The 2020 grape harvest across British Columbia is complete with only a few red fermentations yet to be pressed off.
We hope you have enjoyed our forays into the vineyards on picking days and the chance to stand inside the ropes on the crush pad. We have learned a lot from winemakers who graciously gave us a few minutes of their time at the most crucial point of the growing season. We will all know more about the wines next spring, but by all accounts, a smaller than average harvest, exhibiting outstanding flavours, has left us with a very favourable impression of what is to come in the bottle. While Mother Nature is busy preparing the landscape for winter, you can sit back and enjoy our eight-part series chronicling the end of a high-quality year that will surely be dubbed "The Pandemic Vintage."
Tantalus Vineyards - East Kelowna
Our final video takes us to southeast Kelowna's uplands to some of the oldest (planted in 1978) riesling vines in Canada. Originally known as Pioneer Vineyards, the site was first planted to table grapes in 1927. Winemaker David Paterson interrupted his busy morning on the crush pad to give us a peek at this year's old vine riesling pick. We also get a brief update on the important progress of the East Kelowna sub-Geographical Indication as the North Okanagan begins to stake out its true cool-climate terroir as some of the best in the country.
Meyer Family Vineyards - Okanagan Falls
Jak and Janice Meyer have struck gold in Okanagan Falls, where they run a premium small estate winery focused on pinot noir and chardonnay. We arrived just in time for the pinot noir harvest and managed to catch up with Jak Meyer, and rarely seen, or interviewed, winemaker Chris Carson. The pair talk to us about the 2020 growing season and harvest from the centre of the home block McLean Creek Road Vineyard on a blustery, dry, autumn day. We also get some insight into Carson’s hands-off, non-interventionist winemaking style that has vaulted Meyer Vineyards into the top echelon of British Columbia pinot producers.
Orofino Vineyards - Similkameen Valley
John and Virginia Weber took a chance on the wild Similkameen Valley two decades ago, and ever since, they have been exploring its unique meso-climates and micro-terroirs in search of authenticity and wines that celebrate their place of origin. We caught up with them on a sunny, cool, windy morning as their loyal crew readied to pick the cabernet sauvignon at Passion Pit Vineyard.
Howling Bluff Estate Winery - Naramata Bench
Winemaker Luke Smith stands in his Century Block pinot noir vineyard, offering a closer look at his 2020 crop, which looks very good due to a Goldilocks kind of growing season.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery & Vineyard - Cowichan Valley
Under beautiful sunny skies hedged with a bit Salish Sea fog, and a harvest of one of their pinot gris blocks as a backdrop, owner Paul Brunner and winemaker Bailey Williamson offer insights into the unique soils and the 2020 harvest in the Cowichan Valley.
Checkmate Artisanal Winery - South Okanagan
Checkmate is perched on the Golden Mile Bench, just south of Oliver in the Okanagan Valley. We catch up with winemaker and general manager Phil McGahan on the crush pad, where he takes us on a tour of the historic site, inside and out. The winery has undergone a complex renovation, begun not long after it was purchased in 2012 by Anthony von Mandl from the founding Combret family.
Fort Berens Estate Winery – Lillooet