COV E R S TORY
Waste not, want not.
It’s an old proverb that dates back to the 1700s. The
lesson it is supposed to teach is that if we are careful
about how we use something today, we will still have some left for
when we need it tomorrow.
It’s a lesson the folks who make up Canada’s wine and craft
beer industries have been taking to heart for some time now.
However, it’s taking on newfound relevancy these days as many of
those same people look to produce a great product, but also do it
in a more environmentally responsible and sustainable way.
A single batch of wine or beer can produce hundreds of
kilograms of waste. This has led many brewers and winemakers
to start looking at new and creative ways of producing a tasty
Chardonnay or full-bodied ale, while reducing or reusing the
waste that is created during the production process.
“I think that piece of it isn’t anything new for our industry,”
said Christine Coletta, co-owner of Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
in B.C.’s famed wine region. “What’s changed is that we’re doing a
better job of understanding the value of (waste product) and using
it for a higher or better purpose, and are more mindful of what we
put back into the earth.”
Coletta and her husband, Steve Lornie, founded Okanagan
Crush Pad in 2011. As the winery is located on agricultural land
and relies on a septic field, reducing and reusing waste has been a
top priority for the couple since they started their business.
Just as the winery has ramped up production of Haywire and
its other lines of wine, so too has it stepped up its efforts to be more
environmentally responsible. One of the first steps it took was to
allow the groundcover in its vineyard to grow. Since no herbicides
or pesticides are used to kill the groundcover, it can be mowed
and mulched into the ground rather than raked and removed. Any
leaves trimmed from grape vines are similarly mulched into the
centre aisles of the vineyard floor.
A single metric tonne of grapes used to produce wine will typi-cally
produce about 340 kilograms of waste in the form of leftover
stems, skins and seeds, which is also known as pomace.
Okanagan Crush Pad has also come up with some creative
ways of ensuring that pomace produced at their Summerland
location is reused. As it is organically certified, the winery has
sold a portion of that material to another company that uses it
to produce grapeseed oil. Another buyer uses the same material
to produce beauty products such as soaps and exfoliants, while
another local operation uses the organic waste to produce flour.
Any remaining organic material is then composted inhouse.
“What goes into our septic field now is way down. We’ve
been able to cut back about 80 per cent of what goes in there,”
Photo courtesy of Boulangerie St-Vincent
SUMMER 2021 § POURED CANADA § 19