reaffirmation comes during Chief Harris’s weekly video address

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

Firefighters bring Sts’ailes FSR fire under control

Blaze held at bay after burning 15 hectares of land

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read