Okanagan Crush Pad

Henry Yuen

For those who want to be a winery owner, yet afraid of putting up huge capital outlay for the infrastructure required in operating a winery, there is hope.

Thanks to a new project launched recently in Okanagan, making wine has never been easier.  Even though this new project is not yet opened to the public, it is an exciting concept sort of allowing you to “have the cake and eat it too”.

Just bring the grapes to Okanagan Crush Pad and they will do the rest for you!

Lacking winemaking expertise? Believe me, you are not alone.  But there is Michael Bartier, the seasoned winemaker who is on site to lend his expertise in the art of winemaking. Michael is a “true to the earth” wine professional that can bring out the best of the grapes at hand.

Depending on the needs, the facility will provide the equipment for pressing and crushing, the fermentation tanks, bottling plant, the aging barrels and cellaring, the entire winemaking process.  And they do not stop there. The complete service menu encompasses production and marketing assistance as well.

According to Michael, the “Pad” is designed as a co-working space for winemakers to collaborate, to work side by side and to share ideas.

 This is definitely a forward thinking idea to improve upon the winemaking expertise for B.C. wine industry.

True to its concept, the Pad is the first winery inCanadato use egg-shaped concrete tanks used for centuries in winemaking that has been taken over by steel tanks. It is now making a comeback since modern features have been added to enhance its effectiveness. Imbedded in the lining of the shell is temperature-control tubing to stabilize the temperature during fermentation. The advantage of the egg shaped concrete tank, besides the fact that concrete is neutral, is that concrete is slightly but appropriately porous thus allowing the wine to breathe as it would in oak. But unlike oak, it imparts no flavour of its own so the natural indigenous can work its charm.

All in all, such progression of the wine industry in B.C. is exciting to watch. The launching of the Okanagan Crush Pad is indicative of the collective effort, the diligence and the dedication of passionate individuals to strive for improvement.  I am waiting to see what lies ahead in the near future.