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Packaging Wine for a New Generation Creston's Red Bird Estate Winery Consumer Research Canadian Winemaker Series

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Apple orchard in Keremeos.

CONTENTS 4 Publisher's View – Lisa Olson 6 Calendar 7 News & Events

Photo by Stephanie Symons

17 Packaging Wine for a New Generation 21 Consumer Research Leads to Better

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Oliver's District Wine Village getting ready for the first crush.

Business Decisions 24 Lifestyle + Local Support = Success for Red Bird Winery 27 Robot Takes on Weeding Duties 28 Government Employee by Day Apple Farmer by Night 30 The Word on Wine – Carie Jones

Photo contributed

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Colleges cope with this time of learning dangerously.

32 Marketing Mix – Leeann Froese 34 Canadian Winemaker Series: Jason Parks Cover photo by Nalidsa Sukprasert | Dreamstime.com. Castoro de Oro is producing canned wine to appeal to the millennial generation. They may drop by for a selfie and leave with a six pack of wine.

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 PUBLISHER’S VIEW | LISA OLSON

Inspiration in Hard Times

I

t’s hard to believe it is fall already. We have collectively been through a lot this year. I often imagine in my fairytale brain, that this is all over with and we all live happily ever after, but most days I wake up and just carry on.

Vol. 61, No 5 Fall 2020

I’m sure you know what I’m referring to and share similar sentiments in a year that has taken a toll emotionally, physically, financially and mentally. Take a pause if you can, to appreciate you’ve made it this far in the year and likely with many changes and adjustments to your life and work.

Editor

The conference and tradeshow industry has changed a lot too. Many have been put on hold, cancelled or adjusted to the new format of becoming a virtual trade event, like the Fort-i-fy Conference and the Pacific Agricultural Show. At a virtual event you’ll listen and take notes in an online format from the comfort of your home or office. To say hello to tradeshow suppliers, you’ll possibly hover your mouse over their digital logo to step into the online chat, video or whatever they setup. Each show will have details to guide you through it. In the meantime, take a read of this

Publisher Lisa Olson

Gary Symons Graphic Design Stephanie Symons Photo by Stephanie Symons

A few of my close friends have said that parts of their lives have changed for the better. One of my friends learned to play the ukulele, another got their online shopping cart working, while another who wanted to home-school for years has now made the leap into homeschooling and her son is flourishing. I hope there has been something good for you too.

Established in 1959

month’s edition, where you’ll find some good news and inspiring articles. See the cool little winery on wheels, or learn about the micro loans designed to help tourism operators from TOTA (Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association) We also hear from Shannon and Remy from Red Bird Winery in the Kootenays, who took a leap of faith after living a year in France to follow their dream of living the winemaker’s lifestyle, and have already won a gold medal for their wine. We were also inspired by Bruno and Stella from Castoro de Oro, who bravely ventured into new territory by being one of the first BC wineries to put 100 per cent handcrafted VQA BC wine in a can. Pretty impressive! Enjoy the magazine! ■

Writers Leeann Froese, Carie Jones, Ronda Payne, Gary Symons, Tom Walker Contact lisa@orchardandvine.net Orchard & Vine Magazine Ltd. Mailing Address 22-2475 Dobbin Road Suite #578 West Kelowna, BC V4T 2E9 www.orchardandvine.net Phone: 778-754-7078 Fax: 1-866-433-3349 Orchard & Vine Magazine is published six times a year and distributed by addressed mail to growers, suppliers and wineries in the Okanagan, Kootenays, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Washington State and across Canada. Orchard & Vine is also available online. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40838008 Copies should be sent to:

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 FALL | VIRTUAL EVENTS

Show organizer Jim Shepard says he is excited to bring the online attendees and exhibitors another premier event to the virtual world. The event is combined with education sessions from the Horticultural Growers’ Short Course organized by The Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association. Unified Wine & Grape Virtual Event & Tradeshow January 26-28 www.unifiedsymposium.org The 2021 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium will be presented online as a virtual conference on January 26-28, 2021. In addition, the Unified will host a virtual trade show throughout the three days, with an additional half day on Friday, January 29, 2021. Islands Agriculture Show Still to be announced /www.iashow.ca Certified Organic Association of BC COABC Conference More details to follow www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca WineVit Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. AGM & Trade Show March 15-21 Kennewick, WA, USA www.winevit.org Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention February 23-24, 2022 www.ofvc.ca


 FALL | NEWS & EVENTS

More than 70 farmers from throughout British Columbia have found new opportunities in farming communities through the BC Land Matching Program (BCLMP).

They found their new home base on a 9.7-hectare parcel of land in Squamish owned by Wolfgang and Renate Alkier, and were able to sign a 26-year lease.

Delivered by the Young Agrarians, the BCLMP connects farmers with landholders seeking to lease their properties to ensure their land stays in production or starts producing food. Since the pilot launch, the program has helped more than 70 farmers, with 1,883.8 hectares (4,655.0 acres) brought into or maintained in agricultural production and a total of 81 land matches.

On Vancouver Island, landholders Valorie Masuda and Alan Moore put their land back into production with Megan Henwood and Callum Bottrell, who produce vegetables, duck eggs and grains to supply their food truck operation.

Stefan Butler and Lindsay Cornwell knew they needed a larger property.

“I’m so excited that we’re helping BC farmers find affordable and accessible farmland to put into production so we can have more fresh, local food in our communities,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture.

Photo by Tessa Wetherill

More Farmers Get Access to Affordable, Available Farmland

Pravin Dhaliwal (right) is leasing 18 acres from Tony Gogol (left) to start a vineyard in Summerland.

Preparing for the First Crush at Oliver's District Wine Village Excitement is building for Canada’s firstever wine village after a ‘sneak peek’ site tour for journalists in September. District Wine Village operations manager Michael Daley and Greyback Construction president Matt Kenyon held a press conference at the site just north of Oliver.

Photo by Stephanie Symons

The first phase will see construction of 16 small wineries, breweries or distilleries, built side by side in a circle, ringed by an access road. As Daley explained, this allows the crush pad equipment to be easily moved in behind each winery as their grapes come in, but it can also be used as an ice skating oval in winter. District Wine Village operations director Michael Daley and Greyback Construction president Matt Kenyon at the Wine Village site.

A large culinary centre will offer gourmet food for up to 600 people, and pop-up kitchens for special events.

“All of the wineries will be built on a slight elevation so guests will be able to look into the centre hub,” Kenyon said. “Each building will have its own licensed patio outdoors, so people can migrate through and decide which winery, brewery or distillery they want to visit, then come back down and enjoy the outdoor complex afterwards.” Each winery will produce between 2,000 to 2,500 cases, and they will be offered with three to five year leases to winemakers. While this is Canada’s first wine village, Daley says the concept has been tried elsewhere with great success. “It’s kind of a new phenomenon,” he said. “It’s a one-stop shop for people.”

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 FALL | NEWS & EVENTS

Conference is Virtually Fortified The Okanagan’s burgeoning spirits industry is dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic by taking its annual Fortify Conference online. “The beverage sector continues to navigate through the challenges of reopening and getting back to business, and with many questions and uncertainty, this is the time to move forward with planning and preparing,” said Sandra Oldfield of Elysian Project, co-founder of the conference.

Join your colleagues from breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries for BC’s annual business conference and tradeshow presented by the Business Alliance for Artisan Fermenters and Distillers. Artisan Fermenters and Distillers Business Conference and Tradeshow

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

conference 2020 See you in November! https://fortifyconference.ca

The webinars will include “Fortify Your Business—Strategies for Short and Long-Term Survival,” with Ed Olson of MNP and James Grant from Signature Risk Insurance; Compensation: From Requirements to Rewards and Recognition,” with Shawnee Love of Love HR; —"Leverage Email Marketing for Customer Acquisition and Retention” with Adrienne Stillman of Wine Direct; “Get Onboarding Right and Watch Performance Soar!” with Ashli Komaryk of Komaryk Communications; "Government Alcohol Regulations and Assistance Programs—Where are we Now and Where do we go from here?,” a Panel Discussion with Karen Graham of Wine Drops, Mark Hicken of Winelaw. ca, and Geoff McIntyre of MNP; and finally "Boost Sales and Brand Awareness with Google Ads,” with Mari-Lou Nidle, from In House Media + Marketing. Plans are also underway for a ‘virtual trade show’, allowing attendees to virtually visit the trade floor, pick up information, and even meet one-on-one with vendors. Organizers say one benefit of an online conference is that it allows for a wider roster of speakers and presentations from experts from around the world, and is a great opportunity for attendees across Canada to join their industry colleagues online. Hugh McClelland of the Naramata Bench Winery Assocication expects good virtual attendance, saying, “Our members have had to make many changes, as all businesses have, but have embraced virtual learning and hosting their own online events, and it will be great to see that continue through Fortify.” Fortify will be held on Nov. 24 with a full slate of presentations, all of which will be presented through online conferencing software. A signup form is now available at https://fortifyconference.ca, while vendors can contact Carolyn MacLaren at dmaclaren@shaw.ca.

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 FALL | NEWS & EVENTS

Tiny Mobile Tasting Room puts Liberty Wines on Wheels So-called ‘Tiny Homes’ have become all the rage in North America, so why not a ‘Tiny Winery’?

Photo by tinyliving.com

California-based TruForm Tiny has now developed a wine tasting room on wheels that gives you a touch of class in a puny package that is towable with a pickup truck. Built for the Liberty School Winery in Paso Robles, California, this 24-foot′ Kootenay model includes a peninsula kitchen counter and has been customized to operate as a mobile wine tasting room for the winery. Inside the Kootenay is a blue pine ceiling, cork floors, and a master loft large enough for a king bed. The peninsula provides a spot to serve wine to their customers, and it includes a freestanding range, refrigerator, and a farmhouse sink.

OkanaganFarms.com SE KELOWNA 22.9 acre prime agricultural legacy property in an exceptional SE Kelowna location. Spectacular views of Okanagan Lake, mountains and city. Ideally suited for a winery or vineyard or estate (previously planted to vines). Offers multiple building sites. Currently planted to approx 21 acres of modern apple/cherry. Just 10 min. from the heart of the city. MLS® $3,895,000

LAKE COUNTRY 10.75 acres prime agricultural land set up for horses, but also perfect for growers, in a soughtafter location for tree fruits! Successful cherry orchard right next door! 3700 sf home, 3 bedroom mobile home and dream shop. Kelowna side of Lake Country 10 min to airport, walk to amenities. MLS® $1,395,000

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SE KELOWNA - SOLD! 4432 sf estate home on 12.27 acres prime overlooking vineyards, Okanagan lake & mountains. Lutron RA2 Google smart home. Soaring ceilings, cultured stone, extravagant gas fireplace, open concept layout & luxe master suite. Loft designed as 2 bed B&B. MLS® $1,949,000

LAKE COUNTRY Views of Wood & Kalamalka lakes! 9.25 acre modern apple orchard. Wellmaintained, freshly reno’d 2 suite home, affordable taxes, desirable location. Close to beaches, parks, rail trail, elementary school & corner store. 20 min from Airport & UBC-O. Oversize single garage/workshop. MLS® $1,650,000

OYAMA 10 Acres! High density Honeycrisp & Ambrosia apples + adjacent 3 acre Gala lease. Sought after location at north end of Middle Bench. Lake views & short walk to Wood Lake beach, boat launch, rail trail & General Store. 2 solid shops – 1 w/ multiple bays & power, both w/ concrete foundations. MLS® $1,698,000

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 FALL | NEWS & EVENTS

Public Feedback on ALR Now Available From BC Government The Province is releasing a “what we heard” summary report on the Ministry of Agriculture’s proposed policy direction to increase residential flexibility in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The report summarizes feedback from individuals, associations and local governments in BC in response to policy considerations outlined in the ministry’s intentions paper on residential flexibility in the ALR. Feedback was received between Jan. 27 and May 17, 2020.

The intentions paper was government’s response to concerns heard during ALR engagement sessions in fall 2019. Both the public and stakeholders said more options for small additional residences were needed. The paper outlined policy options under consideration for small additional residences that continue to maintain government’s core objectives under the Agricultural Land Commission Act. These policy options preserve and encourage the use of ALR land for agriculture.

To allow time for the development of new regulations, the grandfathering period for manufactured homes in the ALR is being extended to July 31, 2021. Landowners in the ALR will have until then to obtain the required permits and authorizations to place a manufactured additional residence for immediate family on their property, without having to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission. The ministry is working to develop regulatory changes that are consistent with the intentions paper.

Professional Representation of Buyers and Sellers for horticultural, farm, acreage and estate properties throughout the Okanagan

Oyama Lake Rd, Lake Country 1271 McKenzie Rd, Kelowna 50.7 acres of rurally zoned land 23 acre property with great with great views, subdivision building sites. Ready to plant. potential + more. PLR is in 14 acres irrigation rights. place. Incredible lake views. $1,795,000 $1,700,000

2834 Belgo Road, Kelowna 17+ acres w/ 7000+ sq.ft home & 12.5 acres irrigation rights. Former garden nursery. Land suitable for orchard. $2,995,000

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Lot B Cemetery Road, Lake Country 6.9 acre lake-view lot w/ views of Okanagan and Wood Lakes. Rurally zoned & not in the ALR. $794,000

5 Generations of Family Farming Experience in the Okanagan!

Great Great Grandfather Thorlakur Thorlakson harvesting grain on the Commonage near Predator Ridge in Vernon.

Great Grandfather Lewis Marshall living in a tent on his first orchard in the Glenmore area of Kelowna.

Grandfather Rexford Marshall next to a newly planted orchard in the Carrs Landing area of Lake Country.

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I’ve represented Buyers and Sellers in over 1500 acres of farmland purchases and sales in the last year! With over 20 listings currently active, equating to a total of over 115 acres on the MLS, I am qualified to effectively assist with the purchase and sale of horticultural, farm, acreage and estate properties. To take advantage of generations of valued agricultural experience in the Okanagan, call Scott Marshall for your farm property needs!

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 FALL | NEWS & EVENTS

Over 33,000 SOLD Worldwide!

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Mt. Boucherie Restoring River Banks in Similkameen

Threatened spadefoot toad.

West Kelowna’s Mount Boucherie Estate Winery is restoring up to 15 acres of riparian land on one of their vineyards on the Similkameen River near Keremeos. The 80-acre vineyard is located directly on the river bank, and the winery is removing all the original posts, wires and vines installed by the former owners, to provide for natural habitat. Manager of viticulture Brett Thiessen reached out to the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship, and is working with the local experts through their Stewardship program. “As their 100th Stewards, they have been helping us to restore 10 to 15 acres of a riparian (riverbank) strip on one of our vineyard sites,” said Thiessen. “We're already spotting endangered Spadefoot toads making the most of their new ponds!”

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Thiessen said the project is good for both the environment and the winery. “This whole ecosystem focused approach will help increase beneficial biodiversity all around our new vineyard and return the space to crucial species of the Similkameen,” he explained. “Adaptation of habitat to farmland hurt certain species. This is our way of giving some of it back and benefiting the entire ecosystem.” For more information on the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship visit https://www.osstewardship.ca/

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 FALL | NEWS & EVENTS

Empowering Women Leadership in the Agricultural Sector COVID-19 has magnified systemic issues and longstanding inequalities, and the Government of Canada is working hard to provide equal opportunities for all Canadians.

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September 18, 2020, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, held a virtual roundtable discussion with women entrepreneurs from across Canada’s agricultural food chain, focussing on the opportunities and challenges that exist for them in the agriculture and agri-food sector. During the roundtable, Minister Bibeau announced that Farm Credit Canada’s Women Entrepreneur Program has already helped 1,391 women with loans under this program, totalling more than $994.5 million. This is already nearly double the $500-million amount initially announced in March of 2019 for this three-year program, demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit of hundreds of women in Canada’s agriculture and agrifood sector. This program is part of the federal Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $5-billion investment. In agriculture, there are over 75,000 female farm operators, representing some 28.7% of all farm operators in Canada – a number which continues to modestly increase. The Women Entrepreneurship Program is expected to increase this proportion. During the roundtable, Minister Bibeau, in her capacity as the first-ever female Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, highlighted her personal commitment towards greater inclusion of women in the agriculture and agri-food sector. She stressed the need to overcome barriers to equality that research shows include: work-life balance, skills training, networking and mentorship, access to information management, and financial barriers.

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 FALL | NEWS & EVENTS

Bee Vectoring Technologies Runs Trials for BC Blueberries

Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. will conduct the trial with the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture (ISH) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). The ISH is a leading partnership of academia with BC's horticultural industries and the community. Canada is the world’s second largest producer and exporter of blueberries after the United States, exporting more than 50 million pounds of blueberries valued at CAD$125 million, and over 65 million pounds of frozen blueberries valued at CAD$94 million. "British Columbia's climate, high disease pressures and agricultural practices align well with our technology,” says Ashish

Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. "The Institute for Sustainable Horticulture at KPU has an established relationship with the BC Blueberry Council. They are keen to investigate new, sustainable disease management tools, and are well suited to manage these trials as the lead research group.” Local growers will be tapped for trial locations which will help build awareness and early demand for the BVT system in BC. The trial will evaluate and quantify the efficacy of CR-7, BVT’s biological fungicide, in combating fungal diseases in blueberry crops. The results of the trial will be submitted as part of the Company’s application for Canadian registration, and will be used as scientific data to market the system to highbush blueberry growers. BVT has pioneered a natural precision

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The company turning honey bees into farm workers is launching multi-year trials in BC, the world’s second largest blueberry market.

Bee pollinating blueberry blossoms .

agriculture system that replaces chemical pesticides and wasteful plant protection product spray applications by delivering biological pesticide alternatives to crops using commercially grown bees.

Micro Loans a Part of New Tourism Resiliency Program The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is collaborating with Community Futures organizations across the region to assist in providing financial support to the tourism sector as part of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Resiliency Program. The Community Futures and TOTA taskforce is announcing the “Thompson

Okanagan Tourism Micro Loan Program,” an initiative spearheaded by all nine Community Futures organizations located in TOTA’s region, which will offer micro loans to tourism businesses starting at $200 and up to $25,000. “This new initiative represents a pivotal moment for the regional tourism sector as well as another important evolution of

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our work in helping the industry recover and become more resilient for the long term,” said Glenn Mandziuk, President and CEO of TOTA. “The program will address the immediate need to mitigate financial impacts associated with additional costs and losses tourism businesses have been facing as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”


 FALL | NEWS & EVENTS

Wine Colleges Cope With the Time of Learning Dangerously The Covid 19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of people’s lives, and in every corner of the world, so much so that it can be hard to even recall life before the lockdowns. Among the worst affected are students, many of whom dealt with canceled programs, or whose courses were relegated to hastily set up online programs.

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Now students in the various wine programs are heading back to class … or to a computer screen … and we were wondering how colleges and universities are planning to cope. We checked in with a number of institutions and teachers to see how they plan to provide education safely in this time of learning dangerously. At Okanagan College, home to the region’s Viticulture and Wine Studies, classes are back in session for certificates in Wine Sales, Winery Assistants, and Viticulture, but the school is taking a wide range of precautions. The Covid 19 “Reoccupancy Guide” is designed to allow for education while maintaining social distancing. For example, all doors are converted to either entrances or exits, so you never run into people going the other way. Elevators and washrooms can only have one occupant at a time, and even most stairways are one way, so your education will definitely face some unexpected detours.

At North Island College, the administration sent us a summary saying, “Communicating with prospective students is being mostly being done by email, phone and also by Zoom, Skype or other virtual conferencing. Very little on campus visits.” Covid has been great for sign makers, apparently, as OK College and many other institutions are liberally plastered with safety

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signage and especially with signs of the floor indicating where you can stand two meters apart. While OK College is opening, others are providing only online classes, some classes have been put on hold, and others are being held but with a drastically reduced number of students. “During the last stage, we paused our classes,” said one administrator. “When we moved into this stage, we resumed them with physical distancing and other safety measures, and our class participants are happy with that.” And while online education may not be perfect, most agreed that it’s appropriate for many courses, with one saying, “Students seem to be adjusting to the new methods of learning remotely.” Brock University in Ontario is another of Canada’s premiere programs for wine, cider and spirits education, particularly at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) and it’s more recent offshoot, the Cider Institute of North America (CINA). This year, according to Manager of Continuing Education Barb Tatarnic, some of these courses will be held online. “The Cider Institute of North America’s flagship Foundation course is offered several times each year in partnership with our training providers,” Tatarnic announced. “In response to the continued COVID-19 situation, CINA instructors have collaborated to develop a first-of-its-kind online Foundation course to boost your cider production career or hobby.” The online course will be offered in two programs and will include live, virtual sessions every Tuesday during the length of each course. One benefit of this approach, she notes, is that the school can now offer input from experts in other regions. “World-renowned cider makers will lead live discussion about the application of production knowledge to a career in the cider industry,” she said. This year the course will include expert lecturers from Brock, Cornell University, Washington State University, and Virginia Tech. And, to provide that hands-on experience so crucial to learning, Tatarnic added, “Cider samples and fermentation kits will be sent to all participants for sensory analysis and product development throughout the course.”

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Photo by Tom Walker

Packaging Wine for a New Generation

Bruno Kelle and Stella Schmidt at their winery Castoro de Oro on the famed 'Golden Mile' in Oliver, BC.

By Tom Walker Transitions in life, as well as in business, can lead to opportunities. That was the case for Bruno Kelle and Stella Schmidt when they bought their winery on the Golden Mile Bench in 2004, and again when they made the move to put their premium wine in cans, this past winter. “I was looking to transition out of my career as an electronics engineer in Calgary,” Bruno recalls. “Stella and I were on our first trip to the Okanagan, it was one of those warm, bluebird April days and we were tasting wine.” The hostess, looking for a sale, asked if there was anything else she could interest them in and Bruno half jokingly replied, “You could sell us your winery.” I won’t sell you ours, she replied, but I do know of one up the road that is for sale.

recalls Stella. “But we had never imagined owning a winery.”

That comment led to a whirlwind of viewing winery listings, business evaluations, (Stella is an accountant) and negotiations until the couple found themselves the owners of a 10-acre property on the Golden Mile bench that became Castoro de Oro Estate Winery.

The combination of engineering know-how and accounting acumen has served them well, as both their reputation and sales have steadily increased. “Our wines got better and we started winning awards,” says Stella. Those have included the 2017 Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence. They have been the official wine of the Vancouver International Film Festival for the last three years.

“We had talked about looking for business opportunities in the Okanagan, and it had been snowing when we left Calgary”

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Photos by Tom Walker

The vineyard slope with the lake at the foot keeps the vines safe from frost problems, allowing the grapes to ripen fully.

We have had 90 plus scores for all three canned wines… the convenience is the first selling feature, but you can still take it to a fancy dinner party. Bruno Kelle But the couple doesn’t want to operate on cruise control, and always look for new opportunities when they can see challenges on the horizon. While cruising the tradeshow floor at the Enology and Viticulture Conference in Penticton last year, Bruno got chatting with a sales rep from Vessel Packaging Company, who run speciality canning lines. “I told him no, we weren’t thinking about putting wine in cans,” he says. ‘But in the back of my mind I knew we were considering value-added opportunities to eventually support an exit strategy.” But another crucial transition was coming up for the couple. “Our half bottles 18 Fall 2020

are popular for room service dining with the Fairmont hotels, but the economics were changing,” explains Stella. The price of a case of 375 ml glass bottles had gone up nearly 400% she notes, and they would have to increase the price of their half bottles significantly. So, the idea of wine in cans ticked a lot of boxes for the couple. The innovation is taking off across the US. Cans go many places that traditional glass bottles can’t, such as the beach, the dock, a picnic or a hike. The convenient single serve size caters to individual tastes and makes sure the balance of the bottle isn’t wasted. The price point made sense for Stella as a

Castoro de Oro Estate Winery wine shop on the Golden Mile


Canned wines are highlighted by Bruno Kelle and Stella Schmidt at their winery Castoro de Oro.

solid alternative to their increasing bottle costs. But would their accounts go for it? “We wondered if the idea of wine in cans would take our brand downward,” admits Stella. “But some high-end wines are going into cans in the States.” “We have a solid reputation with one of the major grocery chains,” says Bruno. “When I went in to pitch the wine manager in Calgary his boss dropped by, picked up the can and said, ‘finally a premium BC wine in a can, I’m interested’.” Market research is another factor, as sales of canned wines have soared since they

e.

were pioneered in Australia and the US. In Ontario sales of canned wines hit the $1 million mark in 2015 but quadrupled to more than $4 million in just three years. In the US, sales doubled in a single year, from $19 million in 2016 to $37 million in 2017, and the trend continues skyward. Steve Moriarty, Director of Wine and Spirits at Save On Foods, says the same is happening in BC. “Unbelievable, to be perfectly candid,” said Moriarty. “We look at canned wines this year as a grand slam homer. Our consumers have embraced this, and I expect Fall 2020

19


that at a minimum it will increase by threefold next year.” Moriarty says Jennifer Turton-Molgat at The View Winery in Kelowna broke the barrier to canned wines in BC with her ‘Bling’ line, and now other fine wineries like Castoro de Oro and Noble Ridge are following up with different but equally compelling products. Wine and food writer Brit Hart is a fan of Castoro’s new canned wine, and believes the category is going to take off in Canada this year.

“They’re easier to pack,” he adds, “making them perfect for picnics, camping, hiking, festivals, or whatever other activity pairs well with wine on the go.” But for Stella and Bruno, the issue of quality was most important. They knew right away that they didn’t want to be associated with the traditional canned beverage market. “We didn’t want to put the cans on flats and shrink wrap them, that’s not the look we wanted,” Stella explains. “And we didn’t want to go with the six-pack plastic rings used for beer and soda either.”

Photo contributed

“Canned wine is more sustainable,” Hart says. “Aluminum cans are totally recyclable while some corks and labels used in glass bottles are not, not to mention they weigh less, therefore requiring less fuel to transport. Vessel Packaging worked with Schmidt and Kelle from concept through to execution; they provided advice on wine specifications, shelf life and flavour stability, as well as the regulations on can sizes, can decoration and day-of canning logistics.

They settled on a custom-made 24-pack box for the 250 mL cans. “Retailers are used to handling wine by the case so that made a lot of sense to us,” says Stella. But packaging was only part of the process. Castoro de Oro was Vessel Packaging’s first wine customer, and they learned together. Wine can’t go into the same cans as low alcohol coolers or beer, Stella explains. “Even with a specialty can, we had to

have the chemistry of our wine tested to be sure that it would be suitable for canning,” she explains. “It’s important to have a good clean wine to ensure the can doesn’t deteriorate.” Their trademark beaver in a top hat (Castoro de Oro is Latin for ‘golden beaver’) didn’t fit well on the cans and Bruno’s daughter designed a new label for them. “We wanted it to be fun, yet classy at the same time,” says Stella. The actual canning process is not difficult, Bruno notes. “After ensuring that the initial chemistry was correct, we don’t have to do anything else to our wine,” he says.

Photo by https://www.facebook.com/cannedwinecompetition/

Being early to the market with BC wine in a can is a great opportunity. “We are making history,” says Stella. Castoro de Oro offers their top three awarded wines, Merlot, Pinot Duetto rose, and Heart of Gold white blend, in cans. “Our April release was delayed until June,” notes Stella. “But since then we have been rockin’.” Their ‘wine in a can sign’ on highway 97 is bringing millennials into the wine store and they are hearing from agents who want to put the cans into stadiums, golf courses, and the airlines. “We have had 90 plus scores for all three canned wines,” says Bruno. “The convenience is the first selling feature, but you can still take it to a fancy dinner party.” ■ 226 canned wines from 70 producers competed at the second annual International Canned Wine Competition. 20 Fall 2020


Consumer Research Leads to Better Business Decisions

By Ronda Payne

One of the biggest challenges is growing what consumers want. This applies just as much to someone growing apples or strawberries as it does to someone growing wine grapes. Will consumers embrace and purchase the product invested in and planted in the field?

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Of all the back-breaking occupations in the world, farming of any kind is at the top of the list for most challenging. It isn’t just because of the physical nature of the work itself, dealing with the weather, facing pests or the multitude of other things growers and farmers think about on a daily basis. Actually, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out what consumers want. This applies just as much to someone growing apples or strawberries as it does to someone growing wine grapes. Will consumers embrace and purchase the product invested in and planted in the field?

“We work with people across Canada, in the US and outside of North America,” she says. “It’s about understanding the market, the profile of their product, how does it compare to top-selling varieties in the market and how do they position it with other varieties in the market. We provide an unbiased view.” This could include products like new types of wine, spirits or other alcohol, it may be about a new variety of fresh fruit or it could be an assessment of a planned fresh product extension. It may also be looking at the consumer-facing marketing or branding. Consumer Insights looks at sensory factors, messaging and “consumer liking drivers,” meaning whether consumers like it or not and why. “Anything that falls under horticulture or agriculture,” She explains of potential product research. “You don’t just put a pear out on the market, you put a brand-

Photos contributed

Answering questions like this before going too far down the road, is what Amy Bowen and her team strive to do at the Consumer Insights division of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

Vineland Consumer Insights looks at sensory factors, messaging and whether consumers like it or not and why.

You don't just put a pear out on the market, you put a branded pear with a new variety and name. Amy Bowen ed pear with a new variety and name. Or looking at how this product works in different formats. Selling as a puree or something like an ingredient for something like smoothies or a cereal topping.” Gaining that unbiased view Bowen mentions was important to Paul Bosc Jr., president and CEO of Niagara-on-theLake-based Château des Charmes and his winemaker, Amelie Boury, as they considered white wines. They wanted to know what consumers were looking for in whites and fortunately, because of Bosc’s affiliation with Vineland (he was a director for a number of years) he saw the benefits of Bowen’s work and decided to research consumer perceptions around top-selling white wines. “Seeing is believing, as they say,” he says. “I had witnessed a number of presentations that Amy Bowen… had made to our board and I was very impressed each and

22 Fall 2020

every time. I had also visited the lab on several occasions.” Bowen explains that the Consumer Insights section of Vineland works on both large projects and those that are small, short-term or have a finite, specific need. “They would pay for the project and they can use the results as they would see fit,” she says. However with COVID-19, Bowen has had to adjust how the division operates. “We’ve had to become much more flexible in how we collect sensory and consumer information,” she says. “My team has been primarily working from home since March and we had to suspend all in-person activities from mid-March until August. This meant keeping in touch with our trained sensory panel through a weekly newsletter, web-conference calls and then virtual training sessions with curbside pickup.”


In-person consumer studies are on hold indefinitely at this time.

Charmes project was completed before COVID.

“Everything takes longer since we have to maintain physical distancing and limit the number of people in a room,” she says. “Our sensory lab would usually accommodate ten to 12 people at a time and now that has been reduced. This prolongs timelines and can increase costs.”

“We were quite pleased with the findings and we grew with confidence as a result,” he says. “We were convinced more than ever that we were on the right track and needed to keep going.”

Despite the challenges, Bowen says there are new opportunities to consider from a consumer-testing standpoint. “Areas include how the pandemic impacts consumer behaviours and values to the shopping experience, such as local, sustainable, shelf life and the shopping experience with more focus on online shopping.” While the long-term impacts from COVID remain unknown, she feels that time will reveal more opportunities as businesses evolve. Fortunately for Bosc, the Château des

Because the panel that Bowen used for the project was much larger than the winery’s own team, it provided statistically significant results that gave Bosc and Boury the confidence to proceed with the white wine project. Their process took about a year, but Bosc explains, he wasn’t in a rush for the results from Bowen’s team. Flexibility like this is beneficial especially during the pandemic and some of the team’s work has continued in the new operational format. “An ongoing project with one of the wine associations is around how to describe the different wine styles that are

Amy Bowen leads the team in Consumer Insights.

being produced in Ontario,” Bowen says. “Understanding what consumers are looking for in terms of taste profiles and liking of different wine styles.” It’s as simple as knowing the key question that needs to be answered with the research. “You figure out what the main question is that you want to answer and we work with you to develop an approach to answer that,” she says. “We customize each project to the person we work with. We’ve done projects in as short as a month, though usually about six weeks to four months. That’s pretty quick to be getting some answers.” The process is quite simple. A company, like Bosc’s would come up with a key question and Bowen’s team would come up with options on how to address it. Once the approach is determined, a quote would be prepared and reviewed.

Inside the sensory lab.

“We do a service agreement together, complete the work and provide you with a report at the end of basically what we’ve found and how you could use that information,” Bowen says. Perhaps the most important reason to consider consumer research is that commercial production is expensive and fastpaced. Decisions must be based on the potential market in order to avoid costly mistakes. Especially in a COVID-facing world, businesses need all the advantages they can get and knowing what consumers like, relate to and will purchase can be the difference between success and failure. ■

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Photos by Tom Walker

Lifestyle + Local Support = Success for

Shannon and Remi Cardinal of Red Bird vineyard and winery in Creston.

By Tom Walker Speak with Shannon and Remi Cardinal for very long and you get a sense that this affable young couple truly do embrace the “lifestyle” concept of their Red Bird vineyard and winery in Creston. “It was the lifestyle we were looking, for,” says Remi, while Shannon adds, “We spent a year in France and got nipped with the wine bug there.” Shannon had previously taken the viticulture certificate program at Okanagan college, and they worked throughout the season in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Beaujolais. They liked what they saw. 24 Fall 2020

“The year we spent working in the industry in France opened our eyes to a different way of doing things,” says Shannon. “We have such fond memories of harvest lunches and dinners out in the fields, where everyone stops to socialize and enjoy themselves with the harvest community.” With that background they went looking for a place of their own. “We looked in the Okanagan and price was certainly a factor,” notes Shannon. “I was working in Alberta at the time (she’s an environmental consultant) and we totally stumbled on Creston.”

Farmland was more approachable price wise than in the high-demand Okanagan Valley, and they like the Kootenays. “Creston is a perfect up and coming place and we are super into skiing and hiking.” The Cardinals purchased a bed and breakfast with a small orchard in 2014 and planted three acres with Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris, along with small plantings of Kerner, Schonberger and Gamaret. “The Gewurztraminer is the best for our site for sure,” says Shannon, and wine judges agree. The off-dry style wine took gold at the All Canadian Wine Championships this August.


Red Bird Winery planted in Pinot Noir two years ago. “As that comes in we may use it for our red, but right now the plan is to use it for sparkling,” says Shannon. “I think a sparkling wine could be super cool in Creston.” Remi mostly grows the grapes and Shannon makes the wine, “But we do do everything together, which is the fun of being this size,” he says. “We talked to a lot of people who have gone big and they say no, if you want to have fun stay small.” Red Bird’s goal is to produce a maximum 2000 cases per year. “Definitely garagiste,” quips Shannon. Right now they are both working off farm, Shannon consulting about 10 hours a week and Remi full time as an HVAC contractor. “We had hoped for Remi to dial it back this year but with the uncertainty of COIVID, we weren’t sure,” notes Shannon. “Right now it’s a marathon to balance it all. We

hope to just concentrate on the winery for the summer and only work in the wintertime.” Sales are strong across the Kootenays as well as to tourists from Alberta, Vancouver and the Island. “We are in the middle between Nelson and Cranbrook along Highway 3,” Shannon notes, but it is local support she is most proud of. “People in the Kootenays are very good about local support,” she says. “We launched a wine club this year and it blew me away how many local people joined it.” They have sold out their previous two vintages and the 2019 rose was gone by the end of August. Last fall the Cardinals redesigned their Red Bird labels. “We selected birds from the area (there are no Cardinals in BC) and had a local artist draw them,” Shannon explains. “We combined that with a font based on Remi’s handwriting.” Their

“Pinot Gris does well here too,” says Remi. “But it is a bit later in ripening and there is a risk of frost.” Shannon says she finds the Gewurztraminer an easier wine to make. “The Pinot Gris is more challenging but it’s also more fun to play with. We are still experimenting with different ferments. The challenge here is that the acids don’t drop through the fall ripening.” The Cardinals also purchase Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for their red blend from the South Okanagan, and Marquette and Muscat from Grand Forks to blend with the Gamaret for their rosé. An adjacent two-acre lease property was

Chickens at the Red Bird Winery.

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Photo by redbird.com

Red Bird label redesign by local Creston artist Carol Schloss.

‘Atelier’ red (artist’s workshop, a place of creativity) gives a nod to Remi’s roots north of Montreal and describes their winemaking approach. This summer's project was to transition to organic and they have hired sheep to keep back the vegetation between the rows.

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The short season in the Kootenays does affect them. “It’s a tight area to grow grapes,” says Remi. “And all the suppliers are in the Okanagan valley. If we want something related to wine we have to go over there.” They do try to stay connected with Okanagan growers and attended the Enology and Viticulture Conference in Penticton last summer. “What is nice about our little wine community here is that we are helping each other grow,” says Shannon. The friendly Creston community has lots of programs for their children. “It’s a great place for them to grow up and we try to involve them as much as we can in the vineyard. There will be a job cleaning out tanks soon,” jokes Shannon. But if there is a confirmation of the “lifestyle” descriptor, it is the poster that their daughter drew earlier this summer of the life cycle in the vineyard. “She has all the steps,” Shannon says. The six-year old’s stick figures show a seed planted and growing into grapes. A girl comes by and snips off the grapes and they are put in a tank and then the wine into a bottle. There is the tasting room, and someone is giving them money. Overhead is the sun that makes it all happen. “I’m keeping that poster forever,” Shannon beams. ■

26 Fall 2020


Canadian Designed Robot Takes on Weeding Duties By Ronda Payne Yahoel Van Essen’s family grew up pulling up weeds from vineyards in France. If it wasn’t with hands and hoes, it was using herbicides, something Van Essen is against.

“It took just a little bit of complaining around the table to get a bit of a taste of how bad the conditions are [when weeding],” he says. “If you’re not spraying, you’re hand weeding.” Van Essen estimates that growers spend about $800 an acre to spray weeds, and more if they are hand weeding. Options are limited for organic growers, a market he knows the new robotic weeder can assist, but he recognizes that his solution must be efficient as well as time and cost effective for conventional and organic farmers to embrace it. It checks these boxes handily. “We want to provide a technology that can be used on an organic farm and make it economically advantageous,” he says. “We’re going through an environmental and labour crisis globally. It’s all connected. People [foreign workers] are away from their families eight months of

Photo contributed

Now Van Essen is the founder and CEO of Eleos Robotics in Surrey, BC, makers of a fully-automated robotic weeder ideal for perennial crops like blueberries and grapes. After four years of development and revisions, Van Essen plans to achieve commercial production before the year’s end.

The weeding robot has been in development for four years and is now in trial at Mission Hill.

the year pulling weeds.” Trials on the latest Version 4.0 to modify the “arm” mechanism are underway. This multi-position arm holds and positions the microwave device that destroys the weed, killing it instantly and allowing it to decompose without spreading roots or seeds. Because the robot is low to the ground and has multiple hinge and pivot points, there is limited interaction with crops, thus avoiding fruit drop and bruising. Testing has shown it does little to no damage to grape vines or blueberry bushes in a weeding area. A multi-spectral camera allows the robot to navigate a field and identify weeds. It

bot can protect up to 30 acres. It even returns to charge itself, so growers don’t have to go looking for it. Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in West Kelowna is one trial participant for the robot. Fraser Berry Farms in Abbotsford is another. “It becomes a no-brainer for the farmer,” Van Essel says. “There are a handful of startups with weeding robots. I’d say our differentiator is we have the more effective way of removing weeds and we have the smallest, we have the most intelligent and, finally, we are one of the only robots that doesn’t use chemicals. We’re building something that has never been built before.” ■

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Government Employee By Day Apple Farmer by Night Summerland apple and cherry grower Adrian Arts picked up a new day job in July, as the Tree Fruit and Grape Industry Specialist with the BC Ministry Of Agriculture. The industry specialist acts as a technical advisor for the government in their area of specialization, Arts explains. “We provide the expert advice to government on our files, so for me it is tree fruits and grapes. It is important to hold the confidence of my managers of government, but also to have the trust of industry. “ He believes that his experience as a grower will help him do that. “I think that is the bonus of getting a farmer in this position,” he says. “I’m really excited for this opportunity.” New job or not, Arts intends to keep his hand on the tractor wheel. “I’m still keeping my orchard,” says Arts from his apple lease property, tucked just below Sumac Ridge winery. “But I did resign my job as Field Supervisor at Carcajou Fruit Company (the cherry orchard owned by Summerland’s Carlson family).”

Arts admits doing both will be lots of work. When I met with him at 5:00 pm one August afternoon, he was getting ready to change his shirt and go to work in his orchard. The apples were already a good size, averaging 100’s and ready to start to colour. “Yeah, I might be picking apples with a head lamp,” he joked. But hard work comes naturally to this recent orchardist, who came back to BC after completing a Master’s degree in Ontario in 2014. In addition to his own orchard and supporting the management of Carlson’s 120 acres of cherries, he is very community minded, a passion he developed while managing the food bank at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Arts has served on numerous boards throughout the valley including being vice chair of the New Varieties Development Council, a member of the Summerland Agriculture Advisory Council, and the BCFGA rep to the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s Water Stewardship Council. Ambrosia and Salish are the

Photo by Tom Walker

By Tom Walker

Adrian Arts is the new Tree Fruit and Grape Industry Specialist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture.

bulk of his apple plantings, but he notes, “I also have a bit of Aurora Golden Gala, some Silkens, a few random pear varieties, and a block of Lapin cherries. All together he has nine planted acres on five lease parcels that he could expand to about 18 planted acres. That would make Arts

an average grower in the valley. “I wouldn’t want to get bigger,” he says. “With a smaller property you have that little bit of extra time to spend to make sure the fruit is really good and you get better returns.”

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Arts has experience direct marketing his apple crop as well as working with CFP. His cherries go through Carcajou Fruit.

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The Carlsons hired Arts and trained him for his very first orchard job and helped him connect with a grower who was looking to retire and lease out his holdings. “Keith Carlson has been my mentor for cherry farming and Gord Shandler helped me get going in apples,” says Arts, adding that he is constantly reading, experimenting and talking with other growers.

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Arts has also jumped into the tech side of fruit growing. He actively uses the Decision Aide System (DAS) and has been part of the BCFG pilot program for the farm management system ‘Crop Tracker’. He’s working with reflective tarps to bring up the color in his apples, and in 2018 he was registered as a Professional Agrologist.

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Arts is not shy about his lack of experience in viticulture and has already reached out to the BC Grapegrowers Association. “They have been fantastic and given me lots of referrals,” he says. Arts came on the job in time to coordinate the province’s support for PPE, wash stations and porta pottys for the fruit industry, a program he says was well received by growers. He’ll be helping with the final year of the replant program (applications are due by November 30) an evaluation of the replant, and developing a snapshot of the entire industry. “We need a good handle on what is in the ground, so we have an understanding of the varieties and acreages out there.” And it’s time for the Golden Apple Award selection and the Viticulturist of the year. While he knows first-hand the difficulties the tree fruit industry has had over the last several years, Arts believes there is lots of potential for expanding the BC brand. “Our climate, our orchards and vineyards, our growing practices and our lakes are world class,” he notes. “I believe that a well-organized industry can probably do a lot. Feeding good information into government will create sound policies for the industry.” ■

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 THE WORD ON WINE | CARIE JONES

Local Crush Time, Honouring BC Wine Harvest Month

F

or many, fall is a favourite time of year. The crisp freshness in the air signals a time of renewal and change. Here in BC wine country, fall also signals the harvest season. A time to honour and celebrate the beautiful offerings of nature across our nine distinct wine regions that will make up the 2020 vintage. But 2020 was like no other. Not unlike winemaking and grapegrowing itself, the year

saw challenges, adaption and innovation. And it continues to be a year of change and uncertainty that has not only affected our industry, but many of our industry partners across the province. According a survey conducted in late summer by Leger Marketing on behalf of the BC Wine institute, 83% of BC wineries have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 with 66% expecting it will take one to four years to recover financially from the effects of the pandemic. BC tourism has also taken a hit with all areas around the province seeing decreases in domestic overnight visitation at the end of August according to a research study conducted by Destination BC. Following a safe reopening in May, restaurants faced yet an-

other challenge with a provincial health order in early fall that shut down alcohol sales by 10 p.m. That’s why the BC Wine Institute launched its BC Wine Harvest Month, Local Crush Time campaign, bringing together industries across the province and encouraging consumers to continue supporting and exploring local. To help strengthen local support and the collective industry, the BC Wine Institute has partnered with Destination BC, the BC Hotel Association, BC Restaurant and Food Association, BC Dairy Association and BC Seafood Association to come together as an industry to honour and celebrate the harvest season and a brighter future for all industries going forward. The Local Crush Time

campaign aims to encourage consumers to buy local while planning their purchases, experiences and local getaways, all while using the new Wines of BC Explorer app. Consumers can find an array of incredible experiences on the app including specially curated wine routes, along with a listing of participating restaurants, retail stores, hotels and the various promotions being offered this month, providing an easy and user-friendly way to explore, discover and support all that our incredible province has to offer. The campaign also includes a Harvest Sips & Trips contest that offers nine grand prizes with one spectacular prize being awarded in each wine region.

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30 Fall 2020

CALISSI FARMS Inc. 250 317 2164 james_calissi@telus.net • www.calissifarms.com 3810 East Kelowna Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 4H2


A digital and broadcast campaign includes a Global News Saturday Sip segment featuring Mark Filatow, Executive Chef and Sommelier at Waterfront Restaurant in Kelowna, who will pair BC wine with locally-sourced food, along with radio spots, influencer YouTube series, blogs and wine routes all aimed at promoting local wine, food and travel. Promotional materials will be seen in local BC wineries, hotels and restaurants, BC Liquor Stores and all BC VQA Wine stores located in Save-On-Foods stores.

BC’s Winery Insurance Experts Contact a CapriCMW Risk Advisor for a coverage review for your winery today.

In a year that has proven local support is more important than ever, the BC Wine Institute is happy to partner with local industry associations to help bolster our provincial economy and work towards a strong and bright future for our province. Together, we are stronger. ■ To learn more about the BC Wine Harvest Month, Local Crush Time campaign visit WineBC.com. Carie Jones is Communications Manager at the BC Wine Institute

Dave Ledinski, CAIB

Daniel Tassoni

1 800 670 1877 capricmw.ca/winery

BCWI AGM At the Sept. 1 virtual Annual General Meeting, the BC Wine Institute welcomed its 2020-2021 Board of Directors. Nine voting BCWI Directors represent all British Columbia wineries. Newly elected or re-elected members of the Board of Directors are:

Meet our Agriculture Services Team We are dedicated to helping you achieve your business goals and creating a flexible and customized banking solution that is right for your farming operation.

• Greg Berti, Andrew Peller • Josh Stewart, Arterra Wines Canada • Vice-Chair Darryl Brooker, Mark Anthony Group • Christa-Lee McWatters, TIME Winery • Charlie Baessler, Corcelettes Estate Winery

Jeremy Siddall

District Vice President Pacific Agriculture Services British Columbia 250-681-4656 jeremy.siddall@td.com

Michelle Curcio

Account Manager Vancouver Island 250-246-0859 michelle.curcio@td.com

Ted Hallman

Account Manager BC Interior 250-470-3029 ted.hallman@td.com

Alyssa Meyer

Account Manager BC Interior 250-575-5047 alyssa.meyer@td.com

• Santiago Cilley, Phantom Creek Estates Continuing their directorships are Chair Erik Fisher (Monte Creek Ranch Winery), Leo Gebert (St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Winery) and Dapinder Gill (Kismet Estate Winery). BC Grapegrowers’ Association representative David Kozuki and BCWI President & CEO Miles Prodan continue as ex officio non-voting members.

Ramil Biclar B.Comm Relationship Manager Abbotsford & Fraser Valley 604-870-2229 ramil.biclar@td.com

®

Dave Gill Account Manager Abbotsford & Fraser Valley 604-870-2224 baldev.gill@td.com

Rahan Ahmad Account Manager Abbotsford & Fraser Valley 604-870-3819 rahan.ahmad@td.com

Ken S Uppal MBA P.Ag District Manager Abbotsford & Fraser Valley 604-621-3350 Kanwar.Uppal@td.com

The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

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Fall 2020

31


 MARKETING MIX | LEEANN FROESE

The Big Picture – Why Photos are Important need to do your best to show them what is happening. Your social media channels, website, and email lists should all take precedence.

A

s the peak visitor season winds down for wineries, cideries and some breweries here in British Columbia, once again the communication tactics will need to return to what they were in the spring, and still keep the current climate of the pandemic in mind. You will need to work twice as hard to keep your customer base connected to you. If they cannot visit you in person, you

8

On social media, you need to over-communicate about what is happening at your cidery. If you cannot see people in person to give them a visit and tour of your facility, you need to show them. Depending on the channel that you use, video and photography are as important as ever. Okanagan-based photographer Lionel Trudel says, “Tasting rooms are the connection point between the art of winemaking and your clients. Are your photos inviting? Do they scream Okanagan sunshine? With the sun and grape vines

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www.cellardweller.ca 32 Fall 2020

out now, this is the best time to shoot some fresh images.⁠” Your business and brand have a narrative that can be told with photography and videos, and it’s this authentic storytelling that ingratiates your audience to you. We all know that feeling we get when a good photo draws us in. You want that for your business. So how is your photo library? Is it up to date? Do you have recent and relevant pictures? Stock photos can be an option, but even if you are starting from scratch, I suggest you avoid using stock pictures if possible. Also, if you can, keep things mixed up and avoid using pictures from shoots that you've already posted multiple times (these are easy to

spot as the people shot are in the same clothing and settings). People prefer a more personal approach versus something that looks like an ad.⁠ If you are building your photo library, consider your shot list, and consider how you will achieve that list. For a shot list with the clients we work with, we carve their photo libraries into the following categories: • Tasting Room • Winery/production/ harvest •V  ineyards/orchards (aerial photos) • People • Events •P  roduct shots (bottle shots here) Images should be captured in


varying seasons to reflect the growing year and visitor experience. Be aware of what season each photo was captured in, as you don’t want to confuse your audience on what is going on at your business. For example, to promote your cidery in the summer, avoid using photos that look like they were taken in the fall. Many people think that they can take the photos they need themselves on their smartphones, as over the past few years smartphone cameras have improved significantly, making photography accessible to many. And while professionals and photo enthusiasts will always get better results using ‘proper’ cameras and lenses, modern smartphones take pictures that will suffice for many business needs. A downside to photos captured on phones is that they don’t always have high enough resolution for print use. Photo resolution and file size are very important, and vary depending on whether you will be printing, enlarging, using on the web, or posting on Instagram and social media. It is well worth it for a winery to invest in the services of a professional photographer to build a multi-purpose photo gallery. It is no secret that the wineries who invest in good quality photos with a photographer are the ones whose images get chosen when the media come calling. If you are flip-

ping pages in a favourite magazine and notice that the same winery is getting coverage again and again, many times it is because they have a good quality high-resolution photo library.

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When you work with a photographer, here are a few tips to consider: Be sure to get the images delivered digitally in three formats and sizes: print, website and social media. For print, you want to obtain the original high-resolution image files in a .TIFF format, and .PNG and .JPEG for websites and social media.

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Also, it is important to have the rights to your own photos, so attribution goes to your winery instead of to the photographer. It is also a lot safer to own your own library than to risk duplication of these images in the market and see them used by someone else.

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Once you have a photo library you will be well positioned to give customers a clear understanding of the beauty of your location, whether the photo need be for email newsletters, social media posts, event listings, advertising, print collateral, and more. ■

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Fall 2020

33


 CANADIAN WINEMAKERS SERIES | JASON PARKES

Jason Parkes the Bad Boy of Canadian Wine By Gary Symons When I was growing up the world of rock music was divided between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the so-called Bad Boys of Rock’n’Roll. Today, I’m reminded of the Stones by Jason Parkes, who has become Canada’s Bad Boy of Wine; an iconoclastic winemaker who smashes norms like a rocker smashing his guitar on stage. It’s appropriate that Parkes brings a rocker sensibility to his winemaking game, because he is literally a rocker to the core, and just released a new album as lead singer with band Proper Man called Forty Elephants. Parkes has taken Canada’s Okanagan Valley wine industry by storm, and while he’s served up some truly great traditional wines, he’s also burned up the playbook with some of the wines he’s produced at the quirky Hatch winery in West Kelowna. One of the wines I tried early on at the Hatch was so smoky I literally gasped; it was almost like the peaty Scotch I love from Islay or Skye, but in a red wine. My first thought was, ‘what the hell is that?’, and my second was that it really was a daring wine that spat in the face of the ‘non-intervention’ style that has become almost de rigueur in the New World wine scene. And it tasted bloody good going down. Since then, Parkes’ has won three Lieutenant Governlor’s awards, and his name comes up frequently as someone who is either putting together his own operations through his company Jason Parkes Customs, or is helping other wineries get their start as a consulting executive winemaker; for example, helping Indigenous World get off to a flying start with their exemplary slate of fine wines. Today the list of JPC-related businesses includes The Hatch, Gobsmacked, the soon-to-open Crown & Thieves, Talking Stories, the Screaming Frenzy label, and the newly opened Black Swift Vineyards. Parkes and crew also bought out the excellent Truck 59 cidery, where Crown & Thieves is being built on the same property.

Have you worked in any other countries? Nope, but I toured in a rock band in Japan and rocked ‘em real hard!    What is your favourite grape varietal to work with?   I would have to say Cab Franc for sure. Why? Because when I first started making blends years ago, it was the easiest canvas to build upon. I found it a bit more elegant and not as egotistical as some of the other varietals, so I would use Cab Franc as a baseline for blending.   What’s the best thing about your job?  

Fascinated with this wrecking ball approach to what’s in the bottle, I asked Jason five quick questions to get some insight into how he got to this point.

The best thing is watching people grow and develop in their roles – it’s extremely rewarding. I also like that I can be fully myself. As a guy from a punk rock band, I can be a bit of a brat within the industry and now I am lucky to have people who are silly and brave enough to let me do that.  

How did you get started in the industry?  

Is there a vintage or wine are you particularly proud of?  

I was on tour with my punk rock band 21 years ago, but the band van broke down and I needed a job. Without a vehicle and in need of a solid job, I walked into a winery. Lucky for me the owner was crazy enough to make me a winemaker after two months, and the rest is history.  

Yeah, but I forget what year it was. I think it was 2014, but a few years ago we were tasked with making a tremendous amount of wine in a very small facility. It’s not my favourite because of the vintage or the wine, though we did make some great things, but it’s my favourite because it was the year we really came together as a team. It was definitely a sh**show; definitely a thing where grown men were crying and it was brutal. We had a lot of struggles that year, but we were able to overcome those and bond over the experience and were all proud when we came out of it. ■

Where did you go to school for winemaking, and where did you apprentice?   I am proudly a grade 10 graduate from Mt. Elizabeth secondary and am self-taught in winemaking.   34 Fall 2020


British Columbia

Cleanfarms 2020 Unwanted Pesticides & Old Livestock/ Equine Medications Collection

Farmers! Got unwanted pesticides or livestock/equine medications? Safely dispose of unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides and livestock/equine medications – no charge! Take them to the following locations on the dates noted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Check for Event Locations & Dates here:

Vancouver Island CUMBERLAND October 5 Comox Valley Waste Management Centre 250-336-8083 x 226 DUNCAN October 6 Bings Creek Recycling Centre 250-746-2540

VICTORIA October 7 Capital Regional District - Hartland Landfill 250-360-3318

• Next Cleanfarms collection in these areas in fall 2023. • COVID social distancing measures may be in place. • For collection dates in other BC regions, go to: cleanfarms.ca/materials/unwanted-pesticides-animal-meds/

Cleanfarms.ca info@cleanfarms.ca

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Fraser Valley ABBOTSFORD October 16 Terralink 604-864-9044 DELTA October 13 Nutrien Solutions 604-940-0290

LANGLEY October 15 Professional Ag Distribution Inc. 604-768-5602

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Profile for Orchard & Vine Magazine

Orchard & Vine Fall 2020  

Inside this issue we feature two wineries, Red Bird Winery bringing winemaking to the Kootenay's and Castoro de Oro who also moved winemakin...

Orchard & Vine Fall 2020  

Inside this issue we feature two wineries, Red Bird Winery bringing winemaking to the Kootenay's and Castoro de Oro who also moved winemakin...

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