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One Okanagan vineyard is ending the growing season on a sweet note

Image Credit: Eric von Krosigk

Okanagan grape growers are looking forward to processing this year’s crop following a stellar end to the growing season.

Blasted Church Winery vineyard manager John Bayley says the late season warmth of September and early October was “very welcome.”

“It did help along what was a slower start to the growing season, compared to the last two years. It wasn’t a bad start, it was just slower. The fall warmth and sun was fantastic to help finish ripening all grape varieties,” he says.

The growing season appears headed towards a sudden finish this weekend as Environment Canada calls for an Arctic blast to bring temperatures 10 degrees below normal and significant snow to most of the region. The looming frost and snow isn’t abnormal for this time of year.

“Compared to last year’s early frost and where things were at developmentally, 2020 seems on point in terms of fruit development this year," Bayley says. "I think people will find a really fantastic balance in wines coming out of the Okanagan in 2020, sugar and acid-wise."

Looking at sugar levels in August, it appeared the valley’s harvest was destined to be a later than usual one, but that changed with the last two months.

“In terms of balance and overall fruit quality, the fall weather we had, being drier sunnier and warmer than usual has been very beneficial to a good finish this year,” he says.

Blasted Church has a couple of varieties left to pick, but Bayley says those will come off the vine later this week, before that Arctic air arrives.

“It works good, time-wise. We were about to pick those anyway.”

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