Through first-hand engagement with sustainable methods of rural production in the wine industry of Tuscany, Darcen identified sustainable best practices and analyzed the transferability of these concepts and methods to the Okanagan region of British Columbia.
Darcen and Arnica have been working with Matt Noestheden, a biochemist at UBCO on smoke taint research. With increasing forest fire activity throughout North American wine regions, this research is important for wine regions and climate change adaption.
In May 2018, Darcen travelled to Tuscany to conduct research on sustainability practices int he ancient Tuscan wine industry. Darcen’s research in Tuscany is now being submitted for publication in Academic journals.
Wine consumers between the ages of 19-34 have become an important force in the market for wine, now consuming and purchasing more wine than any other generation. Darcen is currently working on a study that seeks to determine the sensory attributes (descriptive terms) that drive a positive sensory experience of red wine in 19-34 year olds.
Sub-Geographical Indications are a result of the geographical distinctiveness and resulting wine styles of an area. The northern Okanagan region offers a rare opportunity to preemptively establish not only one, but four sub-GIs, based on historical sense of place, grape growing potential, physical geography, and changing climate. This report recommends the establishment of four distinct sub-GIs within the northern Okanagan region, as well as three grape varietals to establish the overall region’s brand.
As terroir is one of the most commonly used terms in the wine industry, it is important that geographers and other academic understand that the expression of the place includes more than soil, climate and the winemaker. Terroir is an individual experience that is both objective and subjective, and has physical, cultural and experiential elements that can manipulate the wine taster’s experience.