Wine Culture Magazine

Naramata Bench is now officially a sub-Geographical Indication. BC Wine Institute photo

After years of proposals and petitions, the Naramata Bench is now officially a sub-Geographical Indication, along with Skaha Bench just down the road.

That brings to four the number of sub-GIs approved by the provincial Ministry of Agriculture, as B.C. continues to define its unique wine-producing regions. (The other two are the Golden Mile near Oliver, which was approved in 2015, and Okanagan Falls in 2018.)

Naramata Bench is roughly defined as the bench lands between Penticton Creek and Okanagan Mountain Park on the east side of Okanagan Lake. Its wineries include Bella, Bench 1775, Black Widow, D’Angelo Estate, Daydreamer, Deep Roots, Elephant Island, Forgotten Hill, Foxtrot, Hillside, Howling Bluff, Joie Farm, Kettle Valley, La Frenz, Lake Breeze, Lang, Laughing Stock, Misconduct, Moraine, Monster, Origin, Perseus, Poplar Grove, Red Rooster, Roche, Ruby Blues, Serendipity, Singletree, Terravista, Therapy, Three Sisters, Tightrope, Township 7, Upper Bench and Van Westen.

Further south, the Skaha Bench covers a 10-kilometre stretch from the outskirts of Penticton and along the eastern shore of Skaha Lake, and comprises Blasted Church, Black Dog, Painted Rock, Pentage and Crescent Hill wineries.

Wines from these sub-appellations can now be labelled as such, guaranteeing that at least 95 per cent of the grapes in the bottle come from the area. However, each wine must first be submitted to a VQA tasting panel, along with a declaration of origin of the fruit and lab analysis, and is subject to an audit by the BC Wine Authority at any time.

This is a huge deal in the development of the Okanagan as a world-class wine-producing region. Adding sub-GIs to the bottle helps customers make well-informed choices and encourages wine tourism to the region. It also aligns B.C. with world wine standards, which is crucial if we want to be taken seriously as a wine-producing region—as we should be.

For more information on the BC Wine Authority, visit

Follow us on Instagram