SMALL BUT MIGHTY: B.C.’S 2020 VINTAGE
Wine Growers British Columbia has released its annual Vintage Report which reveals slightly lower yields and exceptional fruit quality for an exciting 2020 vintage.
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, contributing 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. A small quantity but delicious vintage,” says David Paterson, general manager and winemaker at Tantalus Vineyards.
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 7 of the 14 wineries registered picking 74.75 tonnes of the 300 registered tonnes.
British Columbia’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 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.
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. Note: participation in this forum is voluntary and based on feedback from the 61 winemakers/viticulturists in attendance.
About Wine Growers British Columbia (WGBC) (formerly British Columbia Wine Institute):
Since 1990, WGBC has played a pivotal role in taking B.C.’s wine industry from a vision to an internationally recognized niche region producing premium wines and providing exceptional wine tourism experiences.
WGBC markets the wine and regions of B.C.; delivers quality trade, media and consumer tastings; and acts as the voice of B.C.’s wine industry by advocating to government on behalf of industry that contributes $2.8 billion in provincial economic growth annually.
WGBC represents all wineries in British Columbia to grow the premium market share for the Wines of British Columbia, while driving awareness of our world-class wines and tourism product – currently drawing 1,000,000 visitors with $600 million in tourism and tourism employment related economic impact every year.
For more information about Wine Growers British Columbia’s member programs and services, please visit WineBC.com.
Media release provided by Carie Jones, Wine Growers British Columbia. Feature image: Wines of British Columbia