Monte Creek Winery Sustainability Efforts
In case you missed it, our team is obsessed with sustainability.
The main cornerstone that binds our organization is sustainability, and our overarching goals unite one another on a journey to constantly lessen the footprint of our operation.
We farm our vineyards organically with permaculture in mind. Our wines are expected to be fully certified organic by 2023. Our winemaking philosophy is to produce wines with minimal intervention and our team works hard on regenerative agriculture, a practice that includes the conservation and rehabilitation of the ecosystem.
We look at our farming and production methods holistically and even produce by-products from waste. Our operation looks at not only lessening the carbon footprint on-site but challenges the status quo in our supply chain as well.
Watch the latest video of what our winery is all about!
Helping to Save BC Badgers
We could not be prouder to share that we won the 2021 Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association’s Sustainable Project of the Year for our badger campaign. In summer 2021 the Monte Creek Winery team ran a fundraising and awareness campaign around BC badgers. The species is red listed endangered in BC and the winery team learned that the leading cause of their death is highway kills on HWY 1 between Kamloops and Pritchard, the stretch of highway the borders part of the winery’s property. With fewer than 350 badgers left in BC, the Monte Creek Winery team took action with realizing their responsibility to advocate for BC badgers. The winery sold post cards, badges, and accepted donations to support the BC Badger Society and the BC Wildlife Park. We also posted content on social media and our website to bring awareness to the need for conservation
Our team completed the Fast Track to Sustainability training, a program run by GreenStep that walked us through establishing baselines through various audits on the winery’s waste and energy use.
Monte Creek Winery is a Salmon-Safe Certified winery. Salmon-Safe works with West Coast farmers, developers, and other environmentally innovative landowners to reduce watershed impacts through rigorous third-party verified certification. Salmon-Safe for wine growing focuses on reducing vineyard runoff, water quality protection, and enhancement of native biodiversity on vineyard sites. At Monte Creek Winery, we continue to learn and grow within this certification to ensure that we only use best practices maintainable for the environment to do our part to help restore West Coast rivers and native salmon.
We are a partner with OceanWise to ensure that ocean life will be abundant for generations to come. Monte Creek Winery promises to only sell OceanWise products in our tasting room and in our Terrace Restaurant, we also promise to support the OceanWise cause with fundraising efforts.
Certified and Recognized as a Biosphere Committed Entity
Monte Creek Winery is a Biosphere committed entity. Biosphere is a Sustainable Tourism System certified by the Responsible Tourism Institute, an international certification body that maintains a Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO, is affiliated to the World Tourism Organization, and is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The Biosphere Commitment Program has given us the training and tools to effectively continue to be committed to the well-being of our company, customers, community, and environment.
Our passion for sustainability has led us to believe in and practice regenerative agriculture, a practice that includes the rehabilitation and conservation of the ecosystem. Examples of these techniques include a compost program and using cover crop blends with Indigenous species.
The vineyards are farmed organically with permaculture in mind. Permaculture is an approach that looks at all the functions of plants and animals together, rather than treating them as a single product system. The Haskaps (a berry plant found in the area) feed the bees, and the bees pollinate the Haskaps. Our guests eat the food, then food scraps are given to the pigs. The winery’s “chicken tractors” graze the vineyard row by row, eat the pests, and then self-manure the vineyard.
With ethos as our core value, our team has created a low-input farm. Every aspect of the farm, including the soil, water, climate, crop, people, and even buildings, is carefully scrutinized as to how it relates to the other aspects to improve sustainability. We strive to lessen our impact on nature while maximizing working with it. The below permaculture practices are just a fraction of the sustainable actions put in place at Monte Creek Winery.
Monte Creek Winery has been utilizing plant species native to the valleys found in BC’s Interior. What grows between the rows of a vineyard may not be something that wine drinkers consider, but wineries like Monte Creek Winery have shown that to achieve the high-quality wine consumers expect while enhancing the environments the winery farms, the cover crop is a critical component in determining success.
Cover crops are the plants grown in between the vines for protection and enrichment of the soil. Utilizing these indigenous plants results in a multitude of natural advantages, but most importantly, it ensures that when consumers try our wines, they taste the most accurate representation of our terroir.
All Natural Honey
The farm at Monte Creek Winery is home to a whole lot of insects – some of whom we’d even consider pets. Our Honeybees are diligent workers, producing as much as 400 litres of honey each year. The honey is all-natural, hand packaged, and unpasteurized, so that consumers taste the full flavour and receive all the live enzymes that make honey so nutritious.
To make honey, our bees need to feed on nectar. When the bees locate an area rich in nectar, they do a ‘bee dance’ to show the other bees where the nectar can be found. We’ve placed two acres of Haskap berries loaded with flowers near these Honeybees so that they can feed on the readily available source of nectar. In return, the bees pollinate the Haskap berries. This system is part of the popular sustainability philosophy at Monte Creek Winery – that of permaculture. You can take home a piece of this process by purchasing Monte Creek Winery Honey in the Wine Shop.
Vineyard Chicken Tractors
A chicken tractor is a mobile home much like a trailer, which contains everything the chickens need in their house. These coops on wheels give our chickens constant access to fresh food while fertilizing the soil and controlling pests. The idea is to move the chicken tractors across the vineyards at Monte Creek Winery every day, so that the flock constantly has fresh vegetation to forage in. As our vineyards team moves the tractor, the chickens leave their nitrogen and phosphorus rick manure behind them, replenishing our fields with manure.
When the chickens lay eggs, our team members get to take them home.