バロウイングアウルの属する砂漠地帯は、非常に変化に富んだ環境。イメージに反して繊細な生態系を有することから、環境に敏感なバロイングアウルのチームにとっては、常にチャレンジの連続です。バロウイングアウルの畑は“総合的害虫管理”（IPM：Integrated Pest Management）と呼ばれる方法を実践し、農薬を散布することなく害虫対策をしています。例えば、100以上の鳥の巣箱と２つのコウモリの巣を設置し、鳥やコウモリによって害虫を駆除。マキバドリが春先に地面につくる巣は、農作業中に人の足や機械で踏みつけてしまわないよう細心の注意を払っています。へビが現れたら、そっと捕まえて別の場所に移動してもらっています。収穫期のブドウを食べてしまう熊や鹿などの大型動物は、彼らを傷つけないように十分配慮しつつ、柵や網などを施して果実を守っています。
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
The winery and vineyard lie within one of Canada's most unique ecosystems which includes the northernmost tip of the Sonora Desert. The location (on a southwest-tilting, sandy plateau) near the north end of Osoyoos Lake, is one of the most highly rated grape-growing locations in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, and for that matter Canada. In 1993, when Jim Wyse began to replant the vineyards which had been carefully selected for their ability to produce world class, premium quality grapes, the winery was not part of his long term vision. Having recognized the potential of this location, Jim was gratified to see wines made with his grapes gaining immediate recognition. Finally, the decision to build Burrowing Owl Estate Winery was confirmed and a winery license was obtained in 1997. Construction began in early1998 and completed just in time for that year's harvest. The site has since been enhanced with a beautiful fine-dining Restaurant and luxurious Guest House.
One of Canada's most unique ecosystems
The varied and deceptively fragile desert ecosystems within the adjoining vineyards continually challenge the environmentally sensitive team at Burrowing Owl. Alternative pest control systems are the standard. More than 100 bluebird boxes and two bat nurseries invite insect-eating guests to stay awhile and dine in the vineyards. Ground nests of meadowlarks are protected by barriers in springtime to prevent farm machinery and vineyard workers from inadvertently destroying them. Snakes are safely relocated. Bears and big horned sheep are discouraged from sharing the harvest but never harmed.
Today, with its dramatic vantage point in the middle of the vineyard, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is a winemaking facility that combines state-of-the-art technologies with proven, classic winemaking traditions. A gravity-flow system handles ripe grapes delicately, preserving their rich fruit character. Extensive underground cellaring capacity ensures that long term barrel aging is never limited by space.
Jim Wyse - Founder & Proprietor
For 25 years, Jim’s primary business was to re-develop inner city properties into condominiums throughout the lower mainland in British Columbia, Oklahoma City, Denver and Whistler. While cleaning up one such development project in Vernon in 1993, Jim was introduced to some relatively inexpensive and abandoned vineyard land south of Oliver that was then being offered for sale. This property became the first 100 acres for Burrowing Owl Vineyards. Knowing relatively nothing about the grape and wine industry, Jim found good, experienced people to run the vineyard and eventually to make and market the wine.
Jim Wyse was the first President of the Burrowing Owl group of companies, but his son Chris is now the winery President as Jim heads towards retirement. However Jim remains Chairman of the Board and will always be the “Founder” (an unofficial position). On a personal note, Jim enjoys old-timers hockey and jazz piano, both of which he still plays with enthusiasm. Midge and Jim are still involved at the winery and surprisingly, their three children have been drawn into the wine industry as well. Following them there are four grand-children coming up through the ranks, and they will be generation number three… Jim hopes!