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Cold could impact B.C. wine


It's been a cool spring in BC's southern Interior
It's been a cool spring in BC's southern Interior

Sana Ahmed, staff writer

May 4, 2011 — Cooler temperatures in the Okanagan might jeopardize vineyards.

Farmers are hoping for a better summer
Farmers are hoping for a better summer

British Columbia's vineyards are still getting the brunt of La Niña.

The weather pattern, which began in the winter months and has extended into the spring season, is bringing colder than normal weather to the West Coast.

“La Niña winters tend to have large month-to-month variations in temperature, precipitation and storminess across Canada,” says Weather Network meteorologist, Chris Scott. “A more highly variable jet stream pattern over the east Pacific Ocean can often bring wetter and snowier than normal conditions to British Columbia.”

Unseasonably cooler weather in B.C. has vineyard owners worried that harvest season will get substantially delayed. This translates into a short-term growing season, less time for grapes to develop and possible higher prices.

2009 and 1993 also saw considerable crop ruin
2009 and 1993 also saw considerable crop ruin

This year is not the first time the delay has occurred. 2009 and 1993 also resulted in considerable ruin to Okanagan vineyards due to cooler temperatures.

Still, a cool spring is somewhat normal in the Okanagan, and those who work in the vineyards say they will be fine as long as there is a hot summer.

The season is currently two weeks to a month behind schedule.

With files from CBC and Lyndsay Morrison

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