“Environmental stewardship has always been one of the pillars at Quails’ Gate. I feel personal responsibility to protect this land for future generations.” – Tony Stewart, Proprietor & CEO
The Stewart family has been farming in the Okanagan for over 100 years. With this history comes a sense of responsibility for stewarding the land and protecting its future. At Quails’ Gate, sustainability is a policy of continuous improvement and philosophy of doing more with less. We cultivate a culture of innovation throughout all of our business practices, operations and supply chain. This commitment has reduced our waste by nearly 50% since 2010.
- A composting program in the winery, restaurant and offices diverts over 150 pickup-truck loads of yard waste to our compost pile annually.
- In the Wine Shop we use biodegradable plastic bags and reusable cloth bags.
- Lighting in the offices and on the property is motion-activated, while supplemental outdoor lights and water features are on timers.
- In 2020 Quails’ Gate is undergoing certification through the Green Step Program.
We believe our dedication to environmental stewardship is reflected in the care that goes into every bottle. Enjoy a bottle of Quails’ Gate wine to taste our commitment to quality.
Holistic Approach to
Our approach to grapegrowing preserves the diversity of our natural surroundings without compromising the quality of fruit. Initiatives include using remote monitoring stations to minimize chemical applications and installing sophisticated water-management tools and drip irrigation in 95% of our vineyards to conserve water. Between rows of vines we seed grass and cover crops to reduce evaporation and develop ‘green’ manure, while compost and organic fertilizers are utilized to enrich soil health.
In 2019, Quails’ Gate introduced cutting-edge agrothermal technology for low-impact pest management. The Agrotherm machine works by blowing a quick blast of 300° F air into the fruiting zone of the grapes to destroy the spores of grapevine diseases without chemical-based sprays.
A participant in the British Columbia Environmental Farm Plan program for several years, Quails’ Gate has also taken a leading role in the development of the Sustainable Winegrowing Certification Program, set to roll out across BC in 2020, both as part of the advisory panel (since 2011) and as one of three pilot wineries.
Sustainability initiatives in winemaking at Quails’ Gate range from a low-emissions forklift to an in-depth recycling program. Installing energy efficient lights in our winemaking facility resulted in a decrease in electrical usage by 4,000 watts. Insulation retrofits have been made to the barrel room where wine ages, providing efficient temperature control through cold winters and hot summers.
This focus on efficiency and waste reduction is also incorporated into winemaking. Natural and man-made by-products from wine production are composted or recycled. Our bottles are made from a lightweight eco-glass, and we have worked with some of our restaurant partners to package wine in alternative low-waste packaging.
Old Vines Restaurant
From day one, Chef Roger Sleiman and his team at Old Vines Restaurant have focused on creating menus based on local, sustainable, seasonal ingredients. As the first restaurant in the Okanagan to become fully Green Table certified, the restaurant at Quails’ Gate takes sustainability seriously. Partnering with local farmers and the Ocean Wise program to source ingredients when they are at their peak ensures a seasonal focus that is reflected in the changing menu. In addition, we work with restaurant suppliers to ensure that delivery packaging is reused.
Nature Conservancy of Canada
We have also partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect the delicate ecosystems of our stunning region. The Stewart Family has committed to donating $60,000 to this important cause over three years, and is taking an active role in sharing the message of incorporating environmental stewardship and habitat protection into farming practices.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is Canada’s largest national land conservation organization. Since 1962, they have conserved 14 million hectares (35 million acres) across Canada through direct, permanent protection and partnerships. Ongoing Nature Conservancy stewardship activities in the Okanagan region include:
- Riparian Health Assessments
- Exclusion fencing to keep cattle out of sensitive wetlands
- Bird and Bat wildlife surveys
- Invasive species management