Wine industry making moves forward to sustainability

Sustainable wine industry

A theme is emerging this spring in the wine business, and it’s not just the bright-eyed enthusiasm of tasting rooms and winery patios opening for the season. It’s the business of sustainability.

If you were around wineries and a handful of gourmet food shops a few years ago, you may recall seeing Winecrush products in tasting rooms or at events. The company has transformed from turning the leftover materials from the winemaking process into tasty bites to a new name and business outlook.

Now CrushDynamics, it is pioneering a biomechanical process that, in a nutshell, takes the waste from wineries and upcycles it into food ingredients that reduce salt and sugar, boosts nutrition, reduces environmental impact and optimizes taste.

The company is reaping in millions in funding as it seeds expansion plans.

CrushDynamics began at Okanagan wineries, including Stag’s Hollow in Okanagan Falls. Stag’s Hollow recently achieved sustainability certification from Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia (SWBC).

SWBC recognizes the efforts and achievements by wineries to minimize their impact on the environment.

This means taking a holistic approach that enhances soil health and carbon capture, promotes biodiversity, protects waterways and cares for the health and well-being of employees and the wider community.

Who knew all of this thought went into your glass of pinot?

Meanwhile, SWBC member Tantalus Vineyards in Kelowna is looking up from the soil and vines to the power of the sun to do more than just ripen grapes.

Working with SolShare Energy, Tantalus has just gone live with bifacial solar panels on the winery’s main building, anticipated to produce 60,000 kWh of energy per year. At peak times, the solar system will offset 70% to 100% of Tantalus’ electrical consumption. It is SolShare’s first project in Kelowna.

Further south, in Summerland, Okanagan Crush Pad is the first Canadian winery to join the IWCA – the International Wineries for Climate Action.

Founded by Familia Torres (Penedes, Spain) and Jackson Family Wines (California, USA) in 2019, IWCA set out to galvanize the global wine community to create climate change mitigation strategies and decarbonize the industry.

From May 23 to 26, 150 speakers from around the world will converge, virtually, for Green Wine Future from eight regions (presented in English, Spanish and French), to discuss climate change, biodiversity, wine tourism, regenerative viticulture, and more.

Canada will be represented by keynote speakers Chief Clarence Louisof the Osoyoos Indian Band and Melanie Mark, B.C.’s Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport.

These are all great steps in the greening of the wine industry.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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