BC winemakers are expecting a record-setting 2016 vintage for both red and white BC wines. The harvest provided both superb quality and a 20-30% increase in quantity over 2015. By comparison, Decanter estimates the French wine harvest to be one of smallest for 30 years,
The winemakers expect this vintage to have spectacular balance and aromas. Here are the winemakers that contributed to Part II of this article, many thanks.
U. Andy Gebert – St Hubertus & Oak Bay Estate
Jacq Kemp – Moraine
Val Tait – Bench 1775
In over 25 vintages in the Okanagan, I have yet to experience two similar vintages.
2016 started off with all the hallmarks of a warm season with a potentially early harvest. Right about the middle of July the season started to change and what was originally an overly warm year took a turn into decidedly cool. I have to say that I am much happier and comfortable working in true cool climate conditions since I have more experience with fruit ripening and better results with fruit aromas and flavours. Unfortunately cool turned into cold and harvest was delayed significantly. I ended up making numerous picks in each of my blocks just to get the fruit in as it ripened. All of the blocks came in very late (similar to 2010) with my last red wine block picked on November 10th (Cabernet Franc) as the tannins ripened quite late. Another very surprising development was the significant amounts of rain from late September until now. Thankfully the temperatures were low with this rainfall, otherwise, fruit rot would have been a problem. Overall I’m very happy with the fruit quality – there’s great balance between the sugars and acids and the alcohol potential is going to be fairly low, by our standards anyway. Colour on the reds is also extreme. Expect this vintage to have spectacular balance and aromas.
For background on the Bench 1775 Winery see my earlier post here.
Mike Anderson- The View
In 2016, despite being cooler than 2015, the extended spring gave us an early start and we received beautifully balanced fruit with respect to low alcohols, great flavour, bright acids … very little adjustments had to be made in the cellar. Fortunately, our Pinotage ripens quite early compared to some other bigger reds down south so we didn’t have an issue getting to full brix and tannin level that we like to see.
Lastly, because our fruit is all estate grown, we were able to properly manage and keep a close eye on our vineyard year round, and our vineyard team did an outstanding job of keeping mildew and rot at bay, it what was a very wet year and fall in particular in Kelowna.