BC’s grape wine industry has grown from just 17 grape wineries in 1990 to more than 280 today. (Contributed)

B.C. wineries remain optimistic about quality of grape harvest

B.C. is home to more than 900 vineyards, including 370 licensed wineries

The British Columbia grape harvest is in full swing and despite a wetter than average September, B.C. winemakers are remaining optimistic that this year’s vintage will be another good year.

According to the British Columbia Wine Institute, vineyards are embracing the lower sugar and alcohol levels that they are seeing in grapes across the Okanagan.

“Every year presents challenges,” notes Grant Stanley, winemaker and general manager at Spearhead Winery.

“For me, that’s part of the fun of it. Particularly as cool-climate winemakers, adapting to the season is what we do.”

Stanley also credited the moderate climate throughout 2019 as particularly good for crops.

“Without a doubt, the moderate heat extending throughout the season has brought about grape ripeness without any sun burning or threat of over-ripeness. The yields have been similar to have what we’ve seen in the past as well. We had a lot of small berries and good pulp to skin ratio which is perfect for making Pinot Noir. I’m really looking forward to the Pinot Noirs this vintage.”

READ MORE: Rotary Club of Kelowna continues to work toward polio-free world

In Osoyoos, where it’s much warmer than the rest of the valley, Chris Tolley, owner and winemaker at Moon Curser Vineyards said it was worrisome at first to see frost in September, but he is pleasently surprised with the harvest so far.

“We’ve had a very good season. Our whites, the Arneis and Viognier, were all quite ripe in both sugar and flavor. I’m happy so far with the reds as well. The Tempranillo came in really nice. I’m happy with the Malbec and Carmenere as well. We haven’t seen it all yet, but I’ve tasted the berries and I’m pleased with the quality.”

In the Naramata Bench, Kathy Malone, winemaker at Hillside Winery, said she has seen lower sugars and alcohols in this year’s vintage, which she is optimistic about.

“I think vintage variation makes it more interesting for the wine drinker because they can look at what was happening during that year and experience it through what they’re tasting in the glass. It adds an element of sophistication to the region.”

READ MORE: Kelowna resident shares memories of Kelowna Capital News over last 22 years


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Heat drop five-set battle to Huskies

Heats’ Shawn Zao impressed in his first outing of the conference season

Moalin’s 20 point night not enough to beat Cascades

The Heat fell to the Cascades (87-69)

Heat defeat Huskies in five-set nail biter

Jade Bussard would lead the way for the Heat finishing with 16 kills and 13 digs

Penticton United Church welcomes Makers’ Market Nov. 23

From baking, to knitting, to toys and everything in between, get your Christmas shopping done early

Big White receives 17 cm of snow

Opening day is only a couple weeks away, scheduled for Nov. 28

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Most Read