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Between the Vines
Gene Covert with some
young vines near
landmark McIntyre
Bluff.
Pla
with the times
ns change
Vineyard village idea for Covert Farms
different. The vineyard village, much like the apples,
TRACY CLARK
gave way to more grapes, along with
has been uprooted. Today, where condos and inns were
organic fruits and a highly-rated
envisioned, sit acre upon acre of grape vines.
winery.
through that the Coverts decided to lease out 300 acres
It was just a year after the vineyard village plans fell
of their land—100 of which had been planted in apples
and another 200 acres of marginal land they had not
been farming. The land underwent a transition totally to
By T
I
racy Clark wine grapes by Andrew Peller, who has a 30-year lease
t was just five short years ago that two men
on the property.
announced their vision for a vineyard village at the
historic Covert Farms in Oliver.
since become a certified organic farm. The plantings
The Coverts retained another 138 acres, which have
include 80 acres of ground crops, strawberries,
condominiums, inns, a bistro, a spa and possibly even a
Their plans included, among other amenities, blueberries, and blackberries, as well as some peaches
chapel. At the time 350 acres of the nearly 700-acre
and nectarines. The majority of the produce is sold
property was planted, apples being the largest crop,
through the retail end of the business as U-pick or at
followed by corn, tomatoes, onions, table grapes and
Pancho’s Country Market.
many other ground crops. introduced 15 acres of wine grapes, which are in
Adding to the diversity of their crops, the Coverts
28
Fast-forward to 2009 and the scenery is much production for their joint venture, Dunham and
British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2009
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