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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

West Kelowna pauses Re-leaf Program after COVID-19 confirmed at local nursery

Tree deliveries are paused until further notice after outbreak confirmed March 31

COVID-19: Non-profit 3D printing face shields for local hospital

‘The response has been completely overwhelming’

Outbreak of COVID-19 at West Kelowna agricultural business; 14 cases confirmed

75 workers are in isolation — 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers

Memorial Cup concert with Brett Kissel canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

Brett Kissel was scheduled to perform at Live on Lake in Kelowna on May 30

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Community drums up support for North Okanagan hospital workers

Even health care workers and fellow first responders turned out to show love

South Okanagan first responders salute hospital workers

“You’re awesome” and “Thank you” say Penticton first responders, passing by emergency entrance

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

‘April Fools’ social media prank leads to criminal investigation in Osoyoos

Post claims individuals will be canvassing door to door seeking housing for seasonal workers

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Most Read