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Sustainable Winemaking Ontario Program Overview November 2008 Ron Giesbrecht, Winemaker Henry of Pelham Family Winery Ontario, CANADA Wine Council of Ontario Are there vineyards in Canada? Yes, certainly! Why Sustainable Winemaking Ontario?

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sustainable winemaking ontario

Sustainable Winemaking Ontario

Program Overview

November 2008

Ron Giesbrecht, Winemaker

Henry of Pelham Family Winery

Ontario, CANADA

Wine Council of Ontario

are there vineyards in canada
Are there vineyards in Canada?

Wine Council of Ontario

yes certainly
Yes, certainly!

Wine Council of Ontario

why sustainable winemaking ontario
Why Sustainable Winemaking Ontario?
  • In Ontario there is a comparatively young wine industry that is expanding rapidly, competing with other land uses, challenged by a rapidly changing regulatory framework, and very interested in environmental sustainability.
  • By late 2003, members of the WCO decided that the wine industry in Ontario needed to have a proactive environmental program to help the wineries identify and adopt Best Practice environmental stewardship.
  • Sustainable Winemaking Ontario is this proactive program created to address this industry-wide interest and to help the wine industry identify new environmentally sustainable opportunities and comply with existing regulations which are changing rapidly.

Wine Council of Ontario

goals for the program
Goals for the program
  • The members of the WCO were also clear – go “beyond the rules”
    • Continually push for improved industry environmental performance.
  • The documents and workshops, are tools designed to assist the industry in the continuous improvement of its environmental performance.
  • After extensive consultation with the industry, the goals of Sustainable Winemaking Ontario were set as the following:
    • improve the environmental performance of the wine industry in Ontario
    • continually improve the quality of wine growing and winemaking in an environmentally responsive manner
    • provide a way to address consumer and resident questions in relation to the environment and the wine industry
    • add value to the wine industry in Ontario.

Wine Council of Ontario

major ecological features within the ontario wine regions
Major ecological features within the Ontario Wine regions

Niagara Escarpment

The Great Lakes and various Rivers including the Niagara River

The Ontario Greenbelt

Wine Council of Ontario

the bench lands
The Bench lands

Wine Council of Ontario

the niagara escarpment
The Niagara Escarpment

The Niagara Escarpment, running for over 700 km through Ontario, is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, designated for its unique landform characteristics and the presence of a provincial land use plan to guide development in its area. It is one of only 15 biosphere reserves in Canada, and is part of a network of 531 in 102 countries.

The limestone rock that forms the Niagara Escarpment and forms part of the soils around this geological feature also makes the surounding soils ideal for viticulture.

Wine Council of Ontario

the great lakes
The Great Lakes

Wine Council of Ontario

the great lakes10
The Great Lakes

The close proximity of Lakes Ontario and Erie, 2 of the largest bodies of fresh water on earth and within the system of 5 Great Lakes, makes the activities of those who live and work around them of great importance and responsibility. Our vineyards frequently border directly on these lakes and the Niagara River, so this responsibility falls on us as viticulturalists to an even greater extent.

Wine Council of Ontario

greenbelt preserved agriculture natural areas sustainable activities and indigenous species
Greenbelt: Preserved agriculture, natural areas, sustainable activities and indigenous species

Wine Council of Ontario

the ontario greenbelt
The Ontario Greenbelt

Ontario's Greenbelt is 1.8 million acres (720,000 Ha) of protected countryside, including some of the most valuable agricultural and viticultural land in Canada, providing perfect conditions for growing award-winning, world-class wines. We believe this is something to celebrate. 91% of central Ontarians want to buy local food and wine.

People who choose 'local' are people who know that living well doesn't have to cost the earth. That they can enjoy refined, sophisticated tastes without compromising their values or the environment.

Wine Council of Ontario

sustainable winemaking benefits to the industry clear
Sustainable Winemaking: Benefits to the industry clear
  • Sustainable Winemaking Ontario aims to deliver the following benefits to the wine industry:
    • a framework including Best Practices that protects the environment while delivering economic efficiencies
    • a format of continual improvement to assist companies that operate with a goal of improving their operational practices
    • tools for measurement, analysis, feedback and reporting to allow the industry to continuously benchmark its performance
    • information on emerging regulatory changes that is easily accessible to winemakers and viticulturalists
    • assistance in ensuring access to international markets
    • an increased assurance of food safety.
  • Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario addresses the environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability.

Wine Council of Ontario

extensive supporting documents developed for industry use
Extensive Supporting Documents developed for Industry use

Sustainable Winemaking Ontario: An Environmental Charter for the Wine Industry

  • Eco-winegrowing 101
  • Environmental Best Practice for Wineries
  • Environmental Best Practice for Winery Hospitality Services
  • Viticulture Pilot Addendum to the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan
  • Energy Best Practice for Wineries
  • Developing Energy Benchmarks for the Ontario Wine Industry
  • A Newcomer’s Primer — The Environment and the Wine Industry in Ontario
  • Reducing Waste and Making Money. A Concise and Practical Guide to Pollution Prevention in Wineries

Additionally

  • Sustainable Winemaking Ontario — Environmental Best Practice for Wineries and Sustainable Winemaking Ontario-Environmental Best Practice for Winery Hospitality Services have also been developed as an interactive spreadsheet, allowing businesses to instantly receive feedback on their scoring and progress over time.
  • External funding was obtained to undertake research and present workshops to the industry around energy efficiency. As a result, tow additional documents were added to the initiative
    • Altech Environmental Consulting and Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement, Developing Energy Benchmarks for the Ontario Wine Industry, for the Wine Council of Ontario.
    • Narelle Martin, Energy Best Practice for Wineries, for the Wine Council of Ontario.
  • In addition, Niagara College is developing training programs for people currently working in the industry, as well as including more emphasis on environmental requirements and expectations for curriculum for new industry participants.

Wine Council of Ontario

response to date
Response to date
  • International interest in the initiative significant
    • Requests from Australia, Europe, United States
  • Canada
    • British Columbia is currently looking at developing their own charter
    • Opportunity to develop a Canada-wide module

Wine Council of Ontario

sustainable winemaking ontario16
Sustainable Winemaking Ontario
  • Pilot Project in 2007
    • Piloted in conjunction with Niagara College
      • Active engagement of Environmental Management students in evaluations and recommendations
    • 17 wineries onboard and self audited
    • Wineries have been submitting data since late 2007
  • Year 2
    • Currently collecting data fro 2008 participants
    • Goal of 40+ wineries to participate

Wine Council of Ontario

key tool interactive spreadsheets
Key tool – Interactive Spreadsheets
  • Data easy to input
  • Time tracked for analysis of ease of use, reality check on time commitments to participate in the program

Wine Council of Ontario

scoring
Scoring
  • Maximum score of 2570 possible, though highly unlikely
  • Also possible to score in the negatives

Wine Council of Ontario

phase 1 total scores
Phase 1 Total Scores
  • Data compiled and presented as a histogram
  • Phase 1 data is strictly confidential, participating wineries are told which letter represents them
  • Reports to wineries will include recommendations for areas of improvement individual and industry as whole

SAMPLE

Wine Council of Ontario

analysis by category ongoing
Analysis by category ongoing
  • Wineries were presented reports and benchmarks by category
  • Niagara College students researched best practices
  • Categories analyzed

Wine Council of Ontario

water wastewater management
Water & Wastewater Management
  • Water must be managed to reduce environmental impact and comply with legislation
    • The criteria includes:
      • Water Quality
      • Water Consumption
      • Waterway Impacts
      • Drainage
      • Water Use and Conservation
      • Treatment of Wastewater

Wine Council of Ontario

wastewater management analysis
Wastewater Management Analysis

SAMPLE

Wine Council of Ontario

energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency
  • Ensuring proper energy management practices
    • The criteria includes:
      • Monitoring
      • Refrigeration systems, tanks, lines
      • Lighting
      • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
      • Sustainable Power Sources
      • Alternative Vehicle Fuel Sources

Wine Council of Ontario

examples of best practice eastdell estates
Examples of Best Practice: EastDell Estates
  • Installed a biofilter system that imitates cattail marshes to treat the winery’s wastewater. The system has drawn considerable attention for its environmentally friendly efficiency that treats the wastewater simply, naturally and relatively inexpensively.

Wine Council of Ontario

example of best practice flat rock cellars
Example of Best Practice: Flat Rock Cellars
  • Flat Rock Cellars uses a geothermal system to heat and cool all the tanks in the winery as well as the winery and retail store building. This has reduced hydro use by 70% and lowered costs

Wine Council of Ontario

winery initiatives at henry of pelham
Winery Initiatives at Henry of Pelham
  • Low volume, high pressure water for cleaning, including barriques, steam sanitizing.

Wine Council of Ontario

expansion of new cellars underground
Expansion of new cellars underground

Reduces use of cooling and heating

Reduces exterior footprint of buildings

Wine Council of Ontario

planting of native vegetation in areas of the vineyard as wildlife buffers
Planting of native vegetation in areas of the vineyard, as wildlife buffers

Wine Council of Ontario

moving forward
Moving forward
  • Continuation of program with end goal of ALL Ontario wineries participating
  • Ongoing training and workshops
    • Debriefing ease of use of spreadsheet tools, analysis on time investments required
    • Assisting wineries one-on-one if required
  • Increase sustainability through education
    • Develop from analysis the current gaps training programs to assist wineries for improvement
  • Continuous improvement
    • Research other regions best practices and sustainable programs such as:
      • Biogas generation,
      • carbon labelling/footprinting
  • Participating and sharing information on other wine industry initiatives
    • Canadian Vintners Association developed a generic HACCP Plan (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) for wineries in Canada in conjunction with Ontario wineries and Guelph Food Technology Centre
    • OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs) program similar to Environmental Farm Plan for food and beverage processors

Wine Council of Ontario

future of program
Future of program
  • Options for future
    • Certificate program
      • Develop the program to be a certification for participating wineries
      • Raise the bar higher
    • Branding opportunities
      • E.g. identification on labels
    • Communication to wineries
      • Newsletters
      • Workshops

Wine Council of Ontario

conclusion
Conclusion

Continuous improvement takes time

Challenge to incorporate good environmental practice into business

Good environmental practice is good business

Ontario’s Wine Industry is committed to leading the way and is already seen as a leader in this field within Ontario agriculture and industry

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Wine Council of Ontario