With panoramic views, lush grounds, and opulent wines, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia is home to some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world.
The premier wine region possesses ideal climate conditions to produce high-quality products, and has recently moved towards sustainable agricultural methods. A variety of vineyards have taken to organic and bio-dynamic farming in avoidance of toxicity, and common herbicides and tourists are supporting this movement. Organic wines follow guidelines of the Certified Organics Association, and contain no genetically modified organisms. This is similar to bio-dynamic farming, which creates diversified ecosystems to generate nutrients from the land itself.
Craig Hazlett is a Victoria BC resident and staunch environmental supporter. Craig takes pleasure in the fact that he can enjoy a day trip to a winery knowing it is a sustainable facility. Individuals have been aiming to reduce their ecological footprint throughout 2017, and with tourist destinations beginning to follow suit, bio-dynamic farming is the way of the future.
Bio-dynamic farming is an ethical agricultural tactic developed in the early 1920’s, and works to enhance the environment’s natural processes. Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is a leader in bio-dynamic farming and continues to grow. In bio-dynamics, each organism works together to create a healthy environment and form a closed system. This is achieved by performing non-commercial means such as crop rotation, covering crops, and composting. Summerhill Winery in Kelowna is a certified organic winery that has recently received the Demeter Bio-dynamic Certification. Craig often visits Okanagan Valley with his family, and encourages others to support the movement towards greener recreational facilities.
Not only are British Columbia’s main tourist attractions opting to use alternative agricultural means, but many support environmental causes through other means. For example, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery offers 100% of their “tasting fees” to the Owl Conservation Society and Okanagan Rehab Center for Owls. Burrowing owl also uses bio-diesel tractors, sustainable fertilizers, and solar-energized water technology. Tantalus Vineyards has a ten-acre forest in the center of their property, where they house over 30 beehives for neighboring farms.
With so many vineyards working towards creating environmentally friendly systems, it is likely that other facilities will follow suit. Next time you are venturing through BC and are in the mood for an exquisite wine, check to see if the vineyard utilizes sustainable practices—this way, you can enjoy a day out while simultaneously protecting the amazing landscape.