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Okanagan grape growers expect bumper crops

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KELOWNA–Okanagan wineries are looking forward to a fantastic grape harvest.

“Last year’s vintage was just over 31 thousand tonnes and the weather this year has been even better
than last year,” explains Blair Baldwin, General Manager of Okanagan Wine Festivals, “if this weather continues as forecast we’re looking at a record harvest again.”

Ann Sperling with Sperling Vineyards says the Okanagan had an early spring, and a consistently warm summer.

The result is what she calls a “balanced crop”.

“What that means is the vines are carrying a suitable amount of crop to ripen them and to get flavour into them,” Sperling points out,
“if there’s too many the grapes will have weak character, if it’s just right they’ll taste wonderful.”

It’s a welcome change from last year, when a hail storm hit the area just before harvest.

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“It knocked grapes to the ground, just pummeled them, the leaves were shredded,” Sperling recalls.

While some grapes have been picked already, she says the bulk of the harvest will begin next week.