Wine Growers British Columbia has released its annual ‘Vintage Report’ which reveals slightly lower yields and exceptional fruit quality for an exciting 2020 vintage.
This Pacific Northwest region’s 2020 vintage benefitted from the signature dry, hot, sunny weather which provided ideal conditions well into harvest. Although there may be a little less supply this year to go around, winemakers and viticulturists are saying the overall vintage is exceptional, characterized by intensely flavoured, balanced, fresh wines.
The Okanagan Valley experienced ideal summer weather which continued into the fall harvest providing a long growing season with lots of sun and low rainfall. It’s the type of weather formula that all growers hope for, as it contributes to exceptional quality of fruit with high concentration, ripe tannins and great natural acidity, along with the balance, complexity and freshness that will provide great ageability.
“The tannins are beautiful, concentration unreal and the aromatics off the chart,” says David Paterson, General Manager and Winemaker at Tantalus Vineyards. “A small quantity but delicious vintage.”
The Similkameen Valley saw very similar conditions to the Okanagan Valley, with one notable difference – none of the cooler and damper weather around flowering that the Okanagan Valley experienced which contributed to lower yields. Many Similkameen winemakers reported a full and healthy crop.
“Weights across the board were lower than average, but the quality of the vintage was excellent,” says John Weber, owner and winemaker at Orofino Vineyards.
The rest of the B.C. interior had similar weather with a cooler and damper start to the season before the warm, sunny summer kicked in to provide ideal ripening conditions, producing wines with crisp, fresh acidity and excellent flavour. The coastal regions, which typically experience a very different vintage due to the moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Georgia, saw a cooler-than-average vintage, producing fruit that created wines with the typical fresh island style, natural acidity, balance and slightly lower alcohol levels.
The 2020 Icewine vintage was just as unique as the overall 2020 vintage, producing the smallest Icewine crop in the last 20 years, with only seven of the 14 wineries registered picking 74.75 tonnes of the 300 registered tonnes.
The 2020 vintage has all the characteristics to savour and enjoy right now, while also exhibiting excellent balance and complexity to cellar for a special occasion.
For a complete performance breakdown of all B.C.’s major sub growing regions, read the full B.C. Wine 2020 Vintage Report here.
*2020 Vintage Report is based on the discussion outcomes from Wine Growers British Columbia’s annual Winemakers and Viticulturists’ Forum held virtually on December 2, 2020.
*Source: Wine Growers British Columbia