Orchard & Vine Innovation Issue 2023

Page 1

Mobile juicing Innovation 2023 $6.95 Display Until Sep.15, 2023 Publication Mail Agreement No. 40838008 orchardandvine.net Innovation Issue JULY 2023 ROBOTIC HARVESTING

5 b e d , 4 b a t h , 3 7 9 8

f a c i l i t y . 7

9 a c r e s L a b o u r h o u s i n g i s l o c a t e d o n - s i t e , w i t h 6 m o b i l e s t h a t c a n a c c o m m o d a t e

l o s e t o a l l a m e n i t i e s !

B o u t i q u e W i n e r y n o w a v a i l a b l e f o r s a l e i n t h e p r e s t i g i o u s O k a n a g a n F a l l s a r e a 8 8 9 6 A c r e s w i t h a 2 6 5 4 s q f t h o m e

1 4 0 a c r e s w i t h s p e c t a c u l a r v i e w s 3 s e p a r a t e t i t l e s S u b d i v i s i o n p o t e n t i a l i n t o 1 0 a c r e l o t s L a n d A s s e m b l y : 2 6 7 7 A c r e s t o t a l 1 3 2 7 ' o f L a k e s h o r e L o t A 1 2 9 7 ( 8 5 0 ' l a k e s h o r e f r o n t a g e ) , L o t B 1 3 8 a c r e ( 4 7 7 ' l a k e s h o r e f r o n t a g e ) , b o t h c h e r r y o r c h a r d s w i t h 1 a c r e b u i l d i n g s i t e s
WITH OVER 1750 ACRES SOLD, HELPING ME ACHIEVE #1 INDIVIDUAL AGENT AT THE #1 RE/MAX OFFICE IN B.C. FOR 2 YEARS IN A ROW 5 t h G e n e r a t i o n L o c a l | O k a n a g a n B o r n a n d R a i s e d | F i n a n c e & R e a l E s t a t e D e g r e e L a k e v i e w v i n e y a r d e s t a t e i n S o u t h E a s t K e l o w n a ! 5 3 6 1 s q f t h o m e o n 4 3 5 a c r e s 1 0 a c r e p r o p e r t y w / a p p l e o r c h a r d , 1 0 s t a l l R V p a r k , a n d 4 0 0 0 + s q f t h o m e w / 2 l a k e v i e w s ! 1 0 . 6 1 a c r e s i n G l e n m o r e w i t h 2 h o m e s , m u l t i p l e o u t b u i l d i n g s , a n d 3 6 0 d e g r e e v i e w s ! C e n t r a l l o c a t i o n c
s q f t h o m e o n a 1 3 4 4 a c r e s u c c e s s f u l u - p i c k o p e r a t i o n G r e a t f o r a m u l t i - g e n e r a t i o n a l s e t u p w i t h t w o t i t l e s 2 3 , 5 0 0 + s q . f t . c h e r r y p a c k i n g & p r o c e s s i n g
3 5 - 4 0
S c o t t @ S c o t t M a r s h a l l H o m e s . c o m | 2 5 0 - 4 7 0 - 2 3 8 8 W W W . K E L O W N A F A R M S . C A | W W W . K E L O W N A A C R E A G E S . C O M | W W W . S C O T T M A R S H A L L H O M E S . C O M 6 b e d , 6 b a t h , 7 4 2 6 s
w o r k e r s
q f
h o m e o n
0 a c r e s o f p r i v a t e f o r e s t t e r r a i n w i t h l a k e v i e w s I n c l u d e s a s e c o n d h o m e , t w o w i r e d s h o p s , s o l a r h e a t e d p o o l , p a s t u r e a n d h o r s e b a r n



Professional Representation of Buyers and Sellers for Horticultural, Farm, Acreage and Estate properties throughout the Valley

Scott Marshall was born and raised in the Central Okanagan and is part of the 5th generation of his family to live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley The Marshall Family has a proud history in fruit farming in the Central and North Okanagan since 1911, while the Thorlakson side of the family started farming in the North Okanagan in the late 1800s Scott's parents operated large orchards and nursery plantings, and he grew up with them working in the Okanagan Real Estate market

After completing four years of formal education at the University of British Columbia, Scott received a BCOM in Finance and Real Estate before becoming a licensed REALTOR® and Associate Broker at RE/MAX Kelowna. Since becoming licensed, Scott has quickly become a natural expert in the Horticultural, Viticultural, Farm, Acreage, Estate and Unique Property market. Scott has been able to professionally assist his valued clients so that when they are successful in their real estate buying or selling, he has also been able to be successful and is ranked as the #1 Individual Realtor at his brokerage*.

Scott is uniquely qualified to effectively assist with the purchase and sale of Horticultural, Farm, Acreage, Estate and Unique Properties throughout the Okanagan To take advantage of five generations of valued agricultural experience in the Okanagan, call Scott Marshall for your farm property needs!

Scott Marshall

today's market, marketing reach, industry connections, and a sales history that speaks for itself has never been more important. I ' m n o t a f r a i d t o g e t m y b o o t s d i r t y .
Scott training young cherry trees in the Black Mountain area of Kelowna. Great Great Grandfather Thorlakur Thorlakson harvesting grain 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 newly planted orchard in the Carrs Landing area of Lake Country. Father Lance next to nursery stock in the Carrs Landing area of Lake Country.
* As per 2021 production for individual agents ** Personal Real Estate Corporation As per RE/MAX internal statistics 2021 by comississions paid E & OE: Information is deemed to be correct but not guaranteed
4 orchardandvine.net 18 9 31 From top: our juicy scoop on how farmers are eliminating food waste and generating new revenue; photographer Lionel Trudel captures the vibe at Haywire’s new tasting lounge; Plantlogic maximizes strawberry production with a tabletop growing system. 6 Voices | Publisher 7 News & Events 14 Innovations | Harvesting robotics 18 Innovation | New tech for strawberries 24 Innovations | Low alcohol trends 31 Putting the squeeze on juicing 35 Heritage is innovation at Ravenskill Orchards 38 Breaking into the bev and food business 41 Marketing Mix | New technology 44 Sippin’ Pretty | Romanced at Red Barn 45 Word on Wine | Pour More BC 46 Canadian Winemaker Series – Michael Clark CONTENTS

as all aspects

air conditioning.

From the chiller in your winery or brewery to blast coolers/freezers and controlled atmosphere applications, we thrive on any challenge and feel very confident that we will exceed your expectations.

Our services keep your business cooling systems operating smoothly. Our customer’s satisfaction is our ultimate goal.

Custom Climates Refrigeration Inc. Red Seal Refrigeration & Gas Fitter Certified Proudly Serving the Okanagan Valley 24 hours a day - 365 days a year Kelowna, BC 250-869-5308 www.customclimatesrefrigeration.com Custom Climates Refrigeration Inc. commercial • industrial • agricultural Wineries, Breweries, Fruit Processing & Storage Facilities
Climates Refrigeration Inc. is a full-service refrigeration company, specializing in
refrigeration, as well
of heating

Let’s get growing

Iam on my hands and knees in the field. There’s a knife in one hand and a roll of paraffin wax in the other. I shuffle in the dirt to the next plant, cut into the rootstock and graft on the tender apple cutting. When I finish, I survey the two acres of apple trees beginning their new life in the fledgling prairie orchard. Fast forward to the spring, and I celebrate the success of a 98 percent take rate. The apples were added to three acres of Saskatoon berry plantings, with the fruit destined for a local resort town market.

My brief stint as a part-time orchardist was nearly two decades ago. This journey into farming was thanks to the innovative researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (the apple program dates back to the 1920s), who were testing plots of rootstock hardy enough for the bitter prairie winter and market apple varietals that were large, juicy and tasty.

Today, the market production of fresh apples in Canada totals more than 340,000 tonnes. Nationwide, the 2021 Census of Agriculture counted 7,101 fruit and tree nut farms (including apple orchards). British Columbia had 3,036 of them, including the 1,448 in the Thompson Okanagan census region that outnumbered all of Ontario’s.

And the amount Canadians pay to bite into a juicy red apple has also grown. Stats Canada tracked a 17 percent increase in apple prices in September 2022 than the prior year. Today, cash receipts for fresh apples in Canada total over $242 million.

Here in the Okanagan Valley where I now call home, the cherries are about to come to market (national farm gate values should reach over $70M), and the wine industry is replanting winter-damaged vineyards and tending the 2023 crop. The roots of the B.C. wine industry that began with the establishment of the BC VQA in 1990 have grown into a $1.2 billion industry. Vineyard plantings have increased ten times, and winery numbers have lept from 20 to more than 340. Looking to the large wineries, investments of over $500M have been made in just the last five years.

But getting that fruit to market, whether fresh, juiced, fermented, or as valuedadded agri-food products, continues to come with challenges. So in this 2023 Innovation Issue of Orchard & Vine, we’re highlighting new industry trends and shining the spotlight on the innovators, researchers and industry rainmakers that are helping us all to get growing.

Established in 1959

ISSN 1713-5362 ISSN 2817-500X

Vol. 64, No 4

Innovation Issue | July 2023


Yvonne Turgeon

Associate Editors

Gary Symons

Stephanie Symon

Design Stephanie Symons

Contributing writers

Leeann Froese, Kelly Josephson, Ronda Payne, Gary Symons, Yvonne Turgeon

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.


Subscriptions are available in print and digital format at orchardandvine.net or contact us at info@orchardandvine.net.

Social | web @orchardvinemag orchardandvine.net

Office: 250-448-2630

Email: info@orchardandvine.net. pressreleases@orcharardandvine.net

Publications Mail Agreement No. 40838008

Return undeliverable items to: Orchard & Vine Magazine 5190 MacNeill Crt Peachland, BC V0H 1X2

All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form, print or electronic, without the written permission of the publisher. Ideas and opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily represent the views of Before & After Media or its affiliates. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement or sponsored content in this publication.

Orchard & Vine Magazine is published by Before & After Media Inc. Find them on the web at beforeaftermedia.com.

6 orchardandvine.net

One of the longest-publishing magazines in B.C. is cultivating growth under new ownership.

Orchard & Vine Magazine, a trusted source since 1959 for the apple, cherry, and grape growers across Canada, is proud to announce a new phase of growth under the leadership of Okanagan-based Before & After Media and publisher Yvonne Turgeon.

“It was important to have the legacy of Orchard & Vine Magazine live on for many more years,” says Lisa Olson, who steered the publication for nearly two decades. “I’m excited about the prospect of Yvonne continuing this legacy. She is the perfect fit.”

The ceremonial handover was made at the Orchard & Wine Museum in Kelowna.

“It’s a historic day, and we’re in a historic place,” says Turgeon.

The museum houses the archives of Orchard & Vine. When it started in 1959, the magazine was called The BC Orchardist. The name changed in 2003 to include the wine industry.

“Orchard & Vine has a longstanding tradition of supporting fruit growers

Orchard & Vine blossoms under new ownership

and wine industry pioneers, and I am committed to continuing that legacy,” says Turgeon. “Our team of passionate writers and industry experts are committed to cultivating the most engaging and informative content to empower our readers and provide them with the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape.”

The magazine continues to serve as a thriving hub for professionals in the industry, offering a platform for companies to showcase their products and services to a targeted audience.

A wine writer and current publisher of the lifestyle magazine Thompson Okanagan Trends, Turgeon brings a wealth of experience and commitment to providing insightful content and fostering connections within the industry.

The deal was closed with the help of Community Futures Central Okanagan.

Cheryl Fast, a business advisor with the organization, says such publications help industry as a whole.

“It’s fundamental to the growth of other businesses,” she says.

This issue of Orchard & Vine focuses on industry innovation. ■


Thompson Okanagan Trends Magazine is honoured to present the winners of the 2023 Top BC Wine Awards. See our showcase of wines from across the region. If you’re in search of a great bottle, don’t miss out on this keepsake print issue. Subscribe at trendsmag.ca

Innovation 2023 | 7
Lisa Olson hands the last issue of Orchard & Vine to new publisher Yvonne Turgeon.

Soirée en Rouge returns to Phantom Creek

Soirée en Rouge, the South Okanagan’s most spectacular event of the summer season, returns July 15 at Phantom Creek Estates, and wine lovers of all kinds are invited to don their best reds and make a dazzling night of it.

The elegant winery and vineyards of Phantom Creek overlook the famed Black Sage Bench, renowned for the quality and intense flavours of the late-ripening red varietals planted along its sun-soaked slopes.

The evening includes live music, exciting raffle prizes, exquisite food from the Estate’s culinary team and sips and swirls from across the winery’s portfolio of exceptional wines; the reds, of course, but also the white and rosé wines too!

Culinary stations, wine stations and musical guests — such as the returning Rann Berry Band - take over the courtyard, tasting room and amphitheater

from 6 to 9 p.m. Guests guests can mingle throughout the main levels of the winery, sampling recent releases, and snacking on delicious eats from Chef Alessa Valdez and her team from the winery’s renowned dining destination, The Restaurant at Phantom Creek. Dishes include short rib bao and porchetta sliders, fruit stations, and pretty pastries.

VIP tickets will also have access to level 4, where they’ll enjoy tastings of exclusive Phantom Creek bottles, plus charcuterie boards and canapés such as chicken liver mousse and Ahi tuna tartare.

VIP tickets include all of the above plus additional intimate musical performances, special tastings of Phantom Creek Cuvée wines, and culinary stations that include seafood towers, caviar and more.

Tickets are available for purchase online at phantomcreekestates.com/ soiree-en-rouge-2023. 

Winelovers make pilgrimage at Blasted Church

Nestled in the heart of Okanagan Falls, Blasted Church Vineyards stands as a testament to both tradition and innovation. Their latest offering, the pilgrimage walk, is capturing the attention of wine enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

This gently blasphemous winery has found a unique way to make waiting for tasting reservation times pass in a truly lovely manner.

The pilgrimage walk takes visitors on a journey through the picturesque vineyards, providing a blend of natural beauty and spiritual intrigue.

The winery has carefully crafted a path adorned with signs, guiding participants along the route. The pilgrimage walk serves as a metaphorical journey, connecting individuals to the winery’s sustainable farming ethos, and winemaking philosophy.

As visitors venture deeper into the vineyards, the anticipation builds. Each step taken brings them closer to

their destination, where the reward is not only the awe-inspiring view of Skaha Lake but also a profound sense of connection to the land and the winery’s winemaking process.

For those who find themselves waiting for their tasting reservation time, the pilgrimage walk offers a delightful way to pass the time. It allows guests to engage with Blasted Church Vineyards in a more intimate and immersive manner, creating memories that extend beyond the tasting room.

8 orchardandvine.net
Photos contributed

Okanagan Crush Pad renamed Haywire

Okanagan Crush Pad has literally gone Haywire, as the B.C. winery reopened in May under a new name and brand.

Okanagan Crush Pad has been among the top wineries in the Summerland area for many years, and also has acted as an incubator for other wineries by helping them with their crush.

But the company says the winery has entered into a new phase, reopening after a major renovation under the name Haywire Winery.

The name Haywire is already well known in B.C., as it came from one of the company’s long-standing brands.

Haywire had its grand reopening on May 11, with customers and local dignitaries attending to check out the new tasting lounge, a new label, and the rebranding of the company.

“The rebrand is a statement to our commitment to continue to take bold new steps forward as a winery team, and to continue to define a style of wine for the central Okanagan region — bright, lively, fresh, and uncomplicated,” says co-owner Christine Coletta.

Okanagan Crush Pad was the first custom crush pad in Canada, and as a result of its work roughly 50 new B.C. wineries were introduced to the Okanagan Valley. In 2009, they began creating their own wines, and since then the business has grown, expanding the space and adding a 139 sq.-metre tasting lounge in April.

“It was the perfect time to celebrate with a new name, a new label and a new look to the winery,” Coletta says.

The new packaging pulls from the mural artwork on the winery by Vancouver artist Scott Sueme — a stunning mural that runs 100 feet long and 20 feet high.”

Sueme’s work inspires the look, with the interior of the tasting lounge designed to celebrate his artwork, and even a few of his original pieces on display.

“We really appreciate the support shown to us and we look forward to another ten great years.” says Coletta. 

Innovation 2023 | 9

First Canadian Cherry Month celebrates outstanding quality

The BC Cherry Association is launching Canadian Cherry Month this summer to showcase the outstanding quality and taste of Canadian cherries and to celebrate the hardworking farmers and producers who ensure superb quality and freshness from farm to table, from coast to coast.

“We are thrilled to launch the inaugural Canadian Cherry Month and to recognize the incredible contributions of cherry growers to Canadian agriculture, the economy and food supply,” says association president Sukhpaul Bal.

“We invite all Canadians to join us in celebrating this delicious and nutritious fruit and to support our Canadian cherry industry by enjoying the best tasting cherries in the world.”

From July 15 to August 15, 2023, Canadians can participate in a variety of cherry-themed promotions across the country. Cherry recipe contests, photo contests, and in-store retail cherry celebrations are just a few of the many ways to shine a light on Canadian cherries this summer.

During Canadian Cherry Month retail grocers are encouraged to participate in a national retail display contest aimed at promoting these juicy sweet summer treats. Customizable marketing and messaging assets will support the program as well as great prizes for contest winners.

Cherries have a long and rich history in Canada, dating back to the late 1800s when cherry trees were first planted in the Okanagan Valley. Today, cherry farming has become an integral part

of B.C.’s agriculture industry. Ninetyfive percent of Canadian sweet cherries are grown in the province, with over 400 cherry growers producing over 20,000 tonnes of cherries each year.

The unique climate and rich soils in the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Creston Valleys make it the ideal place to grow cherries. With a mild climate, sundrenched summers, and ample irrigation, these regions are renowned for producing some of the world’s finest cherries.

B.C. cherries are known for their sweet flavour, deep colour, and firm texture, all thanks to the unique growing conditions. The cold winters in these regions allow cherry trees to rest fully between crops, resulting in larger cherries each year. Additionally, the northern latitude means longer days with more

hours of warm sunshine during the ripening season, making the cherries even sweeter and more flavourful.

As more Canadians aim to buy domestic products, participation in Canadian Cherry Month is the ideal way for retailers to appeal to consumers, create in-store engagement, and increase sales.

The BC Cherry Association represents growers, marketers, packers, researchers and industry members. It sponsors research to grow and deliver top quality cherries to markets around the world and also works to promote and strengthen marketing opportunities.

Learn more at bccherry.com

10 orchardandvine.net
6908 Palm Ave Burnaby BC - Phone 604-473-9463 - Toll Free 1-866-554-7273 - Web ecom.bosagrape.com ARE YOU MAKING WINE, SPIRITS OR CIDER? We have the equipment, supplies and ingredients you need. ecom.bosagrape.com • orders@bosagrape.com
With a mild climate, sun-drenched summers, and ample irrigation, the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Creston Valleys are renowned for producing some of the world’s finest cherries.

BC’s Trendi named Best Food Waste Innovator

Innovation awards presented by Canadian Business magazine shown the spotlight on Burnaby, B.C. robotics firm Trendi, which has developed a way to turn food waste into freeze-dried ingredients.

Founded by juicer enthusiast Carissa Campeotto and chef Craig McIntosh, Trendi was aimed to dramatically reduce the massive amount of food produce waste. Incredibly, an estimated 58 percent of food produced is lost or

wasted in Canada annually, costing the economy more than $49 billion annually.

The duo’s solution was to go directly to the source. The company’s trucks are equipped with custom-designed robotic machinery that will collect, clean, process and package damaged or leftover produce, transforming the food into shelf-stable, freezedried powdered ingredients for use in packaged foods, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, cosmetics and more.

Trendi has one of its ‘BioTrim’ units at a B.C. farm and another in Ecuador, while smoothie machines using thier powders are scattered throughout the Vancouver International Airport. Ten more machines are scheduled to appear in other locations in the province later this year.

Last year, Trendi received $85K from Canadian Food Innovation Network in 2022 to support the upcycling smoothie machine project.

Innovation 2023 | 11

Canada extends the agri-food pilot project

Launched in May 2020, the pilot helps facilitate the transition of experienced workers in the agricultural and food industries to become permanent residents in Canada. Annual occupational caps or the limits for how many candidates can apply for a specific occupation have been removed, provide an opportunity for more eligible candidates to apply.

By the end of the year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada intends to introduce new changes to the pilot in stages, including: expanding open work permit access to family members of all participants, regardless of the participant’s job skill level; allowing unions to attest to a candidate’s work experience as an alternative to employer reference letters; giving applicants residing in Canada the option to either meet the job offer requirement, including the median wage requirement for the job offer, or the education requirement; and accepting work experience gained under an open work permit for vulnerable workers, giving more workers an opportunity to qualify.

The federal government has extended the AgriFood pilot project until May 14, 2025, to help bring more experienced farm workers to Canada.

The move follows a report by the Royal Bank of Canada which concluded 40 percent of farm operators across Canada will retire over the next decade, and that, by 2033, a shortfall of over 24,000 farm workers is expected across the country. 

Ontario investing in improved soil health

The Province of Ontario is investing in a new program to improve soil data mapping, evaluation and monitoring.

The government says soil data and interpretive maps support on‐farm decision‐making, enabling farmers to innovate and use technology to improve their long‐term viability so they can remain competitive in the global market.

“This funding will allow farmers, researchers and others to access critical data to help understand and adapt to meet the needs of soil management and health protocols province wide,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Data will help build the Ontario Agricultural Soil Information System (OASIS). The software system will house, manage, and analyze soil data critical to support farming operations.

As planting season begins, the province says it wants farmers to know

that this programming will enable them to make better informed business and land management decisions in tending their own soils for years to come.

“Our government is taking a responsible and targeted approach to support farmers, people and businesses

today while laying a strong foundation for future generations,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance.

“This investment is part of our government’s plan to strengthen our agri-food sector so that more local food can be grown here in Ontario.

12 orchardandvine.net
Photos contributed  NEWS & EVENTS
A federal government pilot is helping facilitate the transition of experienced workers in the agricultural and food industries to become permanent residents in Canada.

We have mastered the art of barrel renewal and a now proudly representing Tonnellerie de Saint Georges for all your new French oak needs. Many formats and all toast levels available. Delivery included

• Superior control of sucking & chewing pests • Fast knockdown activity of adult and larval stage pests • Long lasting residual control • Excellent safety profile for beneficials Ultimate Crop Defence Harvanta is a registered trademark of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd. BELCHIM www belchimcanada com C R O P P R O T E C T I O N C A N A D A From our central Kelowna office, NCA Commercial Inc. is best placed to offer experienced, reliable and professional valuation and consulting services to those owning and operating agricultural land and businesses in BC’s interior. Our team of accredited commercial real estate appraisers specializes in a variety of services including: Toll free: 1-844-644-7815 Local: 250-868-9244 www.ncacommercial.com YOUR LOCAL EXPERTS IN VINEYARD, ORCHARD AND AGRICULTURAL REAL ESTATE VALUATIONS • market valuations for financing • property settlement & estate planning • site selection & pre-acquisition negotiation • insurance replacement cost & risk management • compensation in expropriation & partial takings • subdivision & ALR applications • arbitration & expert witness • land leases & rent reviews • “going concern” business valuations We invite you to call us today, or have your financial advisor contact us, if you require an accurate opinion of value.

Vineland creates prototype harvesting robot to address labour shortage

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre says new technologies will be critical as Canada deals with a looming shortage of farm workers.

The research facility in Niagara, Ontario, recently published its 2022/23 Innovation Report, with the top headline being the need for improved automation tools that will reduce the need for boots on the ground.

Canadian horticulture, like most other sectors in agriculture, is suffering from a growing labour shortage, the report says. Overall, an agri-food workforce shortfall is predicted to reach more than 123,000 jobs by 2029. At the same time, labour-intensive horticultural crops increase the cost of labour, often representing 40 to 60 percent of production costs for growers.”

Increases in production costs resonate with farmers throughout the country, including the fruit industry, who have seen their margins getting tighter since the COVID-19 pandemic began, thanks partly to labour shortages.

Other factors include the higher cost of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, which can also be reduced by the use of automated spraying systems with pinpoint accuracy.

“That’s why the industry is increasingly turning to solutions to automate certain tasks, addressing the labour crunch while also boosting production efficiencies to help growers remain profitable and competitive,” says the report writers.

Vineland says greenhouse growers in particular have been quick to adopt automation for the management of their highly controlled growing environments, with computers controlling automated irrigation and fertigation systems, for example.

Automation has already made greenhouse growers far more efficient, but the industry still faces a major challenge as no one has developed an autonomous vegetable harvesting technology that’s can to rival or surpass human workers.

Developing such a system is a top priority for the automation team, which has initially been focused on creating a robotic harvesting system for long English cucumbers, but which can also be modified in future to work with other crops such as peppers.

Most Canadians are unaware that, thanks to the innovations in greenhouse

technology, centres like Leamington in Ontario or the Fraser Valley in B.C. have turned the country into a major exporter of fruits and vegetables. In fact, Canada is now the world’s fourth largest cucumber exporter at over $320 million annually, and Vineland says there’s still room to grow.

Potential for growth in the greenhouse vegetable industry is significant; however, the cost and restricted availability of workers are holding the sector back.

Cucumbers are harvested by hand and growers spend approximately $27 million annually just on this labour-intensive task.”

Hussam Haroun, director of automation at Vineland, says his team is thrilled to see the development of its robotic harvesting system,

14 orchardandvine.net
Vineland’s innovative robot ushers in new era of agricultural innovation.

which is expected to launch within the next couple of years.

“We know there are various companies working on autonomous vegetable harvesting solutions around the world, but most indicators for successful deployment are still four to five years away,” says Haroun. “At Vineland, we’ve been able to develop a platform that can be ready earlier.”

For now, Vineland’s cucumber harvesting robot remains a ‘proofof-concept solution, but the results the team is seeing in the lab are very encouraging, Haroun says.

The robot essentially moves along the rows of cucumbers in the greenhouse, and has a vision system that allows it to identify the fruit on the vine, assess whether it’s ripe or not, and if it is, it will cut the cucumber from the vine and place it into a harvest bin.

The system has performed well in trials at Vineland’s research greenhouse and Haroun says, through further development, it could be adapted to other tasks, such as pruning or applied to other greenhouse crops like peppers, for example.

“We are now looking for one or more partners who can help develop a next stage prototype to pilot in a commercial greenhouse setting,” he says. “We are able to align or integrate

our system with other companies in this space when they are ready to collaborate to bring it to market.”

That collaboration is critical to success in a field where there so many different technologies combine into a single product. For example, he says the robot’s arm was a significant design challenge that alone could take years to develop, so instead, the Vineland team worked with Kinova, a robotics company based in Quebec.

Kinova specializes in biomedical research and creating assistive prosthetic devices for humans, and it had already developed an incredibly effective robotic arm and hand that could be adapted to picking fruit in a greenhouse.

“As we began working with Kinova, we realized their expertise in robotics could also help us improve our technology and make it faster,” says Brian Lynch, senior research scientist, Field Robotics. “Working with partners in allied industries is key to adapting and introducing automation technologies into horticulture.”

The Vineland team also says that working together helped Kinova learn about the incredible potential of expanding their horizons, and doing more work in the field of horticulture. According to Haroun, that’s where Vineland can play a key role in helping companies understand the nuances of horticulture and adapt their systems to the market’s needs.

Greenhouse production in general is moving towards a more data-driven, scientific management approach and there are other horticultural crops in need of autonomous solutions. All of this combines to spell an opportunity for innovators, companies and growers, Haroun says.

“The Vineland approach to innovation, focused on partnerships and collaboration, can help bring these types of solutions to the industry.”

The cucumber robot is just one example of the innovations being developed for horticulture. Already, applied research through the program have led to the development of an automated vegetable harvester, smart greenhouse irrigation technology and robotic mushroom harvester.

Innovation 2023 | 15
Researchers Brian Lynch and Hussam Haroun. Photos contributed

Mitigating wildlife conflicts in agriculture

This story is as old as Brer Rabbit, pitching farmers against wily and cunning critters whose capacity for destruction would only rival a natural disaster.

Fast forward into modern agriculture and the problems remain, intensified by modern attitudes toward wildlife preservation and respect for our shared ecosystem. In today’s world there is a

lot of pressure to use the land in a way that is ethical and preserves our shared environment as much as possible.

The farmers and land users have risen notably to the challenge. With innovations in all sorts of areas, they wage battle using sounds and lights and nets and dogs in their tool belt but what has seen the greatest rise in use is arguably the fence.

Once only seen around the most vulnerable of farms, it is almost uncommon today to see farms without wildlife fencing surrounding the perimeter. Sometimes multiple farms will be linked together to form miles of uninterrupted fence line. These fences have proven to be an effective barrier but effective barriers also come with unintended consequences.

Australia’s Great Dingo Fence is the second longest structure in the world – It is also a case study in the environmental effect of ecological segregation. While it is vital

to protect Australia’s sheep industry, the wider effects are visible on both sides of the line. In North America we have the expanded border wall in the U.S. Intended to prevent the migration of people, it also prevents wildlife from moving between the United States and Mexico

Animals have always needed room to move for migration, getting to sources of water or shelter, and for mating to start. By segregating our world with fencing we disrupt the natural balance of life for these creatures. From the low and fast flight patterns of grouse, who often fly into Paige wire, to the impact on insect populations being trapped by spiders who can conveniently build webs in the squares of woven fencing, human infrastructure

16 orchardandvine.net
One way release wildlife gate. DON’T SHOOT!

has an impact on the wider ecosystem. There is another particularly frustrating issue that arises when farms are completely enclosed by fence lines; how to evict unwanted intruders! Once animals inevitably dig, crawl, jump or smash their way into the farm, they often can find themselves comfortably trapped inside! It’s not a problem unique to the farming world. Departments of highways across Canada and the U.S. have been perpetually dealing with the issue of animals on roadways, and the use of roadside fencing has created the same issue of preventing animal migration and trapping animals on roadsides, only to be entangled or spooked onto roadways. In the 70’s highways departments in the US states of Colorado and Idaho started studying and adopting the use of one-way deer and animal release gates.

The use of these one-way release gates

outside of our national parks and highways has been slow, but the advantages to farmers who use these gates is the same: Farms see less deer and animals for shorter stays and the animals are able to transit and live healthier and more natural lives.

The best part about one-way release

wildlife gates? They save money! When used on highways the cost of the gate programs is vastly less than the cost in vehicle damage and animal life. Similarly, in agriculture, the price of the gate and installation is long forgotten after a lifetime of savings in damage to crops.

Decided you want to install one of these devices on your fence line? Great! Except where would you buy one? Well until recently, nowhere, which is why Munckhof Manufacturing has decided to commercialize and produce these gates for the general market.

You can buy them at www.munckhof.com

Innovation 2023 | 17
One way release gates allow fencing that respects our shared ecosystem in a way that is ethical and preserves the environment.
Wild Land Side Farm Side One way release gate Escape Transit Path Escape Transit Path Funnel Wing (optional) • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
MUNCKHOF MANUFACTURING 5943 HEMLOCK ST, OLIVER, B.C. 250-498-4426 office@munckhof.com www.munckhof.com Photos contributed

Testing tabletop growing systems

Ontario berry growers have developed some extremely innovative growing systems, but they are also quick to adopt good ideas from other countries. That’s the case with the innovative practice of growing strawberries on tunnel-protected tabletops.

Beginning in 2018, a handful of growers started to experiment with this Dutch-tested system that provides several advantages. First, it’s far easier to harvest berries at waist height than to bend over to reach the ground. Secondly, the berries are better quality because they grow in circulating fresh air, rather than close to the ground where they can be infected by soil-borne diseases.

Thirdly, because they are grown under cover, the berries can’t be damaged by wind or splashed by rain.

As a fourth benefit, the system is more efficient for water and fertilizer. In particular, fertilizer application is reduced by being highly targeted, and water can be recirculated. 

Greenhouse technologies maximize production

Lufa Farms in Quebec is integrating greenhouse technologies into an indoor farm to maximize local production year-round.

Lufa is an innovative company that essentially created an online farmer’s market, where people can order fresh grown food to their homes.

But Lufa is also a major grower.

In the borough of Saint-Laurent, a former Sears headquarters is now home to a complete urban food ecosystem, including the world’s largest rooftop

greenhouse, a new distribution centre, and now a new indoor farm that feeds thousands of customers every week.

“Having over a decade of experience in urban agriculture, we realized the importance of providing plants with ideal growing conditions,” says Lufa Farms co-founder and co-CEO Mohamed Hage.

“Our challenge was to build a simple and energy-efficient indoor farm that compares in cost to traditional greenhouse growing.”

Featuring green automation technology typically used in greenhouses, this farm is equipped with a single-story hydroponic growing system and 1,000 LED lights, growing lettuce, spinach, celery, basil, kohlrabi, fennel, and watercress.

The farm uses no fossil fuels.

Designed to demonstrate the viability of low-cost indoor farming at its full potential, this polyculture farm will harvest 20,000 vegetables and herbs daily. 

18 orchardandvine.net
The indoor farm’s first harvest.

Strawberry farmers extend growing season

Ontario Berries says innovations on local farms have resulted in a much longer season for strawberries in the province.

The association of Ontario berry growers says that in the past, field strawberries hit their peak in mid to late June, with a very short season of only two to three weeks.

New innovations are now extending that season. One is growing ‘day-neutral’ strawberries, which are very common in warmer climes like California. Day-neutral berries essentially have a different light sensitivity, and will blossom and set fruit regardless of how long or short the days are.

Growing berries that bear fruit from May to October can be very difficult outside of a maritime climate, so the association says most berry growers plant along one of the Great Lakes to catch the moderating winds and temperatures.

As a result, it’s now possible to buy local field strawberries in Ontario for four to five months of the year.

“Growers have fine-tuned their management practices with varieties that can withstand hot and humid nights of peak summer, and yet continue bearing fruit,” Ontario Berries says. “This practice produces berries in late summer that are just as juicy and flavourful as the ones you might have picked yourself in June.”

The other innovation involves greenhouse-grown strawberries, as Ontario growers tried to match what their counterparts in Europe were doing, growing a strawberry in time for Valentine’s Day.

Today, there are 50 acres of greenhouse-grown strawberries in the Leamington area, which is a major centre for greenhouse production.

“It’s innovative technology at its best, with a controlled environment that is adjusted for every variable: temperature, humidity and water,” Ontario Berries explains. “In the depths of winter, growers have had to learn how densely to plant, how to calibrate fertilizer levels to seasonal sunlight variations, and how to establish artificial lighting that properly initiates bud development.” 



• Hail, shade, rain & other fabrics

• Nets for grapes, cherries & berry crops

• Custom nets and structures


Innovation 2023 | 19 SINCE 1949 Premium Finished Trees and Rootstock Taking Orders for Cherry Trees Spring 2024 james_calissi@telus.net www.calissifarms.com 3810 East Kelowna Road, Kelowna, BC, V1W 4H2 250 317 2164
With a different light sensitivity, day-neutral strawberries will blossom and set fruit regardless of sunlight hours during the day.
Contact us today: 250-488-2374
Strong HDPE knitted fabric
10 year UV warranty
Easy to apply and remove
Adjustable reflectivity
Good porosity to prevent water buildup
Custom widths available
Photos contributed
Strong HDPE knit, open-mesh nets
• 10 year UV warranty
Easy to apply and remove

Apple harvester boosts productivity

Farming in Canada is a practice that dates back centuries and is something that’s slowly been established and perfected over time. It is a combination of tradition and historically proven methods, it’s something that’s still deep rooted in our communities.

Farming is, however, something that’s always shifting in this modern, fast-paced world. There’s a fine balance between proven and innovative modern farming methods and the key is developing a balance that saves time, money and unnecessary labour hours.

There are certain players in agriculture that are really shaking things up in this everchanging, dynamic market.

Revo, an Italian-based company was formed in 2004 by the children of farmers who were particularly aware of the need to mechanize tiring manual

work. This background provided the impetus which has driven them to create groundbreaking and innovative solutions, the REVÓ Piuma 4WD Apple Harvester is one such machine.

Designed with one thing in mind, to provide solutions in today’s challenging labour market. It helps you save on wage costs while increasing your marketable yield.

The REVÓ Piuma 4WD is your easyto-use apple harvesting and pruning platform that utilizes the latest 4-wheel drive and auto-leveling systems to keep your pickers steady and your apples safe from accidental bruising. Instead of the traditionally picked 4-6 bins per day per labour worker, the Piuma harvests 40 bins per 8-hour shift, replacing

Protective sleeves for growing in comfort

approximately 8-10 workers. It features extreme agility with easily movable extension conveyors and an on-board compressor for air-driven pruning will allow your team to work cooperatively and efficiently to get the job done. This is a welcomed feature, as it reduces picking time on the traditional ladder and significantly reduces the risk of worker injuries. The Piuma is versatile and can be used for pruning and apple thinning too.

Growers Supply Co. is proud to be working with REVÓ and as an exclusive supplier of the equipment in British Columbia, is proud to be bringing this dynamic technology to the Canadian market.

Contact us for further details and for pricing and financing information.

During his years as a gardener, Farmers Defense company founder Jeremy’s skin was always getting irritated either from scratches from prickly plants, burns from the sun, or rashes from a reaction. That’s when he decided to make his own solution and developed the first farm protection sleeves.

Farmers Sleeves offer protection of arms and skin for any farmer, gardener, or outdoor worker. Say goodbye to irritated skin and sunburns in the garden. The sleeves offer cooling comfort and protection against the elements outdoors.

These Farmers Sleeves are made from REPREVE® eco-dynamic fabric, made from recycled materials, with moisture-wicking qualities that keep you cool and dry.

UPF 50+ protection against harmful UV rays, Protection against skin allergens and scratches and an alternative to thick clothing. —farmersdefense.com

20 orchardandvine.net

New superfood extracts from haskap berries

A professor at Dalhousie University is developing scaleable, ecofriendly processes to extract nutrients from haskap berries.

The haskap berry is not yet a common berry on supermarket shelves, or even on many farms, but it is considered a superfood superstar by scientists. For that reason, Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe has partnered with Schwabe Group and Nature’s Way Canada to find new ways to create Haskap extracts.

“We have been investigating this small berry for the last 10 years, and discovering the unique composition of the berry is providing outstanding results in our pre-clinical investigation,” says Rupasinghe.

In this new investigation, the Phyto Innovation Challenge is funding a 28-month-long project to develop the required tools for the industry to commercialize haskap bioactives as natural health products or phytomedicines. Haskap is traditionally

used in folk medicine in northern Russia, China and Japan, as the edible berries of Lonicera caerulea L (also known as blue honeysuckle), are rich in dietary antioxidants and possess a range of health benefits.

Vivid develops AI for fruit tree monitoring

The Toronto startup Vivid Machines has raised $5.8 million to develop a system for remote, virtual monitoring of fruit trees.

Vivid Machines provides monitoring technology for the fruit supply chain. Founded in 2020 by CEO Jenny Lemieux and CTO Jonathan Binas, he company has developed a vision system that uses spectral sensors to help growers, packing facilities, and fruit marketers capture data for permanent crops.

The company says this seed funding round will help Vivid expand its offering to a wider variety of crops.

Crops that tend to grow uniformly like corn can be monitored in bulk using drone or satellite technologies, but permanent crops, such as apples and peaches, are usually trees or shrubs. With the canopy of leaves from the trees covering their fruit, the same overhead monitoring technologies are not ideal

for permanent crops. To get around this, Vivid Machines’ technology uses imaging and AI to capture chemical and physical profiles of permanent crops.

According to Vivid Machines, using its platform can help growers manage their crop’s progress and predict yields by providing accurate real-time crop data, down to the individual plant.

In addition to the current funding round, Vivid Machines was awarded

Haskap production in Canada has expanded exponentially in the last decade as a superfood, due to new varieties being developed, and increasing scientific evidence for its use in the prevention and treatment of various metabolic diseases.

“We see this partnership as a great example of what is possible for our industry in Nova Scotia,” says Dan Hughes, vice-president of sales and marketing and general manager of Nature’s Way Canada.

“We have great academic partners such as Dr. Rupasinghe at Dalhousie, a very promising local crop that has exciting potential health benefits, and a business environment that supports growth for companies like Nature’s Way. This is a meaningful investment in R&D for Nature’s Way Canada and we look forward to supporting Dr. Rupasinghe’s work on this project.”

This is the first time the Phyto Innovation Challenge has been granted to a North American recipient. 

more than $800,000 from the federally supported Canadian Food Innovation Network for its project with Ontariobased farms Algoma Orchards and Blue Mountain Fruit Company, which both specialize in apples.

Vivid Machines is creating digital twins, or virtual models, of the orchards to determine ideal harvest timings to meet the demands of grocers and food processors. 

22 orchardandvine.net
With a canopy of leaves, fruit trees aren’t easily monitored with drones or satellite technologies.

New tech available for smoke taint removal

Cellar Dweller is offering B.C. winemakers a new technology to deal with the negative impacts of smoke taint.

The issue is a major one for winemakers throughout North America, and particularly those in western North America, such as B.C., California, Oregon and Washington, where large and long-lasting wildfires have become more common due to global warming.

In the United States for example, a study by the California Wine Institute found that wildfires cost the US wine industry a shocking $3.7 billion in lost revenue.

To prevent losses from smoke taint, Cellar Dweller has acquired a license from Amaea, which has developed a patented technology that uses molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) to target and remove specific molecules.

“The first wine application that they have introduced to market is targeting smoke taint and brettanomyces, but they are working on other applications,” Cellar Dweller says.

The amaze VPx treatment rates can be tailored to specific wine types and smoke severity levels.

Amaea says treatment can reduce volatile phenol concentration by 1580% depending on the level of remediation you choose. Most common treatment rates typically result in a 40-50% reduction in volatile phenols. You can learn more about the amaea VPx treatment at the company’s website: www.amaea.com 

Upgrade your filtration

Good news for cideries and wineries in B.C., as Cellar Dweller says it has two new High Solids Crossflow Filter (HSXF) units on hand.

Cellar Dweller already operates four Pall Oenoflow crossflow filtration units with capacities ranging from up to 3000 to 9000 litres per hour, but the newer ‘High Solids’ units bring new benefits.

“The target of these units are mostly wines and ciders that are too high in solids for our regular crossflow units to handle, and where we would normally utilize RVDF (a rotary vacuum drum filter),” Cellar Dweller says.

“The benefits of using HSXF is multifold. We don’t need to use a filtration aid which is needed for RVDF. The HSFX units give the same filtration quality as our regular crossflow units.

The HSFX units also have much lower O2 pickup compared to RVDF, as they operate under a nitrogen blanket.”

As well, these new HSFX units can operate under pressure with carbonated beverages with high amounts of CO2, which allows Cellar Dweller to filter Charmat wines, ciders and beers.

“We will be targeting wine and juice lees, wines with heavy bentonite loading,” the company says. 

Innovation 2023 | 23
SPONSORED ARTICLES Photos contributed

Low alcohol beverages target millennials + Gen Z

The future of any business is in attracting younger customers, but when it comes to alcohol, understanding trends can be rather confusing at best, and downright frustrating at worst.

Sober-curious, but social and interested in new options, millennials and Gen Z can be hard to understand when it comes to alcohol consumption.

Millennials, born from 1981 to 1996, drink less than older generations. Gen Z, born in the late 1990s to the early 2010s, are drinking even less than millennials.

Why? There are a range of reasons.

The behavioural research firm Veylinx reported in late 2022 that more than half of Americans are trying to reduce alcohol consumption. The same behaviours can often be extrapolated to Canadians as those north of the 49th parallel are often more health conscious than their southern neighbours.

Frank Pikul of the Cassidy Inn Liquor Store in Maple Ridge has seen a number of requests for lower or no alcohol options recently.

Pikul, find his patrons in their 30s “a bit more health conscious of what they’re putting in their body. They may want to reduce alcohol consumption to some capacity.”

The Veylinx study also found that more than three-quarters of respondents had stopped drinking for a month or more in the past and that those who drink alcohol are willing to pay more for non-alcoholic beverages than non-drinkers. Those who want to cut back on their alcohol consumption are also willing to pay more for non-alcoholic canned cocktails.

Many people are skipping wine or mixed drinks at family functions, even though drinking alcoholic beverages used to be a given, says Pikul.

As people age, parents don’t look at their adult children as drinkers, and children follow suit.

He sees more people perusing the experience of alcohol consumption as an activity enjoyed with friends that

include a range of things to do. It isn’t just about drinking, and it’s no longer an expectation.

For younger generations, whatever an individual is comfortable with is acceptable when it comes to alcohol. It’s more about time spent together.

In 2022, Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse in Saanichton on Vancouver Island launched its line of Temperance ciders. According to Mariel Belmont, sales and marketing specialist, while the launch wasn’t geared to meet demands of younger customers necessarily, the products have been well received.

“We started with one sparkling juice but thanks to the high demand, we continue to expand this line,” she says. “We recently launched our fifth SKU: Temperance Ava. It provides an option for everyone, offering an alternative for people that prefer to not drink for diverse reasons.”

Additionally, it gives the ciderhouse a family-friendly option for young guests

24 orchardandvine.net
Millennials, born from 1981 to 1996, are drinking less than older generations. Their younger sister cohort Gen Z is drinking even less than millennials. Sea Cider Farm has launched a line of Temperance ciders.

and an option for friends who don’t want the alcohol but want the experience.

“From the business point of view, our Temperance line has allowed us to enter a new market by having access to grocery stores across B.C. and Alberta as well as liquor stores that continue to expand their non-alcoholic offering to keep up with an increasing market trend,” she says.

Alcohol producers also need to compete with cannabis, with it being readily available in Canada now. Those in Gen Z are the most aware of having more options than alcohol.

According to Mintel’s 2023 sober curious report, Gen Z skips alcohol to avoid the “hang-xiety”, to feel better about themselves, and to save money.

The same report notes that targeting non-alcoholic options like spirits, mixed drinks or wines will appeal to these reduced-alcohol consumers. There may also be an opening to create non-alcoholic beverages with added benefits like calming or anxiety reduction through functional additives.

Finally, the report notes this group is interested in the quality of the drink over quantity, so when it comes to drinking alcohol, having a special aspect like colour, visual appeal or other specialty

features, will create consumption.

Given Pikul’s anecdotal input, it would be logical to add experience creation to this list. Alcohol producers that offer on-site events suitable for non-alcohol drinkers are going to come out further ahead.

“We had been talking about growing our production of non-alcoholic juice for years and it seemed like the right time to expand production to a health-focused series,” says Belmont of the Temperance line coming out when it did.

On-site sales and restaurant sales of the product had been cut significantly due to the pandemic, so with health at

top-of-mind for many consumers, the alternative hit a sweet spot for many.

To attract the younger generations, alcohol producers need to consider customers who want options and that will include not drinking alcohol. Creating an experience around the brand and options for everyone will open the doors to opportunities when people feel like drinking and when they don’t.

Non-alcoholic wine earns innovation award

The non-alcoholic wine producer Proxies has been named Best Food and Beverage Innovator by Canadian Business magazine. Proxies develop a non-alcoholic wine that can stand up against traditional wines in terms of taste and complexity.

Charlie Friedmann, president of Proxies, crafted the wine from varietal wine grapes from European vineyards, adding verjuice from Ontario’s Niagara region for acidity and body, layering in teas for structure, tannin and aromatics, and adding other fruit juices for depth and additional flavour. The final touch: herbs and spices for aroma and complexity.

The wines are free of preservatives, a rare exception among non-alcoholic wines.

The judges noted that while sales of booze-free spirits and beers have grown exponentially over the past few years, wine alternatives have lagged behind. The reason may rest with the practice of de-alcoholizing mediocre bulk wines, resulting in an end product that lacks complexity wine lovers look for.

Proxies’ goal was to create a non-alcoholic wine that pairs well with food. Top-tier hotel chains like Four Seasons, Fairmont and Ritz-Carlton have added Proxies to their beverage menus. 

Innovation 2023 | 25
Continuing its innovative product line, Proxies is developing more complex sparkling wine, a canned wine line and limited edition collaborations, such as a sparkling rosé created in partnership with the Michelin-star Chicago restaurant, Parachute. Photos contributed

Gin Renaissance: innovative by design

The massive renaissance of gin is no accident; it’s been driven by a new generation of spirit makers and bottle designers who have redesigned the entire experience of enjoying this venerable beverage.

At the forefront of this trend is Empress 1908 Gin, handcrafted in small-batch copper-pot stills by Victoria Distillers and inspired by the legendary Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria.

Empress 1908 uses traditional botanicals but adds a signature blend of black tea and butterfly pea blossom, an exotic herb gives the gin a natural indigo colour. They’ve also released Elderflower Rose Gin, using nine blended botanicals that create a delicate spirit with a stunning all-natural rose hue. The product is part of a new wave of gin spirits that look as good as they taste.

Kathleen Davies, founder of Australian craft spirit distributor Nip of Courage, says “The boom is driven by Generation Y [millennials]. They are the most curious consumers—they want to know who is making their gin and what ingredients are used. On social media, people are always asking us why such-and-such ingredient is used and what’s the best way to drink it?” 


Wine labels now offer augmented reality

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you’ll soon be able to judge a wine by its label. A variety of companies are racing to outdo each other this year with wine labels that are far more sophisticated and informative.

The companies developing these new labels say consumers can get a lot of information from them by using QR codes or even Augmented Reality technology. The idea is to give buyers more insights into the products they are buying, as well as the production processes and conditions in which they were made.

One example is The Living Wine Labels app, which powers the “confessions” stories that are featured on bottles of 19 Crimes. One bottle of California red wine even offers the buyer some advice from 19 Crimes brand ambassador Snoop Dogg.

The company Sparflex has developed a new augmented reality wine foil, which magically launches animations and stories on smartphones directly from the label.

The California wine producer Rabble is also getting into the act, producing labels that come to life as animations, using medieval-styled illustrations. 

Recycle and reuse wine barrels

Rewine Barrel’s has developed a proprietary renewal process that returns neutral oak barrels to their original oenological flavor profile. Rewine customers continue to garner awards and save money while protecting a limited natural resource.

The Rewine process has proven successful with all origins of oak and acacia. Rewine can handle a variety of formats from 110L to 225L and 228L to 500L and larger. The process works equally well on spirits barrels.

Extend barrel life

Oak dips are an economical and practical way to extend the life of your neutral barrels. Each dip has 16 separate toasted stave pieces daisy chained together using food grade netting that provide the surface area of approximately 1/3 of a 225l barrel. These chains are attached to a bung, making it easy to control the amount of oak influence on your wine. We proudly offer Oak Dips in French, Hungarian, American and Oregon oak, and toasting levels from light to char.

Photos contributed

Can I get a copy?

Cheers to mini-bottles

Bigger is better? Not anymore. This year, the best things come in small packages. From short kings to diamond rings, the miniature movement is building momentum, and to celebrate, Saintly Wines has launched of a new line of Bubbly Minis.

This Spring, Saintly’s sparkling and sparkling rosé sized down and rolled out to retail locations across B.C. and Alberta.

The bubbly minis are Saintly’s latest Canadianmade creations that echo a growing consumer desire to moderate consumption while making it easy for new fans to sample easily. Paired with sleek, easy-to-open product design, the minis offer fresh opportunities to capture new occasions for premium VQA sparklings.

“The sparkling minis hand us the reins to celebration— no moment is too small and no accomplishment need be overlooked, says the marketing team at Saintly.

Bridesmaid Boxes

The groom isn’t the only person with an important question to ask. Bridesmaid boxes are a stylish must, made all the more special with a dash of bubbly.

Cocktail Making

VS Spreaders from Kubota

Don’t let big bottles hold you back from the Aperol Spritz you deserve this summer. Bubbly Minis are the perfect solution for the person who is only looking to indulge in one or two drinks, but doesn’t want to compromise on quality.

Cottage Weekends

Without the fuss of corks, Minis are the perfect ready-to-drink beverage you can enjoy dockside with the girls while soaking up that summer heat.

Single Serve Celebrations

You shouldn’t have to wait for a formal celebration dinner to pop bottles. Whether it’s an engagement, a promotion or something as simple as a kickass workout, you should be able to celebrate with bubbly anytime.

The VS220-330 is the smallest model of the unique Kubota pendulum spreader range. A variety of spouts for different applications and spreading widths makes it possible to spread fertilizer, seeds, sand, salt, pellets or any other granular product up to 14 meters. A hardwearing Poly-Ethylene hopper with a capacity of 330 litres. This is an optimal spreader for working in small areas.

In a world driven by over-consumption, miniaturizing bottles gives consumers the opportunity to practice gratitude in a unique way and do away with over-indulging.

28 orchardandvine.net
GERARD’S EQUIPMENT 5592 Hwy 97,Oliver BC 250-498-2524 or 250-498-6231 www.gerardsequipment.com
a crown cap and
Bubbly Minis can be enjoyed in an infinite number of ways.  INNOVATIONS | BOTTLES
convenient single serve 200ml premium glass bottle,
Mildew Spring2023$6.95 PublicationDisplayUntilMay.15,2023 www.orchardandvine.net40838008MailAgreement
WineriesOkanaganVineyards Suffer Severe Damage From Cold UVC For PowderyStrawberry
for your own copy of Orchard & Vine. Subscribe today for home delivery, six issues per year. $29.99 print | $19.99 digital orchardandvine.net/subscribe orchardandvine.net Photo contributed

Cellar Dweller Mobile Filtration Services Ltd

Crossflow Filtration, High Solids Crossflow Filtration, Reverse Osmosis, Rotary Vacuum Drum Filtration, STAR’s (Selective Tartrate Removal System), Amaea VPx Trucking - Flat Deck and enclosed Box Truck.

Cellar Dweller is pleased to announce an exclusive license for BC for Amaea VPx System. The Amaea VPx System utilizes Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) to selectively remove target molecules. The first MIP’s application is targeted at smoke tainted wines, with other targeted MIP’s in development.

• Minimal impact on the wine. Amaea VPx is a targeted, low pressure filtration.

• Amaea VPx is highly targeted to capturing the family of phenols associated with the smoke causing taints whilst leaving the positive wine attributes.

• Treatment tailored specific to the wine varietal and level of smoke impact. Treatment can reduce volatile phenol concentration by 15-80% depending on the level of remediation you choose. Most common treatment rates typically result in a 40-50% reduction in volatile phenols.

• VPx Tuner benchtop unit available to trial technology, and to fine tune treatment options to the requirements of the winemaker

High Solids Crossflows

Cellar dweller is now offering High Solids Crossflow Filtration Services beginning harvest 2023.

- Targeted at High Solids beverages such as juice lees, wine lees, and other beverages with high turbidity such as wines with unsettled bentonite and other additives, stop fermentations

- Filtration conducted under nitrogen blanket, minimum O2 pickup

- Isobaric filtration capable for pressurized/ high CO2 products (charmat wines, beer, carbonated beverages)

- Minimal organoleptic impact on filtered beverages

- Equivalent filtrated quality to “regular” crossflow filtration.

- High yields

Cellar Dweller Mobile Filtration Services Ltd

223 Ricard Place, Okanagan Falls, BC, V0H 1R5

Cellar Dweller: 250.497.2009

Robert Kwakernaak 250.460.1313


Lesia Wood 250.487.2995


Amaea VPx
30 orchardandvine.net
Bringing the equipment to the orchard makes juicing an easier option.

Putting on the SQUEEZE

The many sides of juicing, on-site or off

Not everyone who needs juice has the ability or the inclination to take fruit from solid to liquid. And not everyone who has fruit suitable for juicing wants the chore of turning it into juice.

It’s a two-way street—or perhaps more like a four-way intersection—in the fruit and juicing business and Melissa (Missy) Dobernigg of Vernon’s Cambium Cider has driven in all the lanes.

Dobernigg had a great person to rely on with Kristen Trovato, who, together with her husband Remo, owns Okanagan Beverage Co. and Juicing Systems under parent company, Okanagan Mobile Juicing Inc.

Since 2012, the Trovatos have offered mobile juicing under the self-explanatory informal moniker of Mobile Juicing. The couple and their team have been taking portable juicing equipment where it’s needed to squeeze the life out of fruit.

Kristen saw changes over the past decade as the mobile business grew several times over. Many customers have been fruit growers who wanted to offer juice at their fruit stands plus cideries in need of help. The company added juicing equipment sales to their plate with Juicing Systems becoming its own entity in 2015.

They also diversified their business through a new 6,000 square-foot Okanagan Beverage Co. facility built in Coldstream in February 2022.

“We can target much more fruit and customers,” Trovato explains of the site. “By providing a juicing service, we created a win/win opportunity for the growers.”

Having grown up in the Okanagan, she’s seen the importance of the fruit industry to the region and appreciates that everyone has opportunities to get ahead by working together. Like through the relationship with Dobernigg.

Innovation 2023 | 31
Photo contributed

Cambium, which was formerly known as The BX Press, presses its own fruit for cider with Kreuzmayr brand equipment they bought from Juicing Systems. Of course, Okanagan Beverage also uses Kreusmayr, so the new facility is a place others can see the equipment in action or request video footage.

“We’ve got about 30 acres total in apples,” says Dobernigg. “About 20 varieties. There are about five acres in bittersweet and bittersharp cider varieties.”

That amount of acreage is more than Cambium can use for its own needs, so there are multiple ways for the companies to work together.

“We have three different capacities that we work with Kristen,” she says. “We have our own boxed juice with them. They have the flash pasteurizing and bagging equipment. She maintains that high level of food safety we need for juice.”

Okanagan Beverage Co. shines in this area. They can do a basic single fruit juice product or they can create a custom blend. With pressing, filling, packaging, labelling and more within the facility, they manage the logistics in a fully food-safe, licensed environment to process fruit to juice from end-to-end.

“There are lots of different options,” Trovato notes. “It’s not just apples either. We get a lot of cherries. We have a big mission to do more cherries. Apples can be stored; cherries cannot.

They are immediate, volatile, and quick to turn. I think there’s a huge opportunity for cherry juice.”

Helping create value from fruit that would go to waste also supports agriculture in the region by creating a return on something that would otherwise be worthless. It can also be challenging to dispose of fruit that doesn’t sell, she says.

Making fruit into juice for others is the second way Dobernigg works with Trovato.

32 orchardandvine.net
Okanagan Beverage Co. produces custom juice orders and manages the process from arranging fruit to packaging.

“We do supply apples to other cideries,” Dobernigg says. “Our little press is okay for our size, but not for others too.”

Trovato takes the apples from Dobernigg destined for other cideries and turns them into juice.

“We have grown parallel to the cider industry,” she says. “That is where Mobile Juicing and Juicing Systems fit in nicely. We get a lot of start-up cideries. Pressing and doing the hard, heavy lifting is not for the faint of heart at any level.”

Cideries that have their own orchard can have the mobile juicing equipment come to them, complete with filling equipment, box gluer and other beneficial tools. But, for jobs like Dobernigg’s where juice may be going to multiple buyers, Trovato manages the complete flow of goods.

“I’m kind of a match-maker,” Trovato says. “I have cider-makers that need that fruit security or need those special varieties. On the other hand, I have the growers.”

This helps apple growers keep their trees in apples because they have a regular market for their product at a good price.

When a buyer of juice contacts her for a product under their own brand that they will distribute, she knows everyone will benefit.

“It’s a nice way to use more fruit than just to service our own growers,” she says of the fact that sometimes she’s sourcing specific fruit from outside of the Okanagan. In some cases she’s had fruit shipped to her and has filled a tanker car with juice and shipped it back.

“I love filling tanker trucks,” she says.

“The first time we did it, it was so mindblowing. You see that volume of juice in one shot. We do a lot of that for bigger cideries and out-of-province cideries.”

Juice can be processed in exactly the way the cider-maker or other customer requires. It includes pasteurizing, adding enzymes, cold settling, including sulfites or other procedures.

Dobernigg also presses fruit other than apples for various cider flavours.

“We buy some other B.C. grown fruits that we use in our cider,” Dobernigg says. “We get the easyto-use juice format from Kristen.”

She gets the fruit she wants, juiced for her without any mess or fuss, ready to go into the recipes. As she says, it keeps her mind focused on the orchard, which is where her heart is. With a new farm-to-table restaurant on-site, having others she can rely on to ensure the business thrives is essential.

Trovato is proud of her company’s dedication to its values. Sustainability is one of the biggest ones and it may lead to new options like dehydrating, pulverizing and composting in the future to create a fully-circular process for the fruit that is such a big part of the Okanagan region and beyond.

Innovation 2023 | 33
The team at Okanagan Beverage Co. and Juicing Systems helps those with fruit and those who need juice by offering a wide range of solutions. Photos contributed

German winery digitally prints custom wine labels in-house

Nestled in the heart of Germany, vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, including a family-owned winery that combines tradition with innovation. With a rich heritage passed down through generations, Weingut Schäfer-Zimmermann, boasts an impressive collection ranging from white, rosé, and red wines to sparkling wines, cocktails, and fruit juices and has been cultivating vineyards in various locations around Germany.

The ability to customize, enhance branding, and do so with a fast turnaround is a unique competitive advantage in the wine industry. Especially with Weingut SchäferZimmermann having a selection of award-winning wines across various international markets, including America, Japan, Spain, Italy, and England, having eye-catching labels, as needed, to complement the product is essential.

Co-owner Florian Zimmermann said, “Each time we went to source labels, we had to discuss, clarify, and then wait until the labels were ready to print and could be handed over to us. It took about one to two months before we’d finally have the wine to the customer, which led to additional costs.”

Weingut Schäfer-Zimmermann found themselves in the market for an economical solution that enables them to digitally print labels in-house with excellent print quality and easy customization, reducing order turnaround times. They found a solution in the QuickLabel QL-300, a revolutionary five-color (CMYK+W) toner-based label printer by AstroNova.

Using the QL-300, they could easily print intricate details, including luxurious gold embossing and white coloring, onto their labels, in the quality their customers have come to expect. As a result of dramatically reduced turnaround times, they can now expand their custom product offerings for special events like birthdays, anniversaries, or weddings, as well as seasonal offerings. For more product information, please visit: astronovaproductid.com/label-printers/ql-300.

34 orchardandvine.net
Uncork your branding potential with digital, in-house printing solutions from QuickLabel

Heritage is innovation at Ravenskill Orchards

If you travel to the remarkably beautiful Gabriola Island, just five kilometres offshore from Nanaimo, one of the top attractions is a small farm and cidery called Ravenskill Orchards.

The farm isn’t large, but locals know it as the home to one of the best lineups of ciders in the Pacific Northwest, and a place where they can go to pick a selection of hard-to-find heritage apples.

Ravenskill is owned by married couple Keith McKenzie and Marti Wright, who moved here from upper New York State with a dream of starting their own heritage apple farm.

“I just wanted to do a mom and pop apple farm like the ones we had in upstate New York, which is apple country,” says Wright.

“We kind of knew we might do cider too,” adds McKenzie. “But at the time, the focus was on planting an orchard, and we knew we wanted to heritage apples, the ones you just never really see in grocery stores, but that we knew are still popular with a lot of people in New York, where folks go to orchards in the fall and pick all these different kinds of apples.”

Typically, when people talk about innovation in farming, they focus more on the research stations producing new types of apples for the global dessert apple market.

Innovation 2023 | 35
Tasting bar at Ravenskill Orchards. STORY & PHOTOS BY GARY SYMONS

But for Marti and Keith, innovation meant doing the exact opposite of that, and it’s worked out so well that they quickly sell out all the apples they can grow, and all the cider they can make.

“Honestly, we can barely get it off the island,” laughs Marti. “If you know Gabriola, you know it has a great sense of community and this farm has become a part of that community. It’s almost like our community owns this orchard, just as much as we do!”

Their lineup of Gabbies Ciders comes out in the fall and most of it is bought up by locals before it can even be shipped off-island, but the couple does save a portion of their production every year for a number of specialty liquor stores and restaurants on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. Their cider is even featured at the famous My Shanti restaurant run by celebrity restaurateur Vikram Vij.

It’s also a popular place for tourists, who chow down on charcuterie plates while enjoying a crisp Gabbies on the patio, while in the fall, the farm is overrun by heritage apple fanatics who travel here every year.

Ravenskill has a popular U-pick program that brings many locals and tourists to the orchard, and they’re not after Galas or Ambrosias; they’re looking for Cox Orange Pippins (developed in 1835) and Cortlands (developed in 1898).

“Yeah, it’s funny with the U-Pick, because people who know apples really have their preferences,” Keith says. “We grow Cox Orange Pippins, and we have people coming all the way from Victoria to pick them, because pretty much no one else is growing them here.”

Still, the idea of starting a heritage

farm and cidery hardly seems innovative until you hear what went into it.

The couple bought the farm over 15 years ago with the idea firmly in their minds, but with rootstocks not so easy to come by. They were also growing on an island prone to droughts and with no guaranteed water supply.

There is only one small lake and a few ponds on Gabriola, so farms and homes alike get their water either from wells or from rainwater cisterns. Whatever Ravenskill was going to grow, it had to not only be high

quality, but also drought tolerant.

Fortunately, a local organization called the BC Fruit Testers Association has been researching heritage fruits for many decades, and other farmers in the Pacific Northwest and even on other Gulf Islands were able to share their expertise.

But getting enough rootstock was a huge problem, until the Summerland Research Station practically gave it away, because Ravenskill was asking for apple varieties no one else wanted.

“We got some of our grafting stock from the research station in Summerland,” Keith recalls. “They have some really good heritage apples, and we said, ‘we want to take 50 of those Libertys you’ve got there,’ and they would say, ‘no, you don’t want Liberties! They’re not a commercial apple, nobody grows those anymore!’”

“And we said, ‘I know, I know, but just give ‘em to us anyway,’ and they said, ‘Alright, I mean they’re not going to do anything for you, but I’ll give them to you.’”

Another apple variety is the Crestons that were developed in Summerland

36 orchardandvine.net
Marti Wright and Keith McKenzie are owners of the heritage apple farm.

in 1998, but have not been widely successful as a supermarket product.

“We practically rescued those Crestons from oblivion,” says Marti, and Keith added, “Creston was one of the apples where they said, ‘yeah, we can sell you those, they’re really delicious, but nobody wants them because they’re not very attractive, so it’s just not a commercial apple.’

“And I said, ‘that works, because we’re not commercial either!’”

The first rows of apples planted at Ravenskill were Northern Spys, which were very popular and great for cider, but also very hard to grow on Gabriola, and that’s where the couple had to quickly become experts in their own ecosystem.

“We’re going to have to replant yet again, but that is an ongoing thing here, because it’s just us and there’s no instruction manual because there’s nobody else doing this,” says Marti. “Over the past 15 years or so, we’ve learned what rootstocks generally work and which don’t, but the truth is we’re still learning, still working on getting the best fruit for this land and for the cider we make.”

That was the other area where Marti and Keith had to become innovators, because the number of people using heritage apples to make cider is vanishingly small. The vast majority of cider is made with the culls of dessert apples, that are then sent to cider producers for a lower price.

By contrast, Ravenskill is growing apples specifically for cider production, just like a winery would grow grapes for specific wines.

For that reason, the couple enrolled in the best courses they could find, such as the renowned Cider Academy,

run by Peter Mitchell of the UK. They also picked the brains of other cidermakers, and even worked with local winemakers who brought a deep knowledge of yeasts and fermentation.

But even then, the couple had to acquire most of their knowledge on their own, because they make ciders with apples that pretty much no one else uses, and they grow them on an island with very little water for irrigation.

For that reason, the couple has frequently replanted, stubbornly trying out one variety after another until they find the ones that both grow well, and also complement their premium ciders.

Commercial nurseries don’t have those varieties, so they propagate their own trees through bench grafting, and run their own nursery where they’ve produced trees with 25 different apple varieties. They also sell other products, including fresh juice and sweet apple cider caramels, along with nine different types of cider.

While it seems like Ravenskill is the type of farm that shouldn’t even be able to exist long-term, thanks to the owners’ stubborn dedication to using cider and heritage apples, it not only survives, but thrives. 

Innovation 2023 | 37
Inset apple photos contributed

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.

Breaking into the bev and food biz

Rising costs, changing market demands, food sustainability and consumer interest in more locallycrafted options have led many farmers and growers to wonder how they can do more with what they already have.

Everyone wants more local, healthy food, but no one will sacrifice taste, yet it’s hard for new producers to break into foodie circles; regardless of the yummy factor they offer.

Andrea Gray-Grant, CEO of Good to Grow, an organization devoted to helping B.C.-based food and beverage businesses, has assisted a number of farmers, growers and processors establish solid roots in the food and beverage processing business.

She also delivers insights to take further growth steps when the time is right. Having been there herself, GrayGrant had her own processing business before she started helping more than 1,000 brands find their sweet spot.

“It’s not like I’m reading a textbook and telling them how to do it,” she says. “I’ve done it myself. When you walk into this business, you want to look at whether this product is viable.”

The latest program added to Good to Grow’s lineup was the Hatch Your Farm and Food Business workshop.

The first occasion the six-part, day-long training was presented was well-timed to help businesses gain a foothold on their plans and strategies for the busy farmers’ market season.

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

Jamie Rivard, B .Comm Account Manager BC Interior 250-552-0638 jamie.rivard@td.com

Ted Hallman Account Manager BC Interior 250-470-7557 ted.hallman@td.com

It also preceded the organization’s From the Ground Up trade show on May 18 at the PNE forum in Vancouver, which serves as the place to be to find what’s new in B.C.-produced food innovations.

Both are places where new businesses can get started in the food and beverage market.

“You need to take a workshop like this so you can plan for the future,” Gray-Grant says of the workshop.

38 orchardandvine.net ® The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. M05336 (1118) Ready for you

The workshop, funded by Vancity and designed and delivered by Good to Grow for the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets, helps businesses figure out how to start out and do it in a way that allows for easier growth. The basics include things like understanding pricing so that if selling to retailers is in the future, the foundation is right.

“Let’s start at the very beginning and the very beginning is the farmers’ market,” she says.

Ron Glave of BeeKind Honey Bees in Revelstoke attended the inaugural workshop and found the information well-suited to his business’s current position. He started operations in 2019 supporting commercial beekeepers by rearing queens and creating nucleus colonies.

“As a bi-product over the past four years, honey production is a part of what we do and this year it became a primary focus,” he says. “We’re transitioning from farm gate, direct-to-consumer, to now being retail-ready, and part of that now includes attending farmers’ markets.”

An opening for goods coming from bees at the Revelstoke market gave Glave the chance to take the spot and bring his own hive products.

He says it’s a thriving market and he appreciated the insight from the workshop into how to set up, interact with customers, and establish a strong position.

“That was the main hook for actually attending the training,” he says. “To see if there’s something that we’re not already thinking about.”

Beyond knowing how to best set up at the market, he appreciated answers to all the logistical elements that pile up at the eleventh hour, or worse, that crop up at the market itself.

“Do I need to go invest in a thermal printer so I can print a receipt? The answer is no. Do you put an individual tag on things or can you just go with price sheets?

“Price sheets are the norm,” he says. “It was refining what we thought about farmers’ markets. It gives you the confidence that, yeah, we actually got this.”

Having the information beforehand to make intelligent decisions allows people like

Glave to consider the future. GrayGrant wants workshop attendees to contemplate the growth potential even if they never progress past farmers’ markets as their outlet.

“Maybe you’ll never leave the farmers’ market,” she says. “Lots of people do that, but, when people come to me when they’re much further along, it’s so hard to get out of that.”

The workshop includes market etiquette, how to bring people in and how to design the booth. Subsequent workshops help scale growth.

She wants to see people succeed, so if Good to Grow doesn’t offer what a business needs, she has been known to point people in the right direction.

Innovation 2023 | 39
“Let’s start at the very beginning and the very beginning is the farmers’ market.”
— Andrea Gray-Grant CEO, Good to Grow Neil Keeble, BeeKind Honey Bees
TRC MANUFACTURING OKANAGAN Call us 250-801-6051 Call us, we would love to quote you on your premium personalized corporate custom boxes. We also make double and triple bottle boxes. Some of our features include: • Corner enhancements • Mitered corners • Easy thumb pull Timeless Elegance Bringing your brand to a whole new level.
With a processing facility on-site, Kirkaberry Farm produces freezedried powder among their many Haskap products. Photo contributed


40 orchardandvine.net

At the From the Ground Up trade show, husband and wife Murray and Susan Kirkpatrick of Kirkaberry Farms in Midway, B.C., showcased numerous products made from haskap berries.

The former hay farmers from Alberta wanted to do “something different,” so upon reading an article about the fringe berry that grows on a shrub, they bought 5,000 plants in 2010 and just kept going. They now have more then 51,000 plants on their 806-acre farm.

“There wasn’t a productive acre on this land when we bought it,” Murray says. “We cleaned it up and planted Christmas trees for the farm tax break.”

The first good harvest from mature haskaps was in 2015. Initially, the berries were sold locally, but the opportunity for growth was apparent. The Kirkpatricks loved the berries and knew they were filled with antioxidants and other healthy benefits, so they dove into freeze drying and high-pressure processing to retain the nutrients and expand the market opportunities.

“Now we have healthy products all the way through,” says Susan, adding that being at the show was intended to help introduce the berry and its potential to more people and buyers. They already have one Vancouver-based restaurant that buys products from them.

With a processing facility onfarm, they have the ability to make juice, freeze-dried berries, freezedried powder, puree and a variety of snack products (like haskap yogurt and ice-cream bites) that make use of the freeze-dried process.

The facility is CanadaGAP certified with CFIA approval, and Kirkaberry is able to ship products across North America. They’ve even been creating wine, and while a licensed winery, they haven’t started selling that product just yet.

The couple hopes to see the rest of the world grow more familiar with the very versatile haskap berry.

“We gotta make people aware that we have such a wonderful berry to work with.” says Murray.

At the show, their samples were readily offered to introduce people to the deep rich flavours the berry can produce. 

15% faster - 15% more compact



• “Soft” or “Standard”

• Blade speed setting

• Straight power cable Quick cable arm band: “Quick Lock-Unlock” system Additional Bluetooth® connected box (option)

• Wireless built-in rackable battery pole extensions (option)

Infaco Sales and Service | Western Canada 6015 Fir Ave, Summerland, BC V0H 1Z4 604.378.4826 Neil@corsicaequipment.com www.corsicaequipment.com

Innovation 2023 | 41 Providing Canadian Grapevine Solutions BRITISH COLUMBIA Phone 250.809.6040 bcsales@vinetech.ca ONTARIO Phone 905.984.4324 sales@vinetech.ca

Wineries and cideries turn to new

In a saturated market where traditional marketing techniques are commonplace and it seems like everything has been done, finding truly innovative ways to promote your winery or cidery can be a challenge. However, by embracing emerging trends, you can captivate your audience and leave a lasting impression. Here are a few new marketing tactics and offer a few creative ideas to help your winery or cidery stand out from the crowd.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Experiences: Transport your customers into the enchanting world of winemaking and cider production through immersive virtual reality experiences.

Creating virtual tours that allows visitors to explore your vineyards or orchards, witness the production process, and even participate in virtual tastings. VR experiences provide a novel way to engage with consumers.

Virtual Vineyard or Orchard Tours: Invite your customers on a virtual journey through your vineyards or orchards. Through VR headsets or even smartphone apps, they can explore landscapes, wander between rows of vines or trees, and admire breathtaking vistas. Incorporate interactive elements such as informational hotspots or guided narrations to provide educational insights about the terroir, varieties, or cultivation practices.

By virtually transporting the audience to the heart of your winery or cidery, you can create a sense of connection and intrigue.

Immersive Production Process: Take customers behind-the-scenes with a virtual tour of your production facilities. From the crushing and pressing of grapes or apples to the fermentation and aging processes, VR can showcase the work required and intricate details that go into making your wines or ciders.

Allow viewers to witness the steps required, the dedication of your team, and the state-ofthe-art (or not) equipment that contributes to the quality of your products. By immersing customers in the production journey, you foster appreciation and trust in your brand.

Virtual Tastings: Bring the tasting room experience directly to your customers’ homes through virtual tastings in VR. Allow them to participate in guided tastings led by knowledgeable experts, sharing tasting notes, pairing suggestions, and anecdotes about each wine or cider. Implement interactive features that enable users to virtually interact with the bottles, rotate them for a closer look, and access additional information about the tasting profiles. By providing an engaging and interactive tasting experience, you can transcend geographical barriers and reach a wider audience.

Augmented Reality (AR) Labels:

Revolutionize your bottle labels with augmented reality technology. By integrating AR elements into your labels, you can bring them to life with interactive content, such as 3D animations, educational videos, or tasting notes. This interactive approach adds a touch of magic to your products and enhances the overall consumer experience.

Gamification: Tap into the growing trend of gamification to engage and entertain your audience. Gamification is applying some elements of game playing (like point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.

Develop a wine or ciderthemed mobile app that includes quizzes, challenges, or virtual vineyard/orchard exploration games. Encourage users to compete, collect

42 orchardandvine.net
technology ❶ Introducing our new Horticulture and Research Project Manager, Gail Nelson. ❷ Research funding: • Effect of water stress on Ambrosia fruit. • Cover crops for drive alleys. • Hot water fumigation of fruit trees. • Molecular markers in cherries. • Detection of Little Cherry Disease. • Cherry fruitlet nutrent analysis. DID YOU KNOW? BCFGA funds research projects: The BC Fruit Growers’ Association Supports research projects for the tree fruit sector: 1-800-619-9022 info@bcfga.com www.bcfga.com ➔ Apple Pests and Alternative Control Strategies ➔ Apple Crop Load Management: Enhancing Thinning Predictability and Tree Response ➔ Extending Storage Life and Maximizing Quality to Reduce Postharvest Apple Loss  MARKETING MI X | LEEANN FROESE

rewards, and share their progress on social media. Gamification not only enhances brand engagement, but also creates a sense of excitement and fun around your offerings.

Collaborative Limited Editions: Team up with other wineries or cideries to create collaborative limitededition products. This can involve joint production, blending, or aging processes, resulting in unique and exclusive offerings that are only available for a limited time. Collaborations not only attract attention, but also foster a sense of community among wine and cider enthusiasts.

Pop-up Tasting Events: Surprise and delight your audience by coordinating pop-up tasting events in unexpected locations. Set up temporary tasting stations in bustling city centers, popular parks, or unique venues, attracting passersby with the allure of a spontaneous tasting experience. This innovative approach allows you to reach a broader audience and create buzz around your brand.

Bespoke Wine or Cider Experiences: Offer personalized, bespoke wine or cider experiences tailored to individual customers’ preferences. Allow people to create their own blends, participate in the winemaking process, or design custom labels for special occasions. By providing a one-of-a-kind experience, you not only create a loyal customer but also generate positive word-of-mouth referrals.

By embracing new technology, popup events, and personalized experiences, B.C. wineries and cideries can redefine the boundaries of traditional marketing and captivate their audience in fresh and exciting ways. Try the new tactics, unleash your creativity, and watch your brand flourish in this ever-evolving industry. Cheers to entering the future of winery and cidery marketing! 

Leeann Froese owns Town Hall Brands, a marketing and graphic design agency with 26 years’ experience branding and promoting beverage alcohol, food and hospitality. See more at townhallbrands.com or on social @townhallbrands

Specialists in Concrete Preparation, Restoration, Resurfacing and Protective Finishes





BC Interior: 250-258-8728





• Lower Mainland: 250-454-6969

Unit 6 - 2543 Juliann Rd, West Kelowna, BC V1Z 2M3


Innovation 2023 | 43

Romanced by Italy at the Red Barn

I’m transfixed as the chrome-wrapped tanks capture the sunshine streaming through the winery’s windows, creating an iridescence rainbow of purples and blues. The intoxication of the colours continues as I glance down at the Rosé wine in my glass, a soft hue of peachy pink. The wine’s name: Transfiction.

I’m on-site at one of the hottest and largest vineyards in the Okanagan (400

acres), part of the holdings of the Marc Anthony Group. The exclusive Red Barn Winery at Jagged Rock Vineyard is now welcoming guests and showcasing its unique approach to its portfolio of wines. Their wine program focusing solely on the grapes grown on-site, emphasizing Italian varietals and an absence of oak in the winemaking process.

The striking Red Barn, designed by architect Tom Kundig, sits at the end of a dirt road, surrounded by a rugged rock face and lush vines. Built 20 years ago, the barn first housed all the forklifts and tractors needed for the vineyard. Then, four years ago, Kundig transformed the space. Like the winemaking, the traditional clashed with the unconventional.

The wine labels help to tell the story of this vision for Red Barn.

The 2021 Parts Unknown features a vessel sailing to the edge of the sea, fully ready to drop off the edge of the earth (painted by French artist Sébastien del Grosso.)

For some Okanagan wine lovers, the parts that make up this unique small lots red blend may also be unknown. Winemaker Kaylee Barss has blended the Italian varietal Barbera (60%) with Cabernet Franc (20%), Syrah (15%) and five percent Viognier.

Crafted in the custom-made Lasi stainless steel fermenters and then aged in concrete, an earthy, finely balanced wine has developed.

The juicy Sangiovese Italian varietal adds acidity to the 2021 Transfiction Blended Rosé. Whole cluster pressed with Cabernet Franc and Syrah, this elegant lady has plenty of charm, with her strawberry notes on the nose and rhubarb on the palate.

While the velvetiness finish may transfix, her label—created by designer Cody Dingle—will mesmerize.

Red Barn at Jagged Rock is open for tastings by appointment; however, as the days lengthen, the patio will be open late to enjoy a glass and the sunset. Once again, they are going against the grain, extending visiting hours much longer than their neighbouring wineries.

O&V publisher Yvonne Turgeon shares her Sippin’ Pretty wine and bevvy column every second week on Thompson Okanagan Trends Magazine website trendsmag.ca.

Wealth Management and Family Farm Transition Advice

At BMO Private Wealth, our team works with farming families to provide comprehensive investment, lending, retirement and estate planning, and insurance solutions every step of the way. Whether you are looking for ways to finance increased crop production or you would like to pass the business on to the next generation, we can help.

Born and raised in an orcharding family in the Okanagan, Ben is very familiar with the joys and challenges shared across the industry. He has worked in Wealth Management in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Luxembourg and speaks French and German. Contact him today at 778-594-3359 or benjamin.neitsch@bmo.com

44 orchardandvine.net
BMO Private Wealth is a brand name for a business group consisting of Bank of Montreal and certain of its affiliates in providing wealth management products and services. Not all products and services are offered by all legal entities within BMO Private Wealth. Banking services are offered through Bank of Montreal. Investment management, wealth planning, tax planning, philanthropy planning services are offered through BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and BMO Private Investment Counsel Inc. Estate, trust, and custodial services are offered through BMO Trust Company. BMO Private Wealth legal entities do not offer tax advice. BMO Trust Company and BMO Bank of Montreal are Members of CDIC. ® Registered trademark of Bank of Montreal, used under license. Benjamin
Senior Investment Counsellor & Portfolio Manager
Red wines at Red Barn at Jagged Rock are created in custommade Lasi stainless steel fermenters from Italy. Photo by Yvonne Turgeon

What wines are your serving? Introducing the Pour More BC program

Wine Growers British Columbia has launched Pour More BC, a hospitality program developed to support and promote B.C. restaurants with B.C.-focused wine lists.

The program is designed to benefit everyone involved: from the B.C. wineries crafting premium wines, to the restaurants serving by the glass or bottle, and finally to the consumers who enjoy them.

“At its core, the Pour More BC program connects people with great local restaurants,” says Kimberley Barnes, marketing director of the Wine Growers British Columbia.

“More than that, it makes it easy

The Pour More BC program has also been built into the award-winning Wines of BC Explorer app, the go-to digital

Exciting recognition came to the program when Vancouver Magazine announced the winner of the ‘Best BC Wine List’ at their 34th annual Restaurant Awards as a Pour More BC restaurant, Water St. Café in Vancouver.

“We focus on the ‘best of BC’ as our core value,” says general manager Sandy Grant. “This is reflected in our B.C.-forward wine list with over 90 B.C. labels supported. We look to focus on unique varietals and wineries to showcase the diversity of what B.C. can offer from so many wonderful regions.

“When we support B.C. businesses we make BC and our communities strong.”

All five finalists named for the award were Pour More BC partners.

“Congratulations to Water St. Café on this new accolade,” says Barnes. “Their restaurant values align perfectly with the ambition of the Pour More BC program to bring B.C. wine country to the table.” 

adventures at WineBC.com on the Wines of BC Explorer App. Be sure to follow @WinesofBC and #PourMoreBC.

Dealer for: Amarillo Wind Machines, AGI Electric Frost Fans and Altrac Automation Vintageiron net Vintageiron@telus net 250.485.8066  WORD ON WINE | KELLY JOSEPHSON
Sonetto restaurant at Play Winery in Penticton is one of the restaurants participating in the Pour More BC wine program. Photo contributed

Michael Clark: Winemaker at Clos du Soleil Winery

Michael Clark is the winemaker, general manager, and co-owner of Clos du Soleil Winery, located outside Keremeos in the Similkameen Valley. Michael was trained in theoretical physics, and then spent the first part of his career in investment management, working in the United States and Europe.

While living in Switzerland he decided to turn his life-long passion for wine into his career. He has never looked back since.

O&V: How did you get started in the wine industry?

Michael Clark: When I was living and working in Geneva, Switzerland, working in finance, with my wife's support I decided to take the plunge and change careers. I started by taking winemaking courses at the Haute Ecole de Viticulture et Oenologie at Changins, just outside of Geneva, and working a harvest at a winery in the area. Later, I had the opportunity to make wine and participate in a harvest in St. Emilion, Bordeaux, and by that point I was truly hooked, and knew that this was the right path for me.

O&V: Where did you go to school or apprentice?

MC: My graduate-level background in physics meant that I already had a significant foundation in chemistry, which is certainly useful as a winemaker. In addition to the hands-on experience I had gained in Switzerland and France, I also completed the distance program in winemaking from the University of California at Davis, which provided an excellent theoretical basis to underpin the day-to-day realities of winemaking.

O&V: Have you worked in any other countries?

MC: While I have harvest experience from both Switzerland and France, my full-time, year-round work in the wine industry has been in Canada. But I think that one of the more important skills I bring to my job is my palate. I have been tasting, drinking and collecting wine since I was a teenager, as I have always been fascinated by wine. Having travelled to wine regions around the world, and trained my palate for almost my whole life, I feel that my background in wine is one of the key things allowing me to do my job at Clos du Soleil.

O&V: What is your favourite varietal to work with?

MC: I don't have just one grape variety that is my favourite, whether we are referring to winemaking or drinking. What I love about wine is its almost infinite variety. That being said, in the Similkameen I have found both Cabernet Franc and Syrah, to be two varieties I really enjoy working with due to their suitability to our terroir. I think they have the potential to really shine in our valley. Additionally, I get to work with a lot of Sauvignon Blanc from a lot of different sites at Clos du Soleil and I am

always impressed by how that grape can be much more multi-faceted than many people think, and I find that fascinating.

O&V: What is the best thing about your job?

MC: The best thing about my job is that from one year to the next, it is never the same. Every vintage is different, and to be a good winemaker you need to be sensitive and responsive to the character of every vintage. And, of course, it is a discipline where we never stop learning. Every single year is an opportunity to continue to push ourselves to learn and to improve.

O&V: Is there a particular wine or vintage that you have made that you are most proud of?

MC: Honestly, no, because my interest is in showcasing the unique character of each vintage. I enjoy them all precisely because each vintage has its own story to tell. If anything, I'm most proud of the wines I have made in more challenging conditions, than in the so-called easy vintages. It is in the challenging vintages when one is stretched as a winemaker, to make something beautiful and worthy and still representative of the vintage.

46 orchardandvine.net
Photo courtesy of Clos du Soleil Winery Winemaker Michael Clark enjoys working with Cabernet Franc and Syrah, varieties well suited to the terroir of the Similkameen.



Excellent moisture holding capacities. Tried and tested for over 30 years.


A true winner. A blend of mushroom manure and peat, adding organic matter whilst retaining moisture and nutrients.


Organic soils and composts that are trusted season after season by over 100 leading vineyards, orchards & growers.

A well matured compost produced from green waste and free from bio-solids.


A very fertile, free draining soil blend to produce the most optimum environment for your new and existing plants.


A soil improving blend of our organic Peat Moss and Weston Compost.


A perfect blend of natural ingredients offering a nutrient rich soil that is easy to work with for all your planting needs.

Choose from our wide selection of quality peat, soils and composts or work with us on a custom blend that meets your unique specifications. We have the expertise, inputs and tools you need to improve your soil, contact us for your quote today!

250-493-5410 | info@superiorpeat.com


Soils, Composts & Mulch Products

1700 Carmi Ave, Penticton, BC

Kubota gets it done and then some. That means dependable performance with the comfort to match, easy operation with easy maintenance and dedicated service with great affordability. Right now, save big on quality tractors, utility vehicles, mowers, implements, attachments and more this Summer.

kubota.ca |
SUMMER, Abbotsford - (604) 864-9568 Kelowna - (250) 769-8700 Vermon - (250) 545-3355 avenuemachinery.ca AMC010 ABBOTSFORD Avenue Machinery 1521 Sumas Way 604-864-2665 COURTENAY North Island Tractor 3663 S. Island Hwy 250-334-0801 CRESTON Kemlee Equipment N.W. Boulevard 250-428-2254 DUNCAN Island Tractor & Supply 4650 Trans Canada Hwy 250-746-1755 KELOWNA Avenue Machinery 1090 Stevens Road 250-769-8700 OLIVER Gerard’s Equipment Hwy 97 South 250-498-2524 VERNON Avenue Machinery 7155 Meadowlark Road 250-545-3355

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.