Eco-certification program recognizes vineyards that protect salmon habitat
Vancouver- Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Winery has earned Salmon-Safe certification following a rigorous independent evaluation of its winery and vineyard operation. Beginning with the 2013 vintages, all Jackson-Triggs Okanagan VQA wines can be labeled Salmon-Safe. The Salmon-Safe label on a bottle of wine means the grapes used in that wine were grown using agricultural practices that protect Pacific salmon habitat and enhance water quality. Salmon-Safe B.C. now has more than 40 certified farms, including 12 vineyards.
Jackson-Triggs’ certification will result in more than 1,000 vineyard acres in the Okanagan Valley adopting sustainable Salmon-Safe practices. Two of Jackson Triggs’ most acclaimed vineyards, Bull Pine and Bear Cub, sit adjacent to Osoyoos Lake, which in 2013 had its first-ever recreational fishery opening for sockeye salmon.
“Many people don’t make a connection between the wines they choose to purchase and the salmon that are so critical to our ecosystems. Certification of Jackson-Triggs and other Constellation brands is a big win for salmon and a big win for the program,” said Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. “Constellation’s participation will help raise the visibility of the program and awareness of the unique role vineyards play in helping to protect salmon and the many species they support. Salmon and vineyards in the Okanagan exist in a desert, achieving a Salmon Safe certification is a notable accomplishment and we welcome their leadership!”
“Salmon-Safe is a great fit for Constellation as it allows us to translate our sustainability goals into action on the ground and take our environmental commitment from our facilities to the vineyards” said Erik Olexa, Head of Constellation’s Health and Safety for Western Canada. “Our goal is to better ourselves in dealing with the land. We are committed to transitioning Constellation’s other Okanagan wineries to Salmon-Safe practices, including Inniskillin, See Ya Later Ranch and Sumac Ridge.”
Examples of Jackson-Triggs’ management practices that help conserve water and protect salmon include: adhering to a deficit irrigation strategy to ensure the least amount of water is being used to produce the grapes; selecting softer pesticides that are less harmful to aquatic life; enhancing biodiversity to support a variety of species by alternating mowing of vegetation in vineyards. Biodiversity helps ensure multiple species in the food chain are thriving, including species that nourish salmon. This is particularly important for wineries, as they are monocultures that naturally reduce biodiversity by limiting the species of plants and nutrients being introduced to the soil.
Established in Oregon in 1996, Salmon-Safe has been working with farmers throughout the West Coast to protect healthy watersheds that are essential to Pacific salmon, British Columbia’s “keystone” species.In 2011, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Fraser Basin Council joined forces to deliver the certification in British Columbia. Salmon-Safe B.C. has recently begun focusing on wineries and vineyards in the Okanagan, a region where water conservation and recovery of salmon are critical for the whole community. In the United States, Salmon-Safe has certified 40 percent of the Willamette Valley’s vineyard acreage and seventy per cent of vineyard acreage in Walla Walla, and a new branch of the program has been launched focused on the hops industry.
Erik Olexa, Constellation, 250.498.4981 ext 315
Costanza Testino, Pacific Salmon Foundation, 604.664.7664 ext 119, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Pacific Salmon Foundation:
The Pacific Salmon Foundation was created in 1987 as an independent, non-government, charitable organization to protect, conserve and rebuild Pacific Salmon populations in British Columbia and the Yukon. Since 1989, the Foundation has invested more than $37.5 million to support Pacific salmon conservation projects. Pacific Salmon Foundation’s mission is to be the trusted voice for conservation and restoration of wild Pacific salmon and their ecosystems and works to bring salmon back stream by stream through the strategic use of resources where local communities are mobilized. www.psf.ca
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