About

Our Community

Our BC wine community is a collective of like-minded grapegrowers, winemakers, hospitality directors, enologists, viticulturalists, researchers and other wine industry professionals, committed to the long term health of the land and our wine industry. Supported by Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia (SWBC), we are pioneering sustainability certification in beautiful British Columbia.

Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia

SWBC is an ongoing project of the BC Wine Grape Council, managing sustainability certification, as well as providing educational resources and training to help vineyards and wineries establish sustainable practices. We share best practices and measure ongoing improvement. SWBC was created by a pro-active team of BC wine industry volunteers, who gathered local knowledge and expertise and learned from programs in other winegrowing regions. 

Community Leadership

The Sustainable Winegrowing BC project is managed by a program manager, and overseen by a hard-working volunteer industry committee. 

  • Program Manager
    • Katie Pease
  • Chair:
    • Karen Gillis, Andrew Peller Ltd.
  • Directors:
    • Carl Whitler, Ministry of Agriculture
    • Chad Douglas, Quail’s Gate
    • David Paterson, Tantalus Vineyards
    • Donna Senese, UBC Okanagan
    • Gabriel Balint, Okanagan College
    • Galen Brarnhardt, Monte Creek Ranch Winery
    • Gary Strachan, Strachan Consulting
    • Graham O’Rourke, Tightrope Winery
    • Hans Buchler, Parkhill Vineyard
    • Jane Campardo, Okanagan Crush Pad
    • Jon Furkalo, Earlco Vineyards Ltd.
    • Jon McLean, Culmina 
    • Kathy Malone, Hillside Estate Winery
    • Laura Kittmer, BC Wine Institute
    • Lisa Wambold, TerraLink Horticulture Inc.
    • Mark Ciancone, Arterra Wines Canada
    • Mike Watson, Arterra Wines Canada
    • Moni Brar
    • Pat Bowen, Summerland Research and Development Centre
    • Sandra Oldfield, Elysian Projects
    • Severine Pinte, Le Vieux Pin and LaStella
    • Zola Dore, Boho Vino

LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certified building at Tantalus Vineyards in Kelowna

What is sustainability?

In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development  defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is more than just being environmentally-friendly; it integrates protection of the environment, profitability, and social values. BC winery and vineyard operators want to practice good land stewardship, offer safe and fulfilling employment, and be respectful neighbours. We want to pass a meaningful legacy to future generations while being economically viable today.

Ongoing positive change...

Our goal to create a certification program started in 2011 as a self-assessment program, with standards set by our governing industry panel. Grapegrowers and wineries from across the province pioneered this process, creating voluntary positive change in our industry. Previous program members are still able to access their self-assessment data by logging in here.

With ongoing strong support from industry in 2019, we updated the Sustainable Winegrowing BC standards to an outcomes and improvement based format, allowing individual business and the community to quantify and qualify changes moving in a sustainable direction. Our standards incorporate UN Sustainable Development Goals, linking us to a global movement for positive change. We will launch our 2020 Sustainability Certification process for wineries and vineyards October 9, 2020. We invite you to join the SWBC Community of Practice.

We can help you:

  • Protect and preserve the land, soil, water, plants, and animals that support your business;
  • Cut costs and lessen your environmental impact by reducing the use of water, energy, fertilizers, pesticides and packaging and minimizing waste;
  • Become more efficient and organized so you can streamline your efforts and identify areas for improvement;
  • Prevent pollution and enhance carbon capture in vineyards with appropriate technology;
  • Identify areas of excellence and proudly showcase them to your customers; and
  • Foster relationships with regulators, employees, neighbours and the community.

Mixing compost at a vineyard in Oliver