Okanagan Crush Pad continues to add to its burgeoning winery empire, last week welcoming a flock of chickens to the team. In true Crush Pad style, the dozen or so Rhode Island Reds (with more to come) are housed in what may well be the most impressive chicken coop we’ve seen in years, complete with (French) oak half barrels. (Not to mention a dazzling lake view.) Then again, co-owner Steve Lornie does know a thing or two about construction.
This is a first for Okanagan Crush Pad staff, apparently none of whom have ever raised chickens before. When we dropped by, manager Julian Scholefield was marveling at the first batch of freshly laid eggs, cradling one in his hand that was still warm.
Plans are to have the chickens roam the vineyard, eating the grasses and generally helping to recycle the material as beneficial manure, all part of the winery’s biodynamic plans. It all sounds quite idyllic, at least as long as the region’s hawks and eagles are willing to turn a blind eye.
There are no chickens in this shot because, by the time we had our camera out, they’d all vanished under the canopy of peach trees—yet one more reason why this chicken coop and its enclosure might be one of the most luxurious around. Or, as Aussie winemaker Simon Miles wittily tweeted back to us, definitely “a cluck above.”
Now we’re just waiting for the OCP branded chicken wine tie-in—that will no doubt promote their state-of-the-art concrete fermenters: “It’s all about the eggs.”