Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, October 21 2021

A Year in the Life of a BC Winegrower - Fall

By: Anthony Gismondi
Harvest 2021: The Main Event

Since March, we've followed BC winegrowers, watching their vineyards come to life from unearthing to pruning to adding compost to the vines.

We observed as the vines went through the significant stages of growth: bud break in April, flowering in May, veraison, or the change in the grape's colour and texture, in August. We've watched growers baby their vines, plucking leaves, irrigating, all the while emptying tanks and barrels and bottling wines to make room for the

impendingharvest. It all leads up to now, the big event, harvest. It is an intense

period of picking, processing and fermentation. It is a dance with time and balancing resources, all to the beat of unpredictable weather. To highlight the diversity of grapes in B.C. and the complications and myriad of decisions winegrowers face under pressure, we focused on four different grape varieties and the winemakers preparing to make wine with them.

We begin with Severine Pinte at La Stella, harvesting merlot in the South Okanagan. She talks about her picking decision-making and how she punches down her ferments. Next, at Mt. Boucherie in West Kelowna, winemaker Jeff Hundertmark walks us through a carbonic maceration as he and his team process gamay. We head south again to the Naramata Bench at Moraine Winery where winemaker, Dwight Sick harvests viognier and shares his thoughts on how narrow the window is to make the right picking decision. Finally, in East Kelowna, winemaker Grant Stanley is picking pinot noir, and we learn about the benefits of working in a true cool-climate region. Stanley takes us through a cold soak while touching on some of the challenges and rewards of making British Columbia pinot noir.

It all comes down to few weeks in the fall when a whole year's work is at stake. We hope this tiny window into the dynamics of harvest life gives you a sense of the talents of the B.C. winegrowers as they work the ultimate decision tree, the main event, harvest 2021.

Further viewing: 
BC Winegrowers - Summer 
BC Winegrowers - Spring



Written By: ag
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America's most influential voices in wine. For over 30 years, he has been the wine columnist for The Vancouver Sun. The twice-weekly column is distributed across Canada through the Postmedia Network to millions of readers. In addition, Anthony hosts the BC Food & Wine Radio Show, broadcast in 25 markets across B.C. and available as a podcast on major platforms. He launched Gismondionwine.com in 1997, attracting one million monthly users from 114 countries. It continues to be a valuable resource full of tasting notes, intelligent wine stories and videos for the trade and consumers. Conversations with wine personalities are available on his  YouTube Channel.