BCWGC Video Library

April 18, 2024 R&D Committee Meeting

Nutrient Management Planning

Join representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment for an overview of the Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management, nutrient application (including during replant and renewal periods, on cold damaged grape vines), records, and the 4Rs.  A case study will be shared along with details on the Environmental Farm Plan and Sustainable Winegrowing BC. 

March 21, 2024 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Ben-Min Chang – Scouting vineyards from above: Disease detection and potential applications of UAV imaging 

Dr. Chang will provide an update on the methods used to detect infections by virus in vineyards using infrared, multi- and hyper-spectral reflectance imaging. He will present an update on future project work including the development of a plant stress monitoring network that provides environmental data for irrigation or heat management decision via integration of GIS, drone imaging, direct measurements (cold hardiness, leaf gas exchange for photosynthesis and stomatal conductance; infrared camera for high-resolution heat accumulation image), and autosensing technologies.

February 15 2024 R&D Committee Meeting

Strategies for mitigating the impacts of cold damage: Join Drs. Jim Willwerth, Brock University, and Ben-Min Chang, AAFC-SuRDC for a discussion on lessons learned from cold events in Ontario and strategies for mitigating the impacts of cold damage to vitis vinifera plants in the Okanagan Valley.  There will be a short presentation with plenty of time for Q&A on pruning options, crop recovery strategies, overwintering options like hilling and geotextiles and what to consider for the coming spring and bud break.  We encourage people who have been impacted by the January 2024 cold event to come share with their peers and discuss ways for the grape growing community to consider next steps.

January 18, 2024 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Ben-Min Chang, AAFC - Summerland Research & Development Centre - Cold Hardiness and Bud Dissection Update for the Okanagan Valley - Winter event 2024 

An update for industry on how to interpret the cold hardiness reports and bud dissection results; a review of LTEs in the Okanagan Valley in light of the recent cold event of January 2024.

November 16, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Jacques-Olivier Pesme - Is OIV, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, an opportunity for BC? 

Dr. Jacques-Olivier Pesme is one of the world’s foremost experts on wine region competitiveness, trade, strategy and sustainability. His extensive work in wine communities around the globe informs his collaborative approach to bring diverse industry and academic leaders together to address the critical challenges the wine industry faces today. He has worked for the last 11 years in British Columbia and he is actively involved in wine industry challenges and opportunities in Europe, North America and Australia working with several wine organizations. Dr Pesme was recently named OIV expert in charge of wine trade barriers issues.

December 21, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Simone Castellarin, UBC-Wine Research Centre - Influence of temperature and heat-stress mitigation strategies on grape quality in British Columbia vineyards. 

As evidenced by the 2021 growing season in British Columbia, heat stress events (heatwaves) are a new reality facing wine grape production. However, compared to other abiotic stresses, the negative effects of heat stress on grape production are largely unexplored. In the past three years, the Castellarin Lab began researching the influence of temperature and heatwave events on grapevine physiology and grape quality. Their continued research in this area aims to predict the susceptibility to heatwaves of cultivars grown in BC, and to elucidate whether varying irrigation levels and using bio-stimulants and anti-transpirants can mitigate heat stresses in BC vineyards.

September 21, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Sepideh Adabi, Kwantlen Polytechnic University - Cutting the Threat: Sustainable Cutworm Management through Biological Control Tools

Climbing cutworms damage grape buds, reducing yields, and impacting wine quality. Full-field sprays are used to mitigate patchy damage, but the risks of pesticide resistance or registration loss are present. Unfortunately, currently, there are no registered bioinsecticides available for organic vineyards in BC to control cutworms. Since 2016, the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture (ISH) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), in partnership with AAFC, has studied native entomopathogens, specifically Beauveria bassiana isolates. Other biological control agents, including entomopathogenic nematodes, baculoviruses, Metarhizium, and parasitoid wasps (Trichogramma) have also been investigated. By incorporating biocontrol tools with diverse modes of action and targeting different life stages of the host, sustainable cutworm population management is achieved, reducing pesticide usage and combating resistance. The project's data and results will expedite the development of effective microbial bioinsecticides for controlling cutworms and addressing existing gaps, while also providing support to growers in managing cutworm populations in a sustainable manner. The presentation will provide an overview of these outcomes

August 17, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

August 17, 2023 - Heidi Hare, Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC - Tasting Room Sanitation Standards

The British Columbia Ministry of Health (BC MOH), and therefore Interior Health, require all food service establishments, that process or prepare and sell food to the public, to conduct their operations in accordance with the Food Premises Regulations. 

As a winery, serving beverages to the public in BC, Food Premises Approval, or a permit to operate a restaurant or other food service establishment, needs to be acquired from Interior Health.  

MSA has created a tool kit which includes a guidance document that will assist owners in navigating the requirements.   This guidance document which outlines the application process, provides links to health authorities, detailed instructions on how to complete the application, relevant training requirements such as FoodSafe and explanation of how to create the supporting documentation required to be submitted alongside the application.  

Lunch and learn topics will include: 

  1. Overview of application process
  2. Overview of Food Safety Plan and 7 elements
  3. Overview of Sanitation Plan 
  4. Tasting Room Sanitation Plan elements
  • Choosing a Sanitizing Solution
  • FOODSAFE Common Sanitizing Solutions 
  • Sanitizing food contact surfaces

July 20, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Leonard Lermer, Okanagan College, BCBTAC – Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Fermentation, Biodiesel from CO2 captured during fermentation

For every can of beer approximately 20 can volumes of CO2 is produced.  For every bottle of wine approximately 45 bottle volumes of CO2 is produced.   Reducing the carbon footprint of a brewery or winery requires a multifaceted approach.   Last summer, Tin Whistle Brewing in Penticton approached the BCBTAC to look at methods to collect and utilize the CO2 produced during fermentation.   Their goal is to become a “Carbon Neutral” brewery.  

There are several established technologies to do this, but they are typically cost prohibited to all but the largest of industries.   A group of students and I looked to develop a system that would be adoptable by small and medium industries.  To do this the design philosophy was to create a system that was efficient, cost effective, mobile, and fully automated to limit the footprint needed in each facility and to minimize any needed intervention to run the system by users. 

We have successfully designed and built a CO2 collection and algae bioreactor system to produce biodiesel.  The collection, compression, and storage system are constructed on two palates that can be easily moved with fork list or industry standard palate jack.  The collection system is adaptable to fermentation tanks in brewers, distilleries, and wineries.   The CO2 remove from the user’s site is then utilized to grow algae in a bioreactor.   Currently the algae is then harvested and used to produce biodiesel fuel.  We are also exploring other options available for developing alternative valued products using the same bio-reactor system. 

This project is aimed to provide BC Beverage Manufacturers with a unique and sustainable advantage to market themselves as “Carbon Neutral”.  The continued development of the system is progressing.  

June 15, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Christopher Mark, Soil Health & Testing - In the vineyard we use many different testing methods to assess soil and plant health and make fertilisation and other farming decisions. But where does this data come from? How does research done in California in acidic soils apply to the high alkaline soils we have in the Okanagan and interior BC? We'll be discussing the latest research around soil and plant tissue testing methodologies and best practices, and how this research can better inform our farming decisions

May 18, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Tanja Voegel, UBC-Okanagan – Crown Gall of Grapevines

Crown Gall is a bacterial disease that causes major damage to vineyards in cold-climate viticulture regions world-wide. This presentation reviews available information and provides updates on biocontrol and sustainable management strategies.

April 20, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Jose Ramon Urbez-Torres, AAFC - From nursery to vineyard: sustainable management of grapevine trunk diseases

Grapevine trunk diseases (GTDs), caused by many different fungi, are considered one of the main biotic factors reducing yields and limiting vineyards’ lifespan worldwide, including British Columbia. This presentation will summarize some of the work conducted during the past few years under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership program funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BCWGC. We will present some of the latest research findings on the epidemiology of these diseases in BC and how this information can be used to implement effective control strategies. The current health status of nursery stock planted in Canada regarding these diseases and the role that both abiotic and biotic stress factors may play on fungal infection and disease development will be presented. Finally, we will provide the latest research results on sustainable management of GTDs in BC, including promising biocontrol agents and pruning techniques that can be implemented to minimize the impact of these devastating diseases.

March 16, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Ben-Min Chang – Agricultural weather station networks can help growers manage cold damage and more

Weather information is critical to growers’ everyday operation. A well designed weather station network can provide valuable weather data for multiple purposes. For example, the air temperature and wind speed would be useful information to determine how to operate wind machines effectively. We can also use the local weather data for real-time cold hardiness estimation at a specific site. Ben-Min will further discuss how weather data can help growers to monitor grapevine stress. 

February 16, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Markus Keller, Washington State University – Cold Hardiness and dealing with winter damage

WSU monitors weather patterns and lethal temperatures of different grape varieties throughout each winter to help inform growers on what frost protection and damage mitigation measures should be initiated, including pruning adjustments and other vineyard management practices. Dr. Keller will discuss the impacts of cold damage on grapevines and how to help the vines recover from damage

January 19, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Jamie Yearly, AAFC: Screening Alleyway and Undervine Cover Crop Species for Okanagan Valley Vineyards
Cover crops (CCs) are increasingly used in Canadian vineyards to enhance long-term productivity while improving ecosystem health. Vineyard managers are seeking the most effective cover crops species for adoption in each region. This study examined the efficacy of three alleyway and three undervine CC treatments in organic vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. This presentation focuses on data collect on the establishment, aboveground biomass, weed suppression, and carbon and nitrogen accumulation of the cover crop treatments over the 2021 growing season. Alleyway cover crop mixtures being investigated included a ryegrass, tillage radish, and white clover treatment, a fescue and white clover treatment, and a cereal rye and hairy vetch treatment. In the undervine a ladino clover treatment, a lentil treatment, and an annual rye and birdsfoot trefoil treatment were investigated.

December 15, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

BC SIFT - Deepa Filatow and Dr. Brandon Heung

The BC Soil Information Finder tool or SIFT is an interactive story map and mapping application that provides easy access to soil survey maps, soil attributes, and agriculture capability mapping in British Columbia. This presentation will cover an overview of SIFT and the kinds of information that you can access through the tool. There will be a live demo of some of the functions and tabs available in the application followed by a question-and-answer period.

November 17, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

Guy Ash, Pessl Instruments - Digital or IoT Solutions for Grape Production:
Like many ag industries today, the use of Digital or IoT (Internet of Things) solutions for grape production is gaining importance for controlling management costs in a timely and economic way. Loosely speaking, digital or IoT solutions means that a variety of assets and solutions are used to monitor your vineyard in a nested approach. Using the nested approach, you avoid unnecessary trips to the vineyard, know exactly what the conditions at any given time, make timely decision about irrigation, fertilizing, pesticide application, harvesting, and more.
This presentation will explore some of the actionable tools and solutions that are currently used in the grape industry for: a) Zone specific irrigation requirements based on either soil probes or ETo methods for effective water management, b) Disease management, using varies disease models, c) Insect trapping and identification using automated traps, d) Irrigation automation using IoT controllers for values and pumps, e) Crop Cameras for viewing development, grape size and color, f) Phenological models based of GDD’s.

October 20, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Elizabeth M Wolkovich, UBC-WRC - How climate change reshapes terroir: Why the Okanagan may be less resilient than other regions Why the Okanagan may be less resilient than other regions Climate change is reshaping the terroir of the world's current and future winegrowing regions, with winners and losers determined in part by how growers adapt---or not. I will review my lab's models of winegrape development to show that dire predictions of the demise of winegrowing are strongly mitigated by planting varieties phenologically matched to the regional and local climate. Current estimates, however, are at coarse spatial and temporal scales, making them difficult for growers to use. Applying these global models at vineyard scales requires new approaches, and increased research on the diversity of varieties available. This is especially true in newer growing regions, which generally exploit very little of winegrapes' tremendous diversity, making the resilience of these regions potentially lower than established regions. Using the Okanagan as an example, I outline how improved phenological models with variety research at the local scale can help build resilient agricultural systems, both by guiding management each season and through critical planning for long-term shifts. More info: https://stateofwine.org/ 

September 15, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

September 15, 2022 - Dr. Kerry Wilkinson, University of Adelaide - Mitigation and remediation of smoke taint (new research)
In the vineyard 
•    Protective sprays
•    Protective coverings
In the winery 
•    Ozonation
•    Novel adsorbents
•    Spinning cone column distillation
•    Distillation
Monitoring smoke taint in the vineyard
•    Use of remote sensors to monitor vineyard smoke exposure 

August 18, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

Cellar Safety: Preparing for Harvest, Manufacturing Safety Alliance
Routine maintenance and cleaning can be hazardous for workers who lack training in key safety areas. In this session with Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC, occupational health and safety expert Heidi Hare will show you: 
•    How confined spaces can be a risk and how to keep team members safe
•    Best practices for cleaning and sanitizing containers and equipment
•    What you need to know about WorkSafeBC’s new focus on ozone and sulphur dioxide in     sterilization
•    Where to go for help

July 21, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

Vineyard Resiliency Study - Cascadia - While grape growers across the province have experienced a multi-year decline in crop yields, with its root causes not clearly understood by the industry. The BC Vineyard Resilience Project (funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and conducted by Cascadia Partners) is a mixed-methods study which aims to bridge this informational gap and inform industry resilience initiatives. Cascadia Partners will review the findings of the study, including the quantitative deep-dive enabled by vineyard-level data from the BCWGC

June 16, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

New Vineyard Worker Orientation - Ron Macc, AgSafeBC
An informative session to support employers of new vineyard workers.  Learn about Regulations, OHS Regs App, Instruction, Training, Supervision, Translators, Video Resources and Forms and Record Keeping. 

May 19, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Kevin Usher, AAFC - Summerland Research and Development - Foliar urea application to increase berry yeast assimilable nitrogen content High nitrogen content in grapevines early in grape development can result in vegetative flavours. Mid to late season foliar urea applications were used to increase N in fruit avoiding high N early season and improving YAN content for winemaking.

April 21, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Wesley Zandberg, UBC - Wine Research Centre - Three years of benchmarking the concentrations of markers of smoke exposure in BC-grown grapes 

March 17, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

Jason Basi, MAFF – BC Beverage Sector Framework
The BC Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (AFF) is conducting an extensive review of the Province’s beverage manufacturing sector. The purpose is to develop a detailed profile of the sector and provide recommendations on how government and industry can work collaboratively to capture market and business development opportunities for beverage production and processing through enhanced programs, collaboration, and research. 

Paige Hohmann & Kim Buschert, UBC – Archiving BC’s Wine Industry
A discussion on the characteristics of wine archives, and the role of a trusted archival repository in preserving, interpreting, and ensuring access to historical records in support of research. Additionally, they will outline how UBC can contribute expertise and state of the art facilities to help discover, gather, interpret, and digitize resources, ensuring the long-term availability of BC’s wine territory memory.

Jaime Snow & Katarina Vucic, UBC-WRC – Wine Sector Co-Op Program
A presentation on opportunities to engage co-op students in your winery operations this summer.

January 20, 2022 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Jose Urbez-Torres and Dr. Tom Lowery Presentation: Towards mitigating the impact of grapevine viruses in British Columbia 

Managing Leafhoppers in Organic Vineyards

December 13, 2021 Presentation: Managing Leafhoppers in Organic Vineyards

Dr. Tom Lowery, AAFC-Summerland Research & Development Centre

Hans Buchler

Jean Marc Enixon

December 16, 2021 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Jose Urbez-Torres Presentation: From nursery to vineyard: developing effective management strategies against grapevine trunk diseases in Canada

September 16, 2021 R&D Committee Meeting

Presenter: Dr. Wes Zandberg; UBC Wine Research Centre

Topic: Smoke-taint: a reassessment of crop protection strategies and evaluation of natural levels of marker compounds in Okanagan-grown grapes

August 19, 2021 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Tom Forge - AAFC; Plant Parasitic Nematodes in BC Vineyards

July 15 2021 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Simone Castellarin; UBC-Wine Research Centre - Impact of deficit irrigation on grape and wine quality

June 17, 2021 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Joshua Vander Weide presentation on: Past and present outlooks on grapevine canopy management research.

May 20, 2021 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Pat Bowen's presentation: From Defining Appellations to Characterizing Soil Carbon: The Many Applications of GIS Tools.

April 17, 2021 R&D Committee Meeting

British Columbia Wine Grape Council Research and Discovery Meeting.

April 17, 2021.

Guiding Strategic Decision Making in R&D Investments in the BC Wine Grape Industry

Jacques Olivier Pesme, Malida Mooken, Marcela Valania and Roger Sugden (Wine Research Centre, University of British Columbia)

BCWGC is developing a research and development (R&D) roadmap to guide strategic decision making on R&D investments for the BC wine and grape industry. To enable its members to decide on the future of R&D in the BC wine industry, BCWGC asked our group to facilitate discussions about the roadmap.

The final report describes the process, outputs, and recommendations. It provides a pool of ideas for people to think about, and act upon. The ideas draw on a survey and, in particular, discussion at a series of workshops for BCWGC members and stakeholders.

Recommendations focus on funding new research and knowledge sharing, ways to share, R&D focal points, collaboration, BCWGC governance, and discussion across the industry of what is understood by “good quality”.

Videos posted in Articles

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Managing Leafhoppers in Organic Vineyards

A presentation on managing leafhoppers in organic vineyards.  Presenters were: Dr. Tom Lowery, AAFC-SuRDC, Hans Buchler, Jean Marc Enixon

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Managing Leafhoppers in Organic Vineyards

A presentation on managing leafhoppers in organic vineyards.  Presenters were: Dr. Tom Lowery, AAFC-SuRDC, Hans Buchler, Jean Marc Enixon

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Managing Leafhoppers in Organic Vineyards

A presentation on managing leafhoppers in organic vineyards.  Presenters were: Dr. Tom Lowery, AAFC-SuRDC, Hans Buchler, Jean Marc Enixon

Managing Harvest through COVID-19 Panel Discussion

On August 26, 2020 the BC Wine Grape Council hosted a panel discussion on Managing Harvest through COVID-19.  The panel was moderated by board members, Ross Wise of Andrew Peller and Mary McDermott…

Grapevine Trunk Disease Research Update

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has just released a video update about the successful research on grapevine viruses they have and are still conducting with BCWGC funding support.