Press Release - September 22, 2013
2013 Vintage Looks Good to Vintners
(Summerland, BC) The Okanagan grape harvest is in full swing, and many wineries are currently harvesting grapes destined for sparkling wine, in addition to white varieties such as Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Early reports suggest that 2013 will be an excellent vintage with great quality potential.
Penticton resident Michael Bartier, who is the chief winemaker at Okanagan Crush Pad, has harvested Gewürztraminer from a Summerland vineyard owned by his brother Don Bartier, to be used for their Bartier Brothers wine. "We harvested this vineyard a full three weeks earlier than last year, and the quality of the fruit looks very good. Prepare for a great 2013 vintage from the Okanagan," notes Bartier.
Christine Coletta, co-owner of Okanagan Crush Pad, where Haywire wines are made, expects to process 420 tons this year, from vineyards as far north as Kamloops and as far south as Osoyoos. "Grapes are ripening quickly and the fruit flavours on these early picks have been exceptional. But it is not over until it is over, so we are cautiously optimistic that harvest will continue to be a smooth sail."
Matt Dumayne, who moved three years ago from New Zealand to make wine in the Okanagan, noted the vintage was shaping up to be the best he has experienced in the valley. Dumayne, who is the consulting winemaker for Penticton winery Perseus, is preparing to process Pinot Gris from the winery's Lower Bench Road vineyard within the next two weeks.
Scott Ingram, the vineyard manager for Perseus, notes that high temperatures and a lack of rainfall in the peak of summer had growers anticipating an early harvest and a great 2013 vintage for all of the Okanagan. Post Labour Day rain caused some concern for growers, but he shares that everything is still on track for an exceptional early harvest this year.
Lots of spring rain paired with hot days and cool nights made for ideal growing conditions, so we are two weeks ahead of schedule. The grapes taste phenomenal right now," she continues. "It will be a solid year for Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, our two estate whites. The reds are coming along well, but we'll need some dry weather coming into October. It should be an early year for everything, and we're looking forward to the spring, where customers can enjoy the delicious fruits of our labour".
British Columbia's harvest will last for many weeks yet, and as mentioned, some 2013 wines will be available as soon as spring 2014. For additional facts on the Okanagan wineries and more, media can visit The Wines of British Columbia website.