If you feel it has been a hot summer, you are right, and the good news is, the fruit loves it.
From cherries to peaches to grapes, growers around the Okanagan are thrilled with this years harvest.
“We are lining ourselves up to be as good as last year, maybe even better. I know it is a hotter year this year so it should be good,” says Quail's Gate Vineyard Manager Jo Breti.
A sentiment shared by the new owner of Robert's Fruit Market and Orchard Brad McConnell who says the fruit this year is the best of the best.
“We have had warm weather that has brought everything on fast and everything is coming all at once now. We are picking peaches, nectarines, plums and all sorts of veggies,” says McConnell from Summerland. “We have had an overall great crop this year.”
Although much of the summer has been hot and sunny the last few weeks in the Okanagan has showed some less than favourable weather. Despite that, both farmers say it is not a concern as the fruit is still ripening like it should.
“It is how it should be, hot days and cold nights. The fruit is putting on sugar and acid and colour. In the last three or four days I am seeing a lot of colour, especially in our Pinot Noir, Cabernets and some of the Merlot,” notes Breti.
“They keep threatening rain, but it hasn't come so the weather has not hurt as at all,” adds McConnell.
Breti does warn that despite the great growing season so far, that the next 6 weeks or so are still crucial. Winemakers in the Okanagan are very dependent on the long Okanagan summers to carry through all of September and hold off the rain and cold until October.
“Everyone is relying on the long Indian Summer. We still need more sunshine and dry weather in September. Every time it rains a lot in September it means trouble.”
Here are the blossom and harvest dates for the Central Okanagan:
Blossom: April 10 – April 25
Harvest: July 20 – August 10
Harvest: July 14 – August 15
Harvest: August 6 – August 31
Blossom: April 20 – May 7
Harvest: July 1 – August 1
Blossom: April 20 – May 2
Harvest: July 25 – Sept 1
Blossom: April 25 – May 10
Harvest: August 15 – Sept 30
Blossom: April 28 – May 10
Harvest: August 15 – Sept 10
Blossom: May 15 – May 20
Harvest: August 15 – Oct 30
September to Beginning of November
September – October