2017 Vintage Report

With the release earlier this month of our first 2017 vintage of wine, the aromatic 7 Blanc white blend, we are also issuing our annual Vintage Report.  Our Report discusses the main highlights of the 2017 season, which Wine Spectator aptly described for our neighbors to the south in Washington State as a “Roller Coaster Growing Season”.  Their characterization is apt for us as well at our south Okanagan and Fraser Valley wineries, with extreme swings from a late, wet start followed by record breaking dry, hot conditions.

The 2017 growing season started off slowly in the Okanagan Valley.  We did not see bud burst until mid-May and flowering began mid-June. The spring was wet and cooler than normal, however this was quickly followed by warmer temperatures, which brought flooding to some parts of the Valley.

A very dry, warm summer followed with 82 days without any rain. Fires resulted in many parts of southern BC and northern Washington State in July and August. Smoke from fires in the north, south and west provided protection from the intense heat of the summer, but also created a more humid environment than we are accustomed to in the Okanagan. This resulted in higher disease pressure and some vineyards were overwhelmed with powdery mildew. Fortunately, our growers were vigilant, and we came through relatively unscathed. By veraison the smoke had cleared and there was relief that our grapes were not affected by smoke taint.

In the fall we experienced some frost in low-lying regions at the beginning of October, but most vineyards were able to continue the ripening process, providing an additional 3 weeks of hang time.

Growing Degree Days for Langley were 1,013 for the season, above the 24 year avg. of 865. Similarly for Penticton they were 1394, also above the 13 year avg. of 1287.

Due to the unusual climatic factors, yields were down about 15% for this vintage, however the fruit quality, flavours and ripeness were all very good.

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