After a late start to the season, grape growers in British Columbia are getting a little help from Mother Nature.
“We've been really fortunate to have the sun. Actually, it's really, really helped us,” says Barbara Hall, Resident Wine Maker at the Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery in Langley.
A soggy and cool spring season had growers initially concerned about their grapes.
“We were really far behind from the spring to the summer as the grapes were growing,” explains Hall. “But, the extension of the season now into late October has really, really brought the grapes to a maturity level that is, I think, is going to make a fantastic wine.”
Grape growers aren't the only ones affected by the weather this year in British Columbia. A late start to the spring season had the cranberry harvest season a couple of weeks behind schedule.
On the other hand, the pumpkin crop in B.C. is thriving, thanks to a combination of rain and heat.
Hall still has concerns when it comes to grapes and the weather over the next couple of weeks. She's hoping to avoid rain at harvest time.
“As far as the grapes go, that water is going to sit on those grapes and dilute the flavours, so we don't want that,” Hall tells The Weather Network. “So, we pick in the sunshine when the grapes are dry and then get them into the winery. The longer they can hang, the more they're able to develop the flavours that we're looking for with the sugars in the sunshine.”
Still, Hall says the varying weather patterns in B.C. make every growing season interesting.
“That's part of the interest and the fun of wine making is seeing what you get every year,” she says. “So, I'd say you do the best with whatever you get. I don't know if I'd want a recipe for growing grapes every year because then that would make boring wine.”