The Okanagan Valley will soon be home to the largest percentage of organic wines in the world.
The vineyards farmed by the Iconic Wineries of British Columbia team will all be certified organic within the next two years – and this acreage is what will bring the percentage of organic vineyards up significantly in the region.
Wineries owned and operated by Iconic Wineries of British Columbia include CedarCreek, Mission Hill, Road 13, Martin’s Lane, Checkmate, and the soon-to-open Red Barn.
CedarCreek Estate Winery in Kelowna will specifically transition its production of all 27 wines to organic by 2021.
The first achievement came in 2019 when the wineries main vineyard in Kelowna became certified organic. Now, the winery plans to make all of its Naramata, Oliver and Osoyoos vineyards certified organic by September of 2021.
CedarCreek Estate winemaker Taylor Whelan said it takes quite some time before a winery can become certified organic.
“Phase one includes going from a conventionally farmed vineyard with chemical sprays to one with organic sprays, which can take up to three years,” said Whelan.
“Phase two is the winery, where we take out conventional products and replace them with organic products to make wine. That process takes about a year.”
Whelan said there were of couple of reasons why the winery wanted to begin producing organic wine so quickly.
“One reason is the quality. We feel by farming organically, we’re going to get a superior product,” he said.
“Another is for ethical reasons. Our goal is to leave the farmland in a better state than it was to begin with.”
Of the organic wines, approximately 50 per cent will be red and 50 per cent will be white.
As of Jan. 14, Summerhill Pyramid Winery is still the largest organic wine producer in B.C..