Burrowing Owl Winery has long demonstrated that quality wine can be cultivated and produced in an environmentally sustainable fashion, having emerged an industry leader in ecological stewardship. Right from the start the Oliver-based winery has funded conservation efforts concerning its endangered namesake – the burrowing owl, while building a facility that was ecologically sensitive and spearheading the use of renewable energy in its cellar.
The decision to pursue solar energy was an obvious decision for a winery situated in one of the sunniest places in all of Canada. Now 10 years since its first investment into solar energy, Burrowing Owl is preparing to take the next big step by building three new solar installations on its premises. Some might just notice one of these installations when its placed atop a parking cover, designed to shade patron’s vehicles from the heavy heat of the South Okanagan, that will be installed in the coming fall. Accompanying this project in the parking lot will be four new charging stations for electric vehicles, making this ecologically conscious winery more accessible to ecologically conscious drivers.
The other two solar installations will be installed atop the cellar and warehouse roofs. The latter of these projects alone will reduce the winery’s carbon emissions by 38 tons annually, making Burrowing Owl the region’s first carbon-neutral winery. In fact, the staggering numbers alone speak volumes to Burrowing Owl’s commitment to the environment – as the 451 panels will offset carbon emissions by 115 tons a year. Perhaps most importantly however, this project only further shows that the spectacular wine of the Okanagan, doesn’t need to come at the expense of the Okanagan’s spectacular environment.
~ Blake Allen