Some of you may have wondered what all of this construction is for. Well, since we have grown so quickly in just 5 years, we needed an expansion plan. This expansion plan meant the construction of our very own Gravity Flow Production Facility. “Somewhere between industrialized winemaking and the full-on natural/no-intervention movement, there are a growing number of producers using the environment—and more importantly, gravity—to refine their winemaking technique. Many believe that removing pumps or motors from the winemaking process preserves better fragrance and flavour.” – www.WineMag.com
“The new production facility at Monte Creek Winery is designed from the ground up with sustainability in mind. It starts with a gravity flow philosophy, where levels of production cascade down the hill to allow natural forces to move the wine, rather than pumps. The building is earth sheltered to maximize natural earth cooling, like a cave, and this is augmented by drawing all ventilation air through a 50 m. long earth tube, which pre-tempers the air to a constant temperature in all seasons. The building is designed to operate passively for most of the year, with opening windows at high level to create natural convection, and flood the workspaces with diffused natural light. The heating and mechanical systems are ultra-efficient, and what little energy input they demand will eventually be provided by solar panels mounted above the crush pad. Much like the wine that is produced inside, the building harvests the natural inputs of the sun and the earth.” – Erik Fisher, General Manager
“As a considerable amount of our acreage will be dedicated to Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, and a few other delicate varieties, we felt that gravity flow was the best building option for ensuring gentle transfer of fruit as we can avoid using pumps”. – Galen Barnhardt, Wine Maker. And how does this method exactly save our fruit from being damaged? “When you don’t have to pump fruit, you prevent shearing of skins and seeds through pumps. Shearing results in the release of bitter and undesirable phenolics in the wine. It’s really about gentle handling – anytime you are rough with fruit or wine (like when pumping), you risk shearing (as fruit/must, though of course this doesn’t occur with juice or wine), loss of colloidal structure, and the wines can appear disjointed.” – Galen Barnhardt, Wine Maker
With that being said, we can’t wait to launch this 18,000 sq ft Gravity Flow Production Facility to the Thompson Valley here in Kamloops, BC, where we will be able to produce roughly 50,000 cases with both buildings combined. This expansion plan has an estimated date of completion August 2021.