The Summergate Vineyard is a small organic vineyard covering 8 acres in the city of Summerland, BC (population 12,000). Summergate produces white wine grapes (Riesling, Kerner, and Muscat Ottonel) and has various other fruit (apple, pear, cherry, apricot, peach, nectarine, plum) and nut (walnut, hazlenut) trees in its orchards.
Summergate is home to a family of 6, the Stohlers (pictured right). The Stohler family has hosted several Farmstay students over the last few years, with all reporting back that they enjoyed the experience, the nature, and the warmth and friendliness of the family.
Summerland, BC is situated in the traditional territory of the Okanagan First Nation - now called by their preferred name, the Syilx. Click here to learn more about the native people of this region.
Summerland was founded by settlers in 1902, and has grown to be home to 12,000. Summerland is located in the Okanagan region, a hilly hot and dry region that includes deserts and steppes surrounding Okanagan lake. The Okanagan region is about 500km from Vancouver and is home to 400,000 people.
What to Expect at the Summergate Vineyards
All farmstay volunteers will live with the family in a private room. Each room comes equipped with bedding and access to wifi. All meals are provided by the family.
Farmstay volunteers are asked to help out for about 6-8 hours per day. This is done between 7.30am - 11.00am and then again in early evening between 7pm and 9pm - with specific hours determined by the temperature.
Winter pruning; pulling cut canes from trellis wires (good upper body strength required)
Lowering trellis wires (hammering nails into trellis posts and lowering wires)
Greenhouse: clean-out and reorganize
General gardening, fruit tree, and grounds maintenance (grass cutting, whipper-snipping fence lines, raking, edging) (ongoing)
Occasional light tractor / forklift work - harvesting (early October - early November) and general winery work (cleaning tanks and equipment.
Grape harvest and wine processing; cleaning, sanitizing and sterilizing winery tanks and equipment
Removing, repairing, and winding bird netting from vineyard
- Winter pruning and removal of fruiting wood from trellis system
Possible farmstay volunteer duties include:
Trellis system repair; post repair, irrigation repair
Replanting grape seedlings
Vineyard raking; mulching
Establishing and tending to the organic garden
Washing harvest containers
New seedling planting / hand-weeding, training / tying
Wine sales in tasting room and participating in private/public wine tasting events
Grape bud shoot thinning
Ongoing irrigation system maintenance and repair
Weeding and fenceline burning
Planting and maintenance of organic garden
Experience Education Services
We at Experience Education have matched you with this farmstay, based on the preferences you indicated in your registration documents. During your first week in Canada, we will do an orientation session with you, and give you a bus ticket and a letter with instructions. The bus ticket will take you to the Summergate Vineyard, and the instructions will give you more detailed transportation directions, and contact information for Mike.
During your placement we would like you to complete a report each 1-2 weeks. This is optional - but it is an important tool to help us keep track of how you are doing. You can complete those reports by clicking here.
If there are any urgent issues during your transfer to the farm or during your stay, please call: 1.877.795.8403, and dial 717 for our emergency line.
We wish you the best of stays at Summergate Vineyards.