group of local investors is turning the former BC Tree Fruits packinghouse in Naramata into a wine storage facility. The 4.6-acre property was sold for $3.7 million to David Enns and partners Mik Ball, Robert Gritten, and Steven Jaeger, who took possession of the property in February. The Naramata Wine Vault will provide storage and support for the more than 35 wineries, distilleries and cideries located on the Naramata Bench. Redevelopment plans for the cold storage building include new electrical and climate control systems and energy efficient lighting plus site and building security. The group hopes to have the storage business in operation this spring...


A B.C. wine industry icon himself, author and wine judge John Schreiner has won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Canada in the category New World Wine with his new book called Icon: Flagship Wines from British Columbia’s Best Wineries. This is Schreiner’s 15th book and it is a compendium of his observations on the highest-calibre wines from 100 of the province’s most-accomplished wineries. It’s been published by Touchwood Editions...

New provincial agriculture minister Lana Popham has announced a return to the Buy BC: Eat Drink Local campaign, aimed at educating residents of B.C. on the positive affect their choices can have when they choose to support local agriculture. A highlight of the promotion will be the month-long dining campaign in May. At the kickoff of the rejigged Buy BC program held at Sandhill, chefs Ross Derrick of The Table at Codfathers Market in Kelowna, Adam Relvas of Relvas Catering and Tina Tang of Predator Ridge Resort showcased local ingredients to match up with local wines in creative bites for guests... The B.C. Tree Fruits Co- operative board elected a new president following the October annual general meeting, when former president Jeet Dukhia was not re- elected. Sam DiMaria has taken over as head of the co-op. Two new board members were elected to represent the northern part of the valley: Mike Mitchell and Nirmal Dhaliwal, while Talwinder Bassi


and Joginder Khosa were re- elected to represent the south. Incumbents are: DiMaria, Steve Day, Amarjit Lalli from the north and Steve Brown, Harbhajan Sidhu and Mohinder Dhaliwal from the south. Appointed vice- presidents were Lalli from the north and Bassi from the south. The BCTFC represents 430 grower members and 219 voting members attended the AGM...

New varieties of apples continued to be B.C.’s strong suit at the 2017 National Apple Competition during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto in November. Steve Brown of Happy Valley Harvest in Summerland received the Canadian Horticultural Council trophy for Grand Champion with his Ambrosias. Denise and Richard MacDonald of MacDonald Farm in Summerland received Reserve Champion for their Salish entry in New Varieties. Their Aurora Golden Galas came first as well. B.C. also placed top in the Commercial category of Red Delicious, with former B.C. Fruit Growers Association president Fred Steele’s entry. Ironically, those trees have now been pulled out as the new owner of his orchard prepares to replant it to cherries. David Bullach of Kelowna placed first with his Spartans, a variety bred and developed at the Summerland Research and Development Centre in 1936. That centre took second prize for the most unusually- shaped apple...

The innovative and fun Half- Corked Marathon, held annually by the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association, has brought the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Event of the Year Award out west for 2017. It was presented at the 2017 Canadian Tourism Awards, held in Quebec. The award recognizes success and innovation in tourism and rewards events which go above and beyond to showcase Canada’s best and offer travellers unforgettable experiences. In all, 39 area wineries participate in the marathon, which celebrated its 10th year, with more than 1,000 runners participating every May. The route weaves through vineyards with winery stations every kilometre offering wine and treats to keep runners ‘motivated.’ The party

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2018

continues at the conclusion of the race, as well as the night prior to the race. This year’s event has sold out again, but spectators are welcome... At the Okanagan Wine Festival Society’s AGM in November, a number of new directors were appointed, including Julian Scholefield (Okanagan Crush Pad), Annika Betts (Wayne Gretzky Okanagan) and Dominique Dooley (Public Liquor). Chairman Bruce Hibbard handed the reins over to Lindsay Kelm (Quails’ Gate Winery). Returning board members include Jonathan Rouse (Okanagan College), Andy Gebert (St. Hubertus), Jan Nelson (Tinhorn Creek), Melody Schneider (Sandhill), Daniel Bibby (Nighthawk), Carolyn Nixon (Nixon Hospitality Group) and ex- officio board members Angela Brown (Valley First) and Geoff Barlow (Container World). The OWFS presents four seasonally- inspired wine festivals annually, along with two wine award competitions and a number of signature events... At the 2017 B.C. Wine Awards put on by the BCWFS, the Premier Award was presented to Sandhill for its 2015 Syrah Terroir Driven. As well, platinum medals were awarded to: See Ya Later Ranch for its NV Brut; Baillie- Grohman for its 2014 Chardonnay; Monte Creek Ranch for its 2016 Pinor Noir Reserve; Red Rooster for its 2016 Riesling; Tightrope for its 2015 Syrah, TIME for its 2013 Meritage and Volcanic Hills for its 2016 Gamay Noir. More than 600 wines from 85 wineries were judged in blind tastings by 10 judges from across North America. A record number of medals were presented to more than 50 wineries... The B.C. Tree Fruit

Cooperative’s cider company has brought home a gold medal for its Broken Ladder Apples and Hops premium craft cider from the North American Cidercraft Awards. It was up against more than 300 ciders from across the continent. The BCTF cidery makes three ciders: Apples, Pears and Peaches and Apples and Hops, and it boasts there’s no added sugar, water, concentrate, artificial flavourings or colouring in any of them...

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