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Prunings A

mbrosia growers in B.C. have approved renewal of a levy to promote the brand in a vote taken this spring by the New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council. This is the third time the original levy has been extended since its inception in 2001. A vote is required every five years. This year's vote was on a slightly reduced levy, from .025 cents a pound to .02 cents and it received 62 per cent approval. In most cases the levy is deducted at the packinghouse, but with direct sales the grower is responsible to pay it directly to the council. Funds are used not only for promotion, but also for research into quality improvements, storability and certain apple pests. Matching funding has also been granted in the past, so the levy is seed money that can be used to attract additional money. For more information, go to the website at: Ambrosia is ranked among the most promising apple varieties in the world, and provides high returns for growers...

Members of the B.C. Cherry Association met this spring and elected a new board of directors for 2016, including three newcomers: Niel Dendy, Bryan Key and Neal van der Helm. Re-elected president was Sukhpaul Bal, while David Geen was re-elected vice-president. Secretary is Graeme Nelson. The treasurer is Keith Carlson. Re- elected as directors were: Andre Bailey, Chris Danninger, Ravi Dhaliwal, David Geen, Gord Sandhu, Don Westcott, Bikaramjit Sandhu and Don Low. During the half-day AGM, cheques totalling around $30,000 were presented from royalties on Gibberellic Acid, a growth enhancer used to allow the fruit to size up before harvest. The association spearheaded research into use of GA for this purpose. Royalties from companies such as TerraLink Horticulture and Gro-Spurt Products go back into more research into cherry pests and diseases and quality issues for the benefit of members...

The B.C. Grapegrowers Association board has a fresh look with the retirement of Manfred Freese after 15 years, most of that at the helm of the association, along with

long-time treasurer Ed Thibault. Both are staying on in an ex-officio capacity to get their replacements up to speed. Mason Spink of Dirty Laundry is a new director, taking over as president, while William Borren of Four Shadows Vineyard takes over as treasurer and Valerie Tait of Bench 1775 Winery takes on the role of secretary. All are new to the board. Other new members are David Kozuki of Golden Retreat Vineyard, Skip Stothert of Coolshanagh Vineyard and Ken Sapsford of The Road Home Vineyard. Returning board members are Jarnail Gill of Cawston Vineyards, Graham O'Rourke of Tightrope Winery and Ralph Suremann of Pegasus Vineyards...

Christine Gross has been hired

by the Summerland Varieties Corporation to fill the newly created position of business and marketing development

Christine Gross

coordinator. Recently arrived from Nanaimo, Gross brings nearly 15 years of communications and marketing experience in the public and non-profit sectors. She will plan

and coordinate marketing and branding strategies focused on the development of new and existing tree fruits. She will also work with the SVC team and industry partners to promote apple and cherry varieties already in the marketplace. "I've just started on the steep curve of learning about tree fruits and the extensive activities of SVC," she said. Her first goal is to build a new SVC website in order to serve the grower community and SVC's clients better. "We're pleased to have Christine on board to help us do a more comprehensive and robust job of marketing and promoting, " said SVC general manager Frank Kappel. Gross holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing degree from the University of Victoria and a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations Management from Royal Roads University...

With a burgeoning interest in cider, a local cider organization is in the process of getting started up, to be called the B.C. Farm Crafted Cider

Association. Chris Schmidt of Tod Creek Craft Cider says the paperwork is currently at the registrar, and they expect to be in business within a month or so. A total of 19 cideries form the group so far, with six members as directors. The association is only for land- based licensed cider makers, representing the orchardists who make their cider the traditional way. "Our mandate is to act as a voice for the land-based licensees, as our members are small businesses without the marketing or lobby power that large commercial operations have," he explains. The new group's website is: Wine industry pioneer Harry McWatters announced this spring that Encore Vineyards, home to Time Winery, McWatters Collection and Evolve Cellars, purchased the former PenMar Theatre in Penticton to transform it into the first South Okanagan urban winery. It's anticipated that modifications to the building will enable it to produce its first wines with this year's vintage. Included in the restored building will be a new winery production facility including a crush pad, barrel cellar, custom fermentation hall, lab, warehouse and administrative offices. Visitors will enjoy a tasting bar, small plates lounge, 40-seat outdoor patio and retail wine shop. One of the theatres will be kept as a 75-seat movie, performance and event space for concerts, private functions and non- profit uses. The PenMar was built in 1956, but closed in 2012.

For the record

In our Spring issue , a gremlin added extra zeroes to the tonnage forecast from Okanagan Crush Pad’s new vineyard in the Garnet Valley, so it read 15,000 to 20,000 tons, instead of 15 to 20 tons. Oops. Hope they’re not charged additional levies! •••

The article on wine laboratories in our Spring issue incorrectly stated that Lynn Bremmer had worked as a winemaker and done extensive laboratory analysis in Ontario. In fact, all of her work experience has been in B.C.

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Summer 2016 35

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