Robert's Report

The Amazing Okanagan

 

Winemakers and vineyard mangers are saying British Columbia's Okanagan Valley will have its best harvest in a century. Its been a very warm and dry growing season through most of the Okanagan. Most of the grapes in the region are ripening between two and three weeks early this year thanks to ideal weather conditions.

A mild winter kick-started an early growing season for the Okanagan’s vineyards, followed by a hot spring and early summer that only accelerated the process, meaning this year’s red wine grapes are almost a month ahead of schedule. Summer Hills Pyramid winemaker Eric von Krosigk says their are still challenges. The harvest must he handled quickly and properly, before the summer heat ruins it.

"This is one of those absolutely stunning vintages we are having right now, where everything works for you, not against you, in nature,” says St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery owner Andy Gebert. (1)

Previously 2013 was one of the best vintages for the Okanagan. In the last ten or so years the wines of the Okanagan have been recognized as world class. If conditions stay perfect the Okanagan 2015 vintage should gain praise world wide.

Looking at the map you will the valley runs north and south from the greener and cooler Shuswap area of Salmon Arms to the middle lake country and down to the dessert regions of Oliver and Osoyoos. Eight lakes stretches along the valley.

If you Googled the Sonoran Desert you will find the majority of the websites refer to California, Arizona and Mexico. But in fact the desert extends north into British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. Making it Canada's only desert region. The influence of the Sonoran Desert accounts for the ideal vineyard conditions. Yet the the warmer spring of 2015 has caused the grapes to be even better.

Part of the area is called the Nk'mip Desert by the Osoyoos Indian Band. The desert region is often referred to as the Osoyoos Desert.
Remember a desert is defined by a lack rainfall not by its temperature.The temperature in the desert can change drastically from day to night because the air is so dry that heat escapes rapidly at night. The daytime temperature averages 38°C while in some deserts it can get down to -4°C at night. The temperature also varies greatly depending on the location of the desert.

What makes this year so good in the Okanagn, the warmer than normal spring.

NOTE:

Although the Shuswap region is considered part of the Okanagan wine growing season, the climate here is cooler than the southern interior regions of BC and therefore creates unique challenges (and incredible tastes) for these producers. The wineries in this region have now perfected a combination of growing techniques and plant selection that enhances the aromas and flavors of their wines and makes these cool climate wines distinctive. They too are experience a very good 2015 growing season.

The Similkameeen Valley is also enjoying a very good growing season.

(1) from Castanet.ca

~ source CTV

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