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is a lower cost structure and less of
a risk in grapes, he pointed out. positive recognition will inspire
She is hoping that all of the
putting this new plan into action,
It was just as the Coverts were other wine producers and grape
the Spring Wine Festival from May
The winery will be open during
that Shelly Covert met her friend
growers to consider switching to
1-10. The tasting room will open
Crystal Froese for lunch. In talking
organics and employing
again for the season July 1 and will
about some of the changes being
biodynamic practices that will both
remain open until the end of the
contemplated at the farm, they
help the environment and, if their
fall festival.
came up with the idea of starting a
succes is any inidcation, the wines. also be open this summer with a
Pancho’s Country Market will
winery together. They decided to
bring their husbands — Gene, an
its 2008 vintage March 11 and
Dunham and Froese was to bottle focus on food service. The Coverts
experienced farmer, and Kirby
releasing 2,000 cases of wine at the
have applied for a picnic licence
Froese, an experienced winemaker
end of the month, as they work
that will allow their customers to
— together for further discussion
toward increasing their total
enjoy some of the organic produce
production to 6,000 cases per year.
with a glass of organic Dunham
and Froese wine.
night and it all just started (from
“We went out for dinner one
there),” said Crystal. “A lot of
serendipity played a role around
the whole thing.” Many more
meetings later, the couples had
come up with Dunham and Froese
Prepare for 2009!
Estate Winery, a name that
combines Crystal and Kirby’s last
What is En vironmental F arm Planning?
name with Gene’s mother’s maiden
En vironmental F arm Planning is a v oluntary
process that producers can use to identify both
vineyard is planted in Pinot Noir,
The winery’s 15-acre organic
en vironmental strengths and an y
Syrah, Merlot, Cabernat Franc,
potential risks on their farms. It includes a priori -
Petite Verdot, Malbec, Viognier,
tized action plan to reduce the risks.
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Pinot
Blanc. This year the vineyard will
Project funding for 2009?
be doubling in size and adding
At the time of printing, the feder al and pro vincial go v ernments are negotiat-
ing the details of non-business risk management (BRM) progr ams.
En vironmental F arm Plans are included in the non-BRM progr ams. If an
biodynamic practices, which takes
The grapes are all grown using agreement is reac hed, the on-farm funding of EFP projects will likely start-
organic to the next level. These
up again in April 2009. W e recommend that for gro wers w ho w ant to
practices have only worked to
apply for EFP project funding in 2009, but ha v en't y et completed an EFP ,
improve the quality of the grapes
they should get started completing their EFP prior to April 2009. T his will
that winemaker Kirby has to work
allo w them to apply for funding as soon as an y new EFP funding is made
a v ailable.
you don’t need to mess around with
“If the grapes are really great,
Ho w does the progr am w ork?
things too much,” said Crystal. In
• EFP “Planning Ad visor” explains progr am to the gro wer .
order to maximize flavour, Dunham
• P erform risk assessment of y our farm.
and Froese does not filter or fine
• Dev elop a plan to mitigate identified risks.
its wines. This technique has paid
• Ha v e the plan appro v ed b y a “Planning Ad visor . ”
• Apply for project funding (BMPs).
• Complete projects and make claims.
“flown under the radar,” choosing
While the winery has sort of
• Recei v e 2 P ac P oints for completing an EFP .
to maintain a low-key operation
rather than have a flashy ad
BC Good Agricultur al Pr actices Inc. is the deli v ery group for tree fruits,
campaign, Crystal said they have
gr apes, v egetables, ginseng & aspar agus gro wn in the Interior of BC.
still managed to garner a lot of
F or more information contact:
attention. In 2008 the winery was
Don Magnusson, BCGAP coordinator for deli v ery of EFP
listed as the number two up-and-
coming wine producer to watch in
North America in the 2008 Wine
BC F ruit Gro wers’ Association, 1473 W ater Street, K elo wna, BC V1Y 1J6
NO TE: An y projects a producer starts before recei ving both an appro v ed EFP and
“We were totally shocked,” said a project proposal are NO T eligible for funding. In addition, the project must be
completed before claims can be reimbursed.
Froese was named the best new
Also last year, Dunham and
winery at the Okanagan Fall Wine
British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2009
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