Spring update – Q&A with Winemaker Mary McDermott

As we entered 2024, we were hopeful that the climate challenges of the past were behind us. However, Mother Nature had different plans, delivering an extended deep freeze in January that had dire consequences for the Okanagan Vineyards, including Township 7. We sat down with our esteemed Winemaker, Mary McDermott, to get an update on our vineyards. Here’s what she shared:

Q: We heard about the devastating effects of the winter freeze on the Okanagan Vineyards. Can you tell us more about what happened? A: The extended deep freeze in January 2024 damaged most of the vineyards in the Okanagan Valley. The freeze affected both the grape vines and the buds on the vines, which are essential for grape production.

Q: Were Township 7 vineyards impacted by the cold snap? A: Yes, our vineyards were affected. While we didn’t experience complete bud loss, it was close. As a result, we anticipate very little fruit from our Okanagan Vineyards in the fall of 2024.

Q: Will you need to replant the vineyards?A: We are hopeful that the vines are still alive. We have kept some canes in water since January and have seen some of them produce leaves, which is a positive sign. We won’t know the full extent of the damage until mid-June or later.

Q: What about the vineyards in the Lower Mainland? A: Our vineyard in South Langley was unaffected by the cold, with 100% of primary buds alive. Buds are now swelling, and we anticipate bud break at the end of April or beginning of May in the South Langley vineyards. 

Q: Will Township 7 be selling wine in 2024? Can you recommend some of your library wines that are ready to drink or drinking well? A: Yes! We will be releasing many of 2023 vintage wines throughout the year. With regards to library wines I highly recommend the magnums from the 2014 vintage. It was a spectacular year, and all the reds from that time are tasting great now, but can also be aged for a few more years. The 2014, 2015, and 2016 wines are all drinking extremely well at the moment, particularly the Cabernet Franc magnum verticals. Each vintage offers unique characteristics, showcasing the best of those years.

As we navigate these challenges, we remain committed to producing exceptional wines and look forward to sharing them with you in the future.

Blue Terrace Vineyard

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