SUSTAINABILITY

Tantalus Vneyards bee hives
Sustainability has always been important to Tantalus. Its ethos guides how we farm the vineyard, how we make the wine and even how we sell it.

While the subject of sustainability is complex, the links between good land stewardship, the health of our business, and, by extension, the health of our community, are obvious. Nothing trendy here, just our long-held commitment to making wines of the highest quality in the most responsible way we know.

Sustainability does not just apply to vineyards and winemaking, it is important in every aspect of our operation. In the vineyards, we are committed to the practice of regenerative farming, the goal being to produce the best possible grapes in any given season while preserving and enhancing the biodiversity, soil, and the ecosystem of the land we farm as a whole.

We farm without the use of herbicides and insecticides and strive to use only organic-certified sprays. However, we reserve the right to use synthetic sprays as a last response to disease pressure if we feel we need to do so to save the crop (without a crop we can’t be financially sustainable). This has not happened for several years and we plan on keeping it that way. Additional efforts include an on-farm composting system, abandoning all tillage, the implementation of a year-round no-till cover crop program, the use of compost teas and other microbial sprays, and our ongoing collaboration with Arlo’s Honey Farm.

Further, we are heavily involved in the inception of the Sustainable Winegrowing BC (SWBC) program. This is the BC wine industry’s new sustainability program for vineyards and wineries, under which Tantalus plans to become certified in 2021.The program is widely recognized as the most rigorous and transparent of its kind in the world. 

We would like to think our sustainable business practices will give future generations the opportunity to carry on Tantalus’ legacy of growing and making exceptional wines from this historic piece of land.

  • British Columbia’s first LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Certified winery. Completed in March 2010. Environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Includes numerous green specs throughout the building - natural sky lights throughout, an unpaved driveway and parking area (to avoid a heat island effect), a highly efficient dual-exchange heating and cooling system, etc. Our wine shop features custom handcrafted wooden cabinetry sourced from native Alder and the landscaping surrounding the winery has been planted to bee-friendly flowers and shrubs.
  • Our wastewater treatment system, completed in October 2009, processes 100% of our winery effluent and domestic sewage. It is the first of its kind for a British Columbia winery and allows us to be completely non-reliant on municipal or private waste disposal providers.
  • Founding member of Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia, our vineyard and winery were certified July 2021! Criteria to become certified are extremely comprehensive, including high standards for water conservation, ecological diversity, soil health, worker safety, social benefit and more. Wine businesses are audited by a third party, track their progress and must continually improve to stay certified. Proud to among the first in the province to receive certification.
  • Salmon-Safe Certified farm - assessed and certified by the Fraser Basin Council (August 2019). We are very proud to join the likes of over 40 British Columbian farms, vineyards and ranches working hard to protect local water quality and watersheds, such as our neighbouring Mission Creek. The stunning 75-kilometre long river is home to a diversity of native species – including the at-risk, freshwater Kokanee salmon and Western Painted turtle.
  • Naturally-farmed vineyard. Hand-tended. No use of herbicides.
  • Vineyard ecosystem biodiversity encouraged through the preservation of a 10-acre natural, dry land forest in the center of the vineyard. In partnership with Okanagan Similkameen Wildlife Habitat Stewardship to identify and enhance wildlife diversity.
  • Vineyard bee-hive partnership with Arlo’s Honey Farm. We can see the hives from our tasting room and we are constantly reminded of the vital importance of these fascinating creatures. In addition to maintaining the health and robustness of the natural ecosystem, they also ensure the orchards, soft fruits and vegetable farms that surround us remain productive. Their delicious honey graces our tables and those of our guests who care to purchase a pot in our tasting room.
  • Specially constructed nesting boxes to encourage populations of beneficial bird species like the Western Blue Bird and Sparrows.
  • Newly installed bat nesting boxes to encourage their populations on site, as part of our ongoing work with the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society.
  • Tantalus is a Biosphere-committed business. Biosphere is a Responsible Tourism System certification by the Responsible Tourism Institute. The system offers a holistic approach to sustainability in which all distinctions associated with different aspects of sustainability (corporate social responsibility, service quality, environmental management, etc.) are integrated.