Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, February 22 2024

British Columbia's Deep Freeze

By: Anthony Gismondi
Winegrowers offer their analysis and possible solutions moving forward.

BC wine has never been so well covered globally since people started using the word “catastrophic” to refer to a recent January deep freeze that hit the Okanagan Valley.

We've posted two BC Food & Wine Radio interviews asking for a more in-depth analysis of the event from longtime farmers and winemakers in the middle of the damage. With some people claiming the end of the BC wine industry, it was reassuring to talk to old hands who know farming inside out and know the end is not near. We spoke with Richard Da Silva, Co-Proprietor & Vigneron for Da Silva Vineyards in Penticton, interviewed on February 7, 2024, and Mark Sheridan, President of Hester Creek Estate Wines on the Golden Mile Bench near Oliver, interviewed on February 14, 2024, and Ann Sperling from the Niagara Peninsula on February 21, 2024. Da Silva's family has been farming in the Okanagan since the 50s, growing tree fruits and grapes. Sheridan is a transplant from Australia but has been in the Okanagan since 1999, first as a viticulturist in the Okanagan and now as winery President charged with the care of some of Canada's oldest vines, dating to 1968. Sperling is a highly-lauded winemaker and winery consultant based in Niagara, Ontario, with strong ties to the organic and biodynamic wine-growing region whose family has deep roots in the Okanagan Valley. Sperling and I spoke about the idea of breaking down the silos and sharing grapes between provinces. BC Food & Wine Radio, Feb 21, 2024 Podcast.

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.