Highs and lows in 2019 for Penticton-area wineries

Highs, lows for wineries

A year free of smoke and flooding in the Penticton area was welcome for the nearby wine hub on Naramata Bench. 

Tina Baird of the Naramata Bench Wineries Association pointed to that as a definite highlight for 2019. 

"We really did see the results of good weather in tourism, and consumer visits to the bench," Baird said. "We definitely saw the benefits of no smoke."

Bad forest fire years in 2017 and 2018 made for a tough few years. 

"With no fires this year and no smoke issues, if we had two years like that, I think people would get back confidence and trusting again," Baird said. 

"There was definitely a more positive and optimistic feeling, and more consumers were feeling that as the season went on and there were still no fires." 

Another big win this year was Naramata Bench becoming an official sub-Geographic indicator recognized by the province. Naramata Bench wines are now able to have that location printed on their label, as a guarantee that at least 95% of the grapes in the bottle come from that specific area.

"That's definitely significant," Baird said. 

But not everything was perfect. An unusually wet and rainy spring and fall proved problematic. 

"The weather definitely was a challenge this year," Baird said. "But a high point was that ice wine has come in before Christmas, which is really great."

More wins came in the form of awards. Tightrope Winery's 2016 Syrah was number one in its category at the Judgement of BC Awards, as well as ranking in the top 10 of small wineries in Canada at the 2019 National Wine Awards of Canada. 

Daydreamer Winery won Best Red Wine in Canada at the 2019 All Canadian Wine Awards, and Deep Roots Winery's 2017 Syrah won the Lieutenant Governor’s Wine of the Year.

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