The Okanagan Steel Trail
Wineries and the Okanagan have gone hand-in-hand for many generations, often passing from one generation of vintners to the next.
But what we are seeing in the new generation of wineries is anything but old school.
From small-scale storage to full-production facilities with wine tasting rooms, retail space, and more, Okanagan wineries have come of age, and so have the designs and materials used to build them.
As a multi-generation family business in BC’s Okanagan Valley, Norsteel Building Systems Ltd. has built over 575 buildings, growing with the wine industry for the last 27 years. Norsteel’s buildings are found up and down the Okanagan Wine Trail, standing the test of time. Many of its winery customers have learned that as their businesses grow, they can call Norsteel to return and expand the original building, or to construct something new.
Norsteel Building Systems’ second generation of owners, brothers-in-law Brandon Miller and Jason Eising, work with the new generation of BC winery owners. Just as the wine industry has seen vast changes in demand for unique products and techniques, there have been big changes in demands for unique features for winery facilities and buildings. It is these types of changes and challenges that Miller and Eising excel at meeting and exceeding their customer expectations.
“In a competitive global market, wineries today need to make smart business decisions in the design and planning of their facilities. Sustainability and efficiency are high on the list of our winery customers,” says Eising, general manager and owner of Norsteel Building Systems. Owner and chief estimator, Brandon Miller leads each customer through the process to identify their unique building needs; working with them to maximize the benefits of building a customized pre-engineered steel building.
“Our winery customers are amazed how our steel buildings blend into the beauty of their vineyards. They provide a low-maintenance, high-efficiency facility that meets their long-term energy reduction and sustainability needs,” says Miller.
2017 saw changed manufacturing requirements in BC putting additional pressures on wineries. These require on-site manufacturing facilities to produce 4,500-litres of wine per year to renew winery licences. Pre-engineered steel buildings can be designed, ordered, and built in a matter of months in many cases, without sacrificing quality or features. By Charlene Waines Wiltink Tasting room at Clos du Soleil winery.
25 Norsteel Building System’s winery buildings include features such as:
- Green Building (energy-efficient) Features, including:
- Recycled steel
- High R-Value (insulation)
- Daylighting (windows, skylights, reduce electric lighting up to 30 per cent)
- Solar panel compatibility (for rooftop solar panels)
- Light-reflecting floor hardener
- Cold storage, tank storage, barrel storage
- Zoned temperature controls, in-slab heating
- Clearspan rigid-steel frames – expandable for future growth
- Mezzanine level option
- Overhead doors and mandoors
- Full height food safe wall liner panels
- Panel wall cladding with 25-year paint warranty (any colour)
- Insulated architectural panels
- Roof with up to 40-year lifespan (fade-resistant, range of R-values)
- Cast-in-place concrete foundation
- State-of-the-art water purification & filtration
- Open-loop glycol systems
- Exterior canopy systems for crush pads and outdoor work areas
- Ice & snow guards
Norsteel Building Systems is a hands-on business. Real people answer the phones, manage your project, and build your building. Once you finalize your building design and sign your contract, your dedicated project manager is assigned. You get a long-lasting, warrantied, high-efficiency steel building with exactly the features you want.
Some BC wineries that Norsteel Building Systems have built include:
- Mission Hill Estate Winery (various locations)
- Painted Rock Estate Winery – Oliver
- Burrowing Owl Estate Winery – Okanagan Falls
- Vincor International Inc. – Oliver
- Clos du Soleil Winery – Keremeos
- JoieFarm Winery – Naramata
- Burnt Timber Estate Winery – Kelowna
- Daydreamer Wines – Naramata
- Frind Winery – West Kelowna (just completed)
By Charlene Waines Wiltink