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2020 looking like a vintage year for Okanagan wines

Image Credit: PIXABAY

“Small but mighty” is how the British Columbia Wine Institute is describing last year’s Okanagan wine vintage.

It might be worthwhile to start tucking away some bottles from the 2020 Okanagan vintage, with reports of a small but exceptional harvest.

Wine Growers British Columbia released their annual vintage report late last week, revealing a 2020 harvest that came in with lower yields but exceptional fruit quality.

Last year’s summer weather was ideal for grape growers, and the good growing conditions continued into fall for a long growing season, with lots of sun and low rainfall.

“The tannins are beautiful, concentration unreal and the aromatics are off the chart. A small quantity but delicious vintage,” general manager and winemaker of Tantalus Vineyards David Paterson says.

The Similkameen Valley saw similar growing conditions to those of the Okanagan, but without the cooler and damper weather that occurred around flowering time in the Okanagan, which contributed to lower crop yields last year. Many Similkameen growers reported a full crop last year.

“Weights across the board were lower than average but the quality of the vintage was excellent,” Cawston’s Orofino Vineyards owner and winemaker John Weber says.

Last winter’s icewine crop was also down, the smallest in 20 years, with only 7 of the 14 wineries registered actually picking grapes. Out of 300 registered tonnes, only 74.75 tonnes were picked.

Winemakers and viticulturists are calling the 2020 vintage exceptional, with all the characteristics to enjoy right now, Wine Growers of B.C. said in a press release.

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