On our second day at the Wine Bloggers Conference 2013, we joined the Farm Excursion, which took us to a selection of Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive wineries, including Thornhaven, Heaven’s Gate, and the Okanagan Crush Pad. These wineries are located along or near highway 97 in Summerland, British Columbia, just North of Penticton, BC (where the conference is being held).
On this excursion we learned about organic farming techniques being used at the Okanagan Crush Pad. In order to understand their soil, they conducted electromagnetic ground mapping in order to know how to properly irrigate and handle their soil. What they found was that soil could be just meters apart but be markedly different in composition thus needing different treatment. How would you know this without doing this kind of mapping? So interesting.
Along with learning the needs of their soil, they removed all pesticides and now rely upon the vines fighting the weeds themselves in order to produce the best fruit and animals to help with maintenance.
Organic farming is not an easy or cheap proposition. It takes a lot of commitment and patience to execute and manage well. The Okanagan Crush Pad seems to be willing to do it right.
Another highlight of the excursion was a reception on the beach and dock of the Summerland Waterfront Resort and Spa. Situated on Lake Okanagan, the resort’s beach and dock were dotted with tables of tasty nibbles and pours from more local wineries. It was a beautiful setting to partake in local fare and watch the sunset from the sandy shore or wooden dock.
It was a great day of learning about crafting compelling content, live blogging about BC wines, and enjoying the beauty of the region itself. Looking forward to Day 3!