Orchard & Vine Year End 2022

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The Year in Wine Grape Production Recovers Despite the Challenges The BC Tree Fruits Controversy Continues Fruit Report 2022 Severe Weather Hangover Year End 2022 $6.95 Display Until Jan.15, 2023 Publication Mail Agreement No. 40838008 www.orchardandvine.net 2022 SURVEY RESULTS
4 Year End 2022 23 31 17 The harvest is a team effort at Time Family of Wines, including Lead Cellar Hand Maja Syska and Winemaker Lynzee Schatz. CONTENTS The Fruit Report 2022. The Two Rivers Farmers Market in Lytton.
Photo credit: Time Family of Wines
8 Publisher’s View – Lisa Olson 12 Events Calendar 14 News and Events 23 The Fruit Report 2022 A Hangover of Challenges Blended With New Ones 27 Growers’ Fruit Survey 31 Grape Report 2022 BC Wine Production Recovers Despite Weather Challenges 33 2022 Wine Survey 39 Update on BC Tree Fruit Packing House Controversy 42 Word on Wine – Kelly Josephson 43 Marketing Mix – Leeann Froese 45 Seeds of Growth – Glen Lucas 46 Canadian Winemaker Series – Jim Moody of Zanatta Cover Photo by Lynzee Schatz. Maja Syska working on the harvest at Time Family of Wines.
Photo credit: BC Farmers’ Market Trail & April Roberts

Kudos From Our Clients

I can’t say enough about Geen + Byrne Real Estate Team! When I first decided to list with Jerry, I quickly learned how knowledgeable and experienced he is in the Okanagan real estate market. Probably a more complex transaction than most, Jerry and his team were very professional in how they dealt with my situation, and stepped up to research and get answers to my many questions. Jerry remained very courteous through the entire process, always letting me be in the driver’s seat rather than trying to push a sale through for his own benefit.

I had a very positive experience working with Geen + Byrne Real Estate Team. I would strongly recommend them to anyone wanting to sell (or buy) a property. A 5-star rating well deserved!

West Kelowna $2,150,000

Excellent timing to purchase 9.41 acres right in the heart of downtown West Kelowna! This acreage is nestled between Glen Canyon Regional Park, Highway 97, and downtown West Kelowna. Many farm based business opportunities here! City water rights. City sewer and natural gas available too. Small cottage on site currently rented month to month. This property is partially in and partially out of the ALR. MLS® $2,150,000

6 Year End 2022 OkanaganFarms.com 250-878-6545 Text or Call Sales@GeenByrne.com ✚ ✚ RE/MAX Canada 2021 Diamond Team Award Check out OkanaganFarms.com and you’ll see why this website gets so much traction! *Personal Real Estate Corporation
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Secluded vineyard in idyllic Coldstream, BC. This south-facing, fully-irrigated (solar) 11-acre vineyard is producing and has local winery customers purchasing its sought-after crop. At sixteen acres, this rare property has more room for expansion into additional crops, an agri-tourism enterprise, or a country estate. Several building locations exist, taking advantage of the valley views and stunning vistas of the Monashee mountains to the East. This pristine property has been in the same family for four generations. The grape varieties were selected and planted by longtime Okanagan Valley vineyard operator and winemaker, Eric von Krosigk. With its gently sloping terrain the vineyard produces excellent fruit with terroir-driven characters. Grape varieties include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, and Acolon. Book your showing today. MLS® $2,590,000

Call or text 250-878-6545 to get in touch. We are here to ensure


7 Year End 2022
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Compassion and Understanding

I got thinking the other day while chatting with a few different clients at a tradeshow, about how businesses have been operating with staff shortages.

Back in the day, we dragged ourselves to work sick. The norm was to plough through no matter how ill we felt. We heard state ments like, the show must go on, or the mail must get through no matter what. Now, once there’s the sign of a sniffle nobody wants to be nearby and people call in sick even if their roommate is ill.

It’s clear that some of us tend to need more time off than others and tend to take a day off here and there to stay home and recoup, regroup or recharge. I’m not saying that a recharge isn’t needed, or that some aren’t more sensitive than others. There certainly has been more stress these past few years, especially now with costs and interest rates rising. The business owners I spoke with have had to pick up the slack and also have evolved to accept, adapt and adjust work schedules to accommodate this new way of working. This may not apply to growers who will say, “farming never stops,” but perhaps they have felt it too. Check out our survey inside this issue to read more thoughts. Also, thinking about our children who have gone back to ‘regular’ school, and are ex pected to adhere to the same schedules and be taught in the ‘usual’ manner. Let’s not for get what they went through these past few years and maybe need a little compassion or the odd recoup day? You might say, buck up! But how can we all do better and help those who need a little extra? I’ve become surprised, but also accustomed, to going

to a store and finding it closed for the day. Maybe we are meant to slow down a bit.

Speaking of compassion and understand ing, some very tough conversations will be happening at an upcoming meeting with the fruit growers and the packing house in Peachland on November 22. This issue will have already been printed, so watch online for an update. Let’s hope that good deci sions can be reached.

All the best to you and your families over the holidays!

From all of us at Orchard & Vine Enjoy the magazine!  Visit us online https://www.orchardandvine.net/

Vol. 63, No 6 Year End 2022 Established in 1959

Publisher Lisa Olson Editor Gary Symons

Graphic Design Stephanie Symons Writers

Leeann Froese, Kelly Josephson, Glen Lucas, Ronda Payne Gary Symons

Contact lisa@orchardandvine.net

Orchard & Vine Magazine Ltd. Mailing Address

22-2475 Dobbin Road Suite #578 West Kelowna, BC V4T 2E9

www.orchardandvine.net Phone: 778-754-7078

Orchard & Vine Magazine is published six times a year and distributed by addressed mail to growers, suppliers and wineries in the Okanagan, Koo tenays, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Washington State and across Canada. Orchard & Vine is also available online.

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8 Year End 2022
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Collaboration from manufacturing line to bottling line

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We’re ready to collaborate with you — right from the heart of the major North American wine regions, helping things run efficiently every step of the way. Call us to learn more about our extensive bottle portfolio and the exceptional quality and support you can expect from your local glass partner.

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2022 FCC Food and Beverage Report: Mid-year update

A lot has changed since our 2022 Food and Beverage Reports earlier this year:

• Inflation and interest rates have risen faster than initially expected

• Global economic growth forecasts have weakened

• Profitability is challenged due to rising input costs

• Workforce talent continues to be an issue

Food and beverage manufacturers remain well-positioned amid challenging conditions, and the outlook remains positive.

Food and beverage manufacturing sales projected to grow and remain strong

Food and beverage manufacturing sales have increased 12% during the first half of 2022. Sales growth is expected to slow into Q4 as inflationary pressures ease, global economic growth moderates and Canadian consumer savings dwindle. We project sales to increase 6% in the second half, finishing the year up 9%.

Leading this sales growth is grain and oilseed milling. Despite sales up 22%, volumes are estimated to have declined, primarily the result of lower crop yields in 2021.

The impact of higher prices on consumer demand is evident in some industries. We estimate that sales volumes declined for dairy, seafood and all alcohol manufacturing industries in the first six months of 2022. While inflation in some categories like breweries is below average, we are seeing consumers forced to cut purchases based on inflation in other areas. Of these industries, we are forecasting that seafood, breweries and wineries will see sales slip in 2022. Seafood sales have been weaker due to lower exports to the U.S. and Japan.

Meat manufacturing price inflation slowed to an estimated 3% in the first half of 2022 after rising 8% in 2021. Total meat consumption has risen in 2022 due to strong demand for chicken and pork, while consumers have cut back on beef consumption. Beef exports have remained strong, offsetting weaker domestic demand. In Q3 to-date, we are seeing more positive trends in red meat, and we expect consumption and sales to rise further in 2023.

Other industries with healthy volume trends include sugar/ confection, fruit/vegetable preserving and specialty foods,

Food and beverage manufacturing margins softening

With consumers focused on purchasing lower-margin basics in the face of higher retail prices and with input costs remaining elevated relative to selling prices, manufacturing gross margins have been under pressure. FCC Economics’ gross margin index in food manufacturing fell nearly 10% during the first half of 2022. With commodity prices declining, we anticipate margins will start to improve, although projections of weaker economic growth over the next 12 months will continue to be a headwind.

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soft drinks and bakeries. Sales in these industries are forecasted to finish the year strong.
Figure 2:
significantly Source: FCC Economics, Statistics Canada 100.5 102.4 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 103.0 100.0 96.0 98.5 88.6 105 100 95 90 85 80 For additional forecasts and commentary, read our full mid-year review at fcc.ca/Economics
First half food and beverage manufacturing gross
Kyle Burak, FCC Senior Economist

Save the date for the Pacific Ag Show starting on January 26, 2023.

Unified Wine & Grape Symposium

January 24-26, 2023

Sacramento, California www.unifiedsymposium.org

Pacific Agriculture Show

January 26-28, 2023 Abbotsford, BC www.agricultureshow.net

WineVit 2023

Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers

February 6-9, 2023 Kennewick, WA, USA www.winevit.org/

International Fruit Tree Association February 12-15, 2023

Grand Rapids, Michigan www.ifruittree.org

Oregon Wine Symposium February 14-15, 2023

Portland, Oregon www.oregonwinesymposium.com

Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Convention February 22-23, 2023

Niagara Falls, ON www.ofvc.ca

BCFGA Annual Convention February 28, 2023

Penticton Lakeside Resort, BC www.bcfga.com/

Ontario Craft Wine Conference & Trade Show April 18, 2023

Niagara Falls Convention Centre www.ontariocraftwineconference.ca

Gold Sponsor Presented by: Showcasing the latest and most innovative equipment & technology for the agriculture industry. Welcome Back Tradex, Abbotsford 604.291.1553 | info@agricultureshow.net | www.agricultureshow.net January 26- 28
13 Year End 2022

Kelowna’s Farming Karma Wins Product of the Year - Silver Medal

BC’s best food, beverage and natural health products were highlighted and celebrated at the annual BC Food & Beverage Awards Night.

From the Innovation Award to Product of the Year, the 2022 award winners were crowned in front of a crowd of over 400 people.

From soy-free tofu and bannock to vegan honey and sparkling pear soda, BC is home to some of the world’s most innovative food and beverage products, not to mention the entrepreneurs and industry leaders who make them.

Back in-person for the first time since 2019, the awards were handed out with Vancou ver’s Big Mountain Foods’ Soy-Free Tofu securing the coveted Gold placement for Product of the Year.

Farming Karma’s Pear Soda from Kelowna won Silver Product of the Year, while Purdy’s Chocolatier’s Hawaiian Black Salt Caramels took home Bronze.

“The award is a reminder of our journey, the challenges and the victories along the way, said Avi Gill of Farming Karma. “When we launched in January 2020, we were a farm ing family that didn’t have any background in food manufacturing, product develop ment, marketing, packaging, selling, or any of the other things that go along with put ting a product in the market.

“With consistent hard work, believing in ourselves, and tremendous support from our community and mentors, we were able to develop a product that we were proud of. To be recognized for that; it’s a dream come true.”

In business since 1996, Left Coast Naturals was this year’s inductee into the BCFB Hall of Fame.

“There were so many deserving nominees this year for all the awards, and in our first year with online voting our finalists received 17,000 votes to select this year’s winners”, says BC Food & Beverage CEO James Don aldson. “Each of the finalists and winners exemplify passion and leadership in driving success for themselves and the businesses they work for.  They were really reflective of the diversity we have in our industries com munity as well and they all are deserving of this great recognition.”

Other winners at the award presentation


• Best in Brand – Fatso

• Emerging Business – Yoggu!

• Export – Dan D Foods

• Indigenous Owned Business

– Locality Brewing

• Innovation – Big Mountain Foods

• Leadership – Aaron Chin of Organika

• Outstanding Workplace – Health & Safety

– Vancouver Island Brewing

• People’s Choice – Panela Lemon

• Social Impact – Cascadia Seaweed

• Sustainability – Soul Bite Food

• Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

– Jade Hermann of Yoggu!

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Avi Gill and his family receive the Silver Product of the Year award for Farming Karma.

Wine Festivals’ New GM

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society has appointed wine tourism expert Kimberly Hundertmark as its new general manager. “Experienced and highly respected, Hun dertmark is one of Canada’s leaders in Wine, Culinary and Destination Tourism,” the Soci ety’s board said in a statement. “Leveraging her decades of experience and award-win ning Festival leadership, we as a Board look forward to future growth and a unique ap proach to each Festival.”

The Society says the decision to offer Hun dertmark the position was unanimous, based on her creativity and her experience in Canadian wine tourism.

“I am very excited to work with Kimberly,” said chair Heather Courtney. “Her passion for celebrating amazing BC wines, along with her successful legacy still thriving in Niagara’s wine region. It gives me confi dence that the future for the Okanagan Wine Festivals and our British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Award programs is in good hands.”

Prior to moving to BC in 2017 Hundertmark worked in the Ontario wine industry since 1993, working in various roles from munici pal tourism leadership to an eight-year role as the Niagara Grape & Wine Festivals Exec utive Director.

Hundertmark was instrumental in lever aging new relationships, community com mitment, and engaging private and public funders. Hundertmark and her team rein vigorated Canada’s oldest and largest Wine Festival, increasing revenue, visitation and partnerships.

Hundertmark also has experience in BC’s wine industry, having held management positions with Wine Growers BC and TIME Family of Wines.

15 Year End 2022  YEAR END | NEWS & EVENTS
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Ian Scromeda Appointed Exec VP for Stoneboat and Valley Commons

Veteran winery executive Ian Scromeda has joined Valley Commons and Stoneboat Vineyards as the company’s new executive vice-president.

The move comes as the Verhoeff family and a community of investors have driven rapid growth of their wine group. The team has recently purchased Stoneboat Vineyards, opened two locations for Valley Commons Winery, and now welcomes Scromeda to join them as a partner and executive VP. Scromeda’s role will be to help grow the business by overseeing operations and business development. He will work di rectly with partners Rudy Verhoeff and Kyla Richey, as well as the outstanding winemak ing and tasting room teams, “to take both brands to the next level,” the company says. Scromeda brings with him an impressive resume of success with some of the best known brands in the BC wine industry.

Born in Winnipeg, Scromeda grew up be tween Winnipeg and Kelowna, where his grandparents owned a fruit orchard that he would help with every summer from the age of five. His work in the wine world liter ally began as a child, when he would help his grandfather make wine, and a bottle was on every family dinner table.

Scromeda attended the University of Winni peg where he obtained his BBA, then later attended the University of Southern Cali fornia to obtain his MBA. In 2014, Scrome

da joined a staple winery in the Okanagan, Poplar Grove, where he worked for five years in various departments, ending at director of operations, overseeing much of the operation.

At Poplar Grove, Scromeda gained expe rience in all areas, including winemaking, logistics, sales, marketing, hospitality, and general winery management.

In late 2019 when a new opportunity and challenge presented itself, Scromeda joined the team at Phantom Creek, one of British Columbia’s largest and most prestigious wineries. Scromeda held the position of estate director, and supervised all hospital


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ity and sales. During his time at Phantom Creek, Scromeda worked with some of the world’s most talented winemakers from various global regions such as Olivier Hum brecht, Mark Berringer, and Francis Hutt.

In 2021 Scromeda, his wife, and two of their friends started Joiryde Winery, one of the many boutique wineries in the District Wine Village in Oliver, BC, with Scromeda taking on a guiding role.

This year opportunity once again present ed itself, as the Verhoeff group of investors were looking for an experienced operations manager to help grow their burgeoning group of wineries.

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From left to right: Pascale Dinel, Levi Gogolinkski, Ian Scromeda, Kyle Lyons, Bill Adams, Kyla Richey, baby Mackie, and Rudy Verhoeff. Photo Credit: Shari Saysomsack

BC Farmers’ Market Awards 2022

From our central Kelowna office, NCA Commercial Inc. is best placed to offer experienced, reliable and professional valuation and consult ing services to those owning and operating agricultural land and businesses in BC’s interior.

Our team of accredited commercial real estate appraisers specializes in a variety of services including:

• market valuations for financing

• property settlement & estate planning

• site selection & pre-acquisition negotiation

• insurance replacement cost & risk management

• compensation in expropriation & partial takings

• subdivision & ALR applications

• arbitration & expert witness

• land leases & rent reviews

Gordon Murray (right) displays Most Outstanding Community Impact award (Farmers’ Market – Small), for Two Rivers Farmers Market in Lytton.

Farmers’ markets in Lytton, Revelstoke, and Cedar were honoured in November at the annual BC Farmers’ Markets Awards ceremony. The annual event doesn’t so much judge which is the ‘best’ farm ers’ market, which is probably impossible, but rather looks at the markets’ positive impact on its community that year.

Most Outstanding Community Impact (Farmers’ Market – Small)

Two Rivers Farmers Market Lytton

Most Outstanding Community Impact (Farmers’ Market – Medium)

Revelstoke Local Food Initiative Farmers Market

Most Outstanding Community Impact (Farmers’ Market – Large) Cedar Farmers Market

Most Outstanding Community Impact (Farmers’ Market Manager) Frances Callaghan – Kelowna Farmers & Crafters Market

Best Contribution to Youth Engagement Coquitlam and Port Moody Farmers’ Markets

Best Contribution to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Farmers’ Market Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

Most Outstanding Community Impact (Farm Vendor) Little Schack

Most Outstanding Community Impact (Non Farm Vendor)

Two Crows Craft Foods LTD

Helen Fathers Partner of the Year (Municipality or Community Partner) Film and Special Events Office – City of Vancouver

Volunteer of the Year

Vanesa Vallese – Qualicum Beach Farmer’s Market

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• “going concern” business valuations

We invite you to call us today, or have your financial advisor contact us, if you require an accurate opinion of value.

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17 Year End 2022  YEAR END | NEWS & EVENTS
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Save-On-Foods and Buy BC Partner to Boost Sales of Local Products

Save-On-Foods is making it easier for con sumes to identify local BC food products by adding Buy BC branding in its 125 locations in the province.

Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones was joined at the newly opened Coquitlam Sun wood outlet by BC Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham and BC Tree Fruits Coopera tive CEO Warren Sarafinchan to announce the partnership.

“I’m so happy to welcome Save-On-Foods to our amazing Buy BC family, which will help the many British Columbians who shop here better identify and choose products from B.C.,” said Popham. “When consumers buy locally grown, raised, harvested and processed food and beverages, they are supporting the farmers, fishers and produc

ers that live in their own communities and helping to strengthen our provincial food system and economy.”

The Buy BC logo makes it easier for people to explore new and different products from around the province, while helping BC com panies grow and succeed.

“As a BC-owned-and-operated company, we have been supporting local for more than a century and are proud to carry more than 2,500 locally made products from more than 2,000 local growers and produc ers across Western Canada,” said Jones.

Save-On is launching the program in tan dem with the annual Apple Cup, a partner ship with apple growers in BC.

“For decades, Save-On-Foods has been

a partner with BC Tree Fruits, and we are proud to bring the excitement of the BC apple harvest season to consumers through this annual event,” said Sarafinchan.

Canada Co-Chairs OECD’s Global Food Security Summit in Paris

The world must grow more food, but at the same time reduce the impact of farming on the environment.

That was the message coming from a land mark meeting of the Organisation for Eco nomic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, co-chaired by Canadian ag riculture minister Marie Claude Bibeau and her counterpart in New Zealand, Damien O’Connor.

Agriculture ministers and representa tives from more than four dozen countries agreed to redouble their efforts and imple ment better practices to feed the growing world population, fight climate change, and

ensure that farmers and workers can make a successful living from agricultural produc tion.

Bibeau said the co-chair appointment high lights Canada’s leadership in sustainable agriculture.

“Our farmers are committed to feeding the planet while taking care of their land and their animals,” she said. “These meetings al low us to showcase Canadian leadership, as external factors continue to have a growing impact on production. Canadians and our economy benefit from a strong, sustainable agriculture sector.”

The two-day conference has resulted in a new Declaration on Transformative Solu tions for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.

That document and a shorter summary,out lining future changes to global farming practices, can be found at https://www. oecd.org/agriculture/ministerial/state ments/

The Declaration commits countries to a wide variety of changes to farming practic es in order to ensure global food security, reduce global warming and biodiversity loss, and provide better opportunities for farmers and agricultural workers.

18 Year End 2022  YEAR END | NEWS & EVENTS
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BC Enables Farm Gate Sales Of Cannabis

Pot growers in British Columbia are getting their own ‘farm gate’ licenses for cannabis sales.

The BC government is introducing a new cannabis retail license that will allow eligi ble federally licensed cannabis producers to sell non-medical cannabis products from stores located at their cultivation site.

When the producer retail store (PRS) licence comes into effect on Nov. 30, 2022, applica tions will be open through the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch’s (LCRB) liquor and cannabis licensing portal. All federal standard cultivator, micro-cultivator and nursery licence-holders will be eligible to apply.

This licence was created as part of the prov ince’s commitment to enable farm gate cannabis sales in British Columbia. It is in tended to support the development of a robust, diverse and sustainable legal canna bis economy that is inclusive of Indigenous and rural communities.

“The fourth anniversary of the legalization of cannabis in BC is around the corner, and we continue to look for ways to support growth of the legal market while providing safe and accessible options for British Co lumbians,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“The PRS licence is another way we are working to support the success of BC-based producers.”

License holders will also be able to regis ter for the direct delivery program, allow ing them to ship product to local retailers, which the province says will help small growers build brand loyalty in their local markets.

The launch of the program follows the re cent opening of BC’s first-ever farm gate cannabis facility in Williams Lake, which re sulted from a local agreement between the provincial government and Williams Lake First Nation.

For more information on this and other can nabis regulations in BC, growers can go to https://www.cannabis.gov.bc.ca

19 Year End 2022  YEAR END | NEWS & EVENTS
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The Okanagan Wine Region Celebrated in Vogue Magazine

Vogue Magazine has named the Okanagan Valley as one of the world’s most underrated wine regions.

“For every Napa Valley, Bordeaux, or Tuscany, there is an equally en chanting, underrated wine region ready to have its moment,” said Vogue writer Nicole Kliest, who interviewed global wine experts to put the list together.

“Not for lack of quality or appeal, these wine destinations remain lesser-known for a mixture of reasons, from a shortage of interna tional awareness to recent improvements in winemaking practices. Whatever the backstory, however, the draw toward up-and-coming locales is obvious—fewer crowds and plentiful opportunities to bask in the unspoiled nature of somewhere that feels undiscovered … and also, good wine.”

Vogue’s list of the best lesser-known regions included ancient wine making stalwarts like the sherry regions in Spain; the world’s oldest wine region in Georgia; or the Italian region of Puglia, home to pow erful red wines from the Primitivo grape; but it also included recent upstarts like the Okanagan, the Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, and Middleburg in Virginia.

Wine expert Allison Luvera was among those casting her vote for the Okanagan, saying the region is marked by spectacular beauty,

and equally awe-inspiring wines.

“This region produces world-class wines that are difficult to find outside of Canada—the easiest way to taste them is to travel there,” Luvera says. “It’s a relatively new winemaking area and much of the wine produced here is consumed within Canada, leaving the region unknown to wine lovers in other countries. However, its high caliber wines coupled with the stunning natural beauty of the region have attracted top winemakers from France, New Zealand, and South Af rica, so awareness is on the rise.”

20 Year End 2022  YEAR END | NEWS & EVENTS
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Pacific Ag Show is Back for 2023

BC farming’s big show is back, as the Pacific Agriculture Show opens its doors from January 26 to January 28.

The Pacific Ag Show is the place where growers and industry work ers gather every year to learn the latest trends in the agriculture industry.

The event also includes a trade show that showcases the latest and most innovative equipment and technology. Every year thousands of farmers and agri-food producers flock to the event to see what over 300 exhibitors are offering to make their operations more ef ficient.

The Pacific Ag Show attracts attendance from all the livestock and horticulture sectors. As usual, the event will be held at the Tradex Trade and Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford, BC.

21 Year End 2022
Save the date for the Pacific Ag Show starting on January 26, 2023.
 YEAR END | NEWS & EVENTS Bank. Borrow. Insure. Invest. IT’S NOT A JOB, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE. Divisions of First West Credit Union IF IT’S WORTH IT TO YOU, IT’S WORTH IT TO US. Contact our agribusiness specialists at agribusiness@firstwestcu.ca
Photo by Ioana Grecu | Dreamstime.com

Export Navigator Helps Wineries Grow Beyond BC

The government-funded Export Navigator program supports B.C. entrepreneurs with free one-on-one guidance from export advisors.

B.C.-grown wine is a highly sought-after product not only within Canada, but inter nationally. Some of the top export markets for B.C. wineries include China, Taiwan, and the US. Tapping into these markets increas es competitiveness, especially in times of economic downturn.

In the last couple of years, all industries have taken a hit with the pandemic, labour shortages, and supply chain issues, to name a few. Exporting can be a growth solution to help bring wineries back to their former levels of success. Businesses that don’t sole ly rely on their domestic market are more resilient, profitable, and are more likely to achieve longevity.

To help businesses grow beyond B.C., the Export Navigator program offers free, ex pert guidance on exporting. Whether the

business is already exporting to several markets or is a smaller enterprise that hasn’t crossed borders before, the program con nects clients with a helpful export advisor who will demystify the export process.

Export Navigator’s advisors serve non-met ropolitan areas of B.C., and to support un der-represented groups, the governmentfunded program also offers specialized services for businesses owned by Indige nous Peoples, women, and youth. In the Thompson-Okanagan region, export advi sor Amber Piché shares her experience in the wine industry.

“Growing up in the Okanagan, I spent my whole life immersed in the region’s tourism and food & beverage scenes. My expertise lies in winery operations, business develop ment, and marketing. I share a strong pas sion for B.C.’s wine industry with my clients and help them share our local wines with the world. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”

Export Navigator’s clients belong to diverse industries, including wineries located across the province. The program delivers a range of tailored services, from export readiness assessments to growth planning.

Get started today – learn more about the free government-funded program at exportnavigator.ca

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Amber Piché is the Export Navigator advisor for the Thompson-Okanagan region.

The 2022 Fruit Report

A Hangover of Challenges Blended With New Ones

As the saying goes, farming is always about the weather. Unfortunately, climate change has led to another saying being heard more often as of late: “I don’t know what a normal year is anymore.”

When severe weather incidents occur, they of ten carry an impact into the future for fields, orchards and vineyards. Some stressed plants bounce back quickly, while others carry their reduced vigour into the next season.

2022 Fruit Report: Climate Change Impacts in 2021-22 Stressed

Unprecedented weather extremes in 2021 included a deadly heat dome and mass de struction from atmospheric rivers, and then 2022 came with its own set of issues with a spring that felt like it would never arrive and a summer that seemed like it would never end. Significant cold snaps and late frosts rounded out the picture of a tough growing season for most.

There were few winners as only grape grow ers (see the wine grapes report in this issue; table grapes are briefly below) came out ahead in many cases. It was also a blessing to have less pressure and smoke from wild fires.

Apples sized up, but yield was down “I would call it a difficult season,” says Peter Simonsen, president of the BC Fruit Grow ers’ Association. “The trees were extremely stressed last year. I’d call it a hangover.”

Some apple varieties seemed to have done better in certain areas, but having travelled from Yakima, Washington to Vernon, BC, Simonsen saw the same situation in both the north and south. Crops were small er than usual, and smaller even than last year. In some areas Galas were hit hardest, but in other orchards Galas were fine with Ambrosias being the lower yielding variety. Everyone saw reduced yields in some way, though the varieties and causes may have differed.

Rosy apple aphid was a challenge in the

spring, but control programs seemed to keep it in check. Since the aphid was well-handled, the factors that took crop vol umes down weren’t due to management issues.

It’s hard to define with certainty if the cold, late spring played a bigger part than stress from the heat dome or if these issues worked together for the decline. Simon sen feels apples grown on dwarf root stock played a part in this year’s disappointing results.

“Those trees are weaker in some regards,” he says. “They’re not as robust.”

Overall, the summer was good for growing and without the other complicating factors, should have resulted in a better yield. The late summer didn’t allow colour to fully form, but fruit was still of excellent quality and Simonsen feels the long summer was

a good way to help trees recover from the stress of 2021. Irrigation was important this year with summer weather extending into October.

“Fruit quality was excellent as always,” he says. “The fruit looks fabulous. We had good colour, but I wouldn’t say excellent colour. It’s potentially going to be a huge crop next year.”

Two factors are a problem for the industry overall: acreage lost to other crops and re duced pricing.

“We’ve seen a 15 per cent decrease in acre age in the last two years,” he says.

In the northern Okanagan, that loss is pri marily due to cherry tree plantings. In the south, it’s most often due to growers switch ing to wine grapes.

As for pricing, Simonsen says, “We should

24 Year End 2022
Peter Simonsen, president of the BC Fruit Grow ers’ Association. Photo contributed

Plants, Resulting in Reduced Yields For Most Crops in BC

be expecting strong pricing, but likely won’t achieve it due to the fractious nature of our system and retail concentration.”

It’s a hard situation for growers and as a fourth-generation farmer, he’s as frustrated as anyone by the current state of affairs. “In BC, we protect farmland, but we don’t pro tect farmers or farming and that’s to our det riment,” he says.

Pears make out better than apples

Although the number of pear growers de clined in previous years, those dedicated to the fruit had an “overall good year for pear growing,” according to Simonsen. “The pear crop seemed fine. They don’t tend to go as biennial as apples. I thought mine were a bit smaller, but my brother-in-law has them and his were a bit bigger.”

Cherry crop “almost” normal in 2022

“It was a relief to have an almost ‘normal’ year after the 2019 to 2021 seasons,” says Beth Cavers, general manager/program ad ministrator with the BC Cherry Association.

Overall, Cavers says the season went well, aside from a late-spring cold snap that caused some damage. Late-season varieties were pushed into September for harvest ing, which is highly unusual, but welcome, with the increase in prices at that time. The Summerland-developed varieties planted in North Okanagan are at higher elevations, which helped extend the season.

This combined with cold damage to Wash ington-grower cherries created unexpected benefits for BC growers. Cavers says there was high demand both domestically and overseas.

Beth Cavers, general manager/program admin istrator with the BC Cherry Association.

“Coincidentally, China’s Autumn Moon Fes tival was on September 10 this year, which means we had a good supply of Canadian cherries for that market,” she says. “Export programs to China, Japan, EU, UK and Cal ifornia ran smoothly with 154 growers and 17 packing facilities enrolled in them.”

South Korea was a trial export market this year. Two grower/packers ran test cases for the Canadian and South Korean govern ments to assess issues before finalizing the trade agreement.

“We are now optimistic for full market ac cess for 2023,” Cavers says.

Exports to India are also proving beneficial with growth from $44,000 in value in 2019 to $670,000 in 2020. This dropped to just under $200,000 in 2021, most likely due to the heat dome’s impacts on fruit size. Cavers credits those increases to a trade mission in early 2020 by BC Cherry Association pres ident Sukhpaul Bal and former president Christine Dendy.

“The 2022 statistics will come out in late February or early March and we anticipate another jump in exports to India following the 2021 easing of trade barriers from the India government,” Cavers says.

Staff from the association will be at Asia Fruit Logistica in Bangkok in November to form relationships and promote BC cherries.

Of benefit to many fruit growers was the introduction of the new BC FruitWorks pro gram and the Crew Driver app which match es workers with employers. Created through

25 Year End 2022
Photo contributed

funding and input from the BC government, consultants, and representatives from the BC Cherry Association, BC Grape Growers Association and BC Fruit Growers’ Associa tion, the programs were “highly successful despite late implementation,” says Cavers. “These programs will be fully implemented in 2023.”

Simonsen says the cherry crop was a bit light in volume, but that the fruit quality at packing houses was excellent.

Stone Fruits struggled with spring

A very cold late December in 2021, a late spring and late frost all conspired to reduce the yields of stone fruits. With this variety of weather incidents, peaches, apricots, and plums were all impacted, though for differ ent reasons, says Simonsen.

“I have peaches and the crop looked like an okay crop, but it came in at about twothirds of normal,” he says. “The crop was not a big one.”

Quality was good for most stone fruits, but he did suggest the lateness pushed some peaches into the fall which may have caused quality issues.

“Prices were very high for peaches this year,” he says. “Labour was difficult. In that regard, it was good that it was a small crop.”

2022 a great year for grapes

Like wine grape growers, most table grape growers had an excellent season, according to Steven Schmidt, owner of The Herb Gar den.

“It was a very good year, much higher than average yield,” he says. “The wine grape growers all had much better yields than last year’s. My Merlot grapes did really well this year.”

He suggests it may have come as a result of excessive bud set from the heat dome last

year. Fruit quality was great as well.

“Nice tight clusters, large clusters and the flavour was good,” he says. “The sugars were there and the acids were there. Good fla vour.”

He wonders why more growers don’t plant table grapes because they seem to him to have few pests or disease issues.

“I don’t do anything to them,” he says. “I only prune them.”

Blueberries down, but quality high “Crop-wise, it wasn’t good,” says Jack Bates of Tecarte Farms. “Overall yield was down. Ours was worse than last year.”

While the quality of his berries was good, seeing the reduced yields was dishearten ing for everyone in the same situation.

Of greatest concern is the disease spread ing through blueberries that was initially thought to be scorch, but is now showing up as negative for scorch testing in many cases. The disease, yet to be identified, caus es damage similar to scorch with reduced plant vigour and potential death, but scien tists are working to determine if it is spread by aphids, like scorch, and what its impact may be. At present, it appears to be in all growing regions.

“I think this whole virus, this mystery virus, it really showed it’s ugly face last year, after

26 Year End 2022
James Bergen of Bergen Farms, and also a direc tor with the Raspberry Industry Development Council. Photo contributed
27 Year End 2022 2022 Fruit Survey - We Asked & You Answered Did the weather affect your crops? Yes 83% No 17% What crop has or will produce the best for you this year? 27% CHERRIES 18% APPLES 9% GRAPES • PEACHES • PEARS BLUEBERRIES • RASPBERRIES • STRAWBERRIES Late harvest. Too much rain in spring then the drought all summer. Light crop for apples and cherries. No (zero) stone fruit such as peaches and nectarines. 2021 heatdome caused tree stress. 55% Peaches 45% Apples 45% Cherries 45% Blueberries 27% Plums 18% Apricots 18% Nectarines 18% Strawberries 18% Vegetables 9% Grapes (table) 9% Pears 9% Raspberries 9% Niche Berries What types of fruit do you grow? “ The wet cold spring affected pollination.” Very low yields for apples and cherries. Rain split cherries. Hot fall meant poor colour for apples. 27%

the heat dome,” says Bates. “I don’t know if that put extra stress on the plants. It’s been detected in our fields. I think it’s every where.”

Fortunately, like many crops, late season blueberries were extended into the fall due to the late summer-like weather. Some growers were still picking berries into Octo ber and seeing excellent late season quality.

“I think we could live with that every year,” he says.

Raspberries experience disappointing yields

“It was disappointing from a yield stand point, good from a quality standpoint,” says James Bergen of Bergen Farms, and also a director with the Raspberry Industry Devel opment Council. “Yields were not where we were hoping they would be this year.”

Again, the cool spring and the sudden shift into summer temperatures was definitely a factor. The stress from 2021’s heat dome likely contributed as well as the colder than usual winter.

“Going straight from cool to high 20s and low 30s right after; I don’t think that helped,” he says. “I think that we were dealing with

Kalpna Solanki – the Chair of the BC Cranberry Marketing Commission, Marc Dalton MP for Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge and Coreen Berrisford

some disease issues due to the cold. Blight possibly.”

He said yields were close to last year’s, which wasn’t good. They might be up slightly over 2021.

“Everything was down compared to what we expect from our crops,” he says of the different varieties. The only outlier was a fresh market niche variety that is hand-har vested: Cascade Delight. It didn’t see the same yield decline as other varieties.

28 Year End 2022
Are you concerned about water for irrigation, given changes in climate? Yes 42% No 33% Not Sure 25% Will you change your management practices due to the potential for even higher prices of fertilizer and other amendments? Not sure yet 58% Yes 25% No 17% Infrastructure in our area is good. Concerned about government limiting access. 2022 Fruit Survey - We Asked & You Answered
Photo contributed

Did you have a shortage of agricultural workers this year?

What do you think would help?

More flexibility on farmers sharing foreign workers.

Will not replant until the marketing problems in the fruit industry are fixed.

Foreign worker program works well. Temporary tourist work visa would be good as well. Will

Zero interest loans to build farm worker accommodation.

Did you experience any kinds of “shortages” such as fertilizer, plants, seeds, machinery parts, chemicals.

Cost of water.

All of the above.

Bylands Nursery had a shortage of replanting trees, including cherry, peach, apricot and apple.

29 Year End 2022
YES 42%
Did you replant, or are you planning to re-plant next year?
% %
the rise in interest rates affect your business? Yes 25%
25% We’ll be okay 33% Not sure yet 17%

“The price of raspberries is higher than his torical averages,” he says. “It’s lessened the blow, but as a farmer, you’re sad that you’re not getting a high crop in one of these years when the price is way up.”

Cranberries down slightly, great quality Anticipated yields for cranberries are low er than last year’s but quality is looking good, according to Coreen Berrisford, gen eral manager with BC Cranberry Marketing Commission.

The commission hosted its first field day since 2018 on August 30 at Hopcott Farms in Pitt Meadows. About 120 growers and families, suppliers and politicians were in attendance.

The highlight for many was a tour of 16 acres planted with the newer variety, Vasanna, which was planted in 2021. It will be about two years until the variety is ready for a pro duction-scale harvest.

Growers were enthused to see the plant ing due to it’s success at the Delta-based BC Cranberry Research Farm and in some small-scale on-farm plantings. Vasanna con sistently produced more than an estimated 400 barrels per acre of berries that meet Ocean Spray’s size criteria.

Strawberries have disappointing start, strong finish

The late spring sabotaged strawberry

growers, leaving both June-bearing and ever-bearing crops low in volume and with disappointing quality. Fortunately, the sec ond flush of everbearing berries helped to make up for the disappointing spring, with berries being picked well into fall due to the late summer.

2022 Fruit Survey

Was 2022 easier, harder or about the same as 2021 for farmers and growers?

“It sure did help,” said Alf



Everything is getting harder.

Production was way down.

Lighter crop means we can’t spend as much on outside labour or material such as spray or machinery.

Berry Farms and

“We picked strawberries up to [mid-October] and had beautiful berries.”

These were excellent in quality in terms of size, flavour and appearance.

“Unfortunately, June is a huge month for us and so we are thankful for the extended season,” he says.

The later crop slightly offset the poor re sults of spring berries, but it won’t be near ly enough to cover the reduced yields and losses.

With the late spring and plants already stressed from last year’s heat, it was a bad combination. David (Doc) Braich with JK Agro Industries reported fruit rot from the spring rain.

In summary

Of course, each farmer and grower expe rience is unique. While the fruit report is intended to give a basic overview of how each crop fared in 2022, there will always be differences from certain fields, orchards and vineyards to others.

That said, the overall trend for most fruit crops in BC this year - with the exception of table and wine grapes - was for smaller than average crop yields, but with generally solid quality. What is common overall is the hope that next year will be even better. 

30 Year End 2022
42% Harder 33% Slightly
17% About the
8% Easier
Krause Krause Estate Winery.

The 2022 Grape Report

BC Wine Production Recovers Despite Weather Challenges

After four years of declining yields, it appears grape production has bounced back in BC, and particularly in the BC In terior.

While the crop assessment reports won’t be published until next year, winemak ers across the province told Orchard & Vine they are seeing much higher yields than in 2021, when growers faced the heat dome, torrential rain events, and a brutal cold snap.

Harvest at Osoyoos LaRose Estate. Photo credit: Jon Adrian

This year also brought challenges, but the prolonged drought in the autumn literally saved the 2022 crop for many growers, and also guaranteed better quality grapes for most varietals.

Michael Kullman, winemaker at Osoyoos Larose, said he’s expecting a stunning 80 per cent increase in yields for his vineyards as a whole, although he also adds that the results were better for Merlot than for Cab ernet Sauvignon.

“Last year was just horrible for everybody,” Kullman said. “My yields won’t be double this year, but last year I got about 900 hec tolitres (from 80 acres), and this year I’m expecting more like 1,600 hectos, so that’s ballpark about 80 per cent more this year than last year.”

Lynne Schatz, winemaker for TIME Family of Wines, is seeing the same results in her vineyards.

““There was a bit of uncertainty in the grow ing season but we made it there,” Schatz said. “The 2022 crop came in well above av

erage in some areas, and the red grape va rieties seemed to be carrying a heavier crop load than the previous couple of years.

“When I realized the grapes were coming in heavy, tank logistics in the winery got a bit complicated… something I call “liquid chess”.

Further north, winemakers Penelope and Dylan Roche at Naramata’s Roche Winery said they were hugely relieved to experi ence a year that was not filled with one crisis after another.

“After last year’s heat dome, floods and toutes sortes de catastrophes, it was such a relief to experience a reasonably uneventful summer,” the couple said. “As grape farm ers, we are always ready to adapt, but it is a blessing to have nice weather every once and a while!”

While 2022 may have had some challeng es and some unusual twists and turns, the Roches said the season overall was excellent for grape production in the Penticton/Nara mata region.

“You may remember that spring took forev er to arrive in 2022,” they said. “This was ac tually good for our vines. In early springs we worry about the new buds appearing and then being frozen off by frost. In contrast, the buds arrived safely, and with les belles journées d’été the vines flowered, made fruit, and ripened the grapes perfectly.

“After a long and languid summer it really was breathtaking here on the Narama ta Bench,” they added. “We harvested the grapes much later than usual. The fruit is of fantastic quality and we were happy to wait. There is plentiful acid in each berry, which will give the wines energy, and assist them to age.”

O&V’s survey of winemakers this year showed that, in general, both the yields and the quality in 2022 have improved in the BC Interior regions of the Okanagan, Similkameen, and Thompson Valleys, but the weather’s blessing extended even more decisively in coastal regions like the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island.

Ironically, while many tree fruit and berry

32 Year End 2022
Which grape varietals do you grow? 78% Pinot Noir 67% Merlot 58% Cab Franc 58% Chardonnay 56% Cab Sauvignon 47% Pinot Gris 47% Riesling 33% Gewurztraminer 31% Syrah 22% Marechal Foch 19% Muscat 17% Ortega 17% Pinot Blanc 17% Siegerebbe 14% Viognier 11% Malbec 8% Sauvignon Blanc 8% Schonburger 8% Semillon 6% Auxerrois 6% Ehrenfelser 6% Gruner Veltliner, 6% Pinot Meunier 6% Petit Verdot 6% Roussanne 6% Sangiovese 6% Zweigelt What is your most popular selling wine ? They all sell equally well. Our biggest productions, haha! But seriously true. 1) Riesling 2) White Blends 3) Pinot Gris 4) Pinot Noir Other Grapes Grown Baco Noir, Castel, Cayuga, Gamay, Leon Millot, Lucie Kuhlmann, Malbec Pinot Aux., Marsanne, Petite Arvine, Petite Milo, Pinotage, Regent, Tannat and Vidal. The one we make the most of. 2022 Wine Survey - We Asked & You Answered

farmers across the province were suffering due to the prolonged drought this autumn, grape growers say their crops were liter ally saved by the unseasonably warm, dry weather in September and October.

“In general the harvest for my varietals has been larger than average,” said Jim Moody, winemaker at Zanatta Winery near Duncan, BC. “This year was a bit odd because it was actually quite dry, and it saved the island’s harvest for sure.

“I was looking at attrition in August and I was wondering, what are we going to get here, because at that point it did not look like we would get anything near what we ended up getting,” Moody added. “Then things dried up, and it was like, wow, this is actually real

ly good! Everybody else was screaming, we need rain, and I’m like, no, no we don’t.”

At the nearby Blue Grouse Estate Winery, winemaker Bailey Williamson was getting very similar results, with an abundant har vest and high quality fruit.

“The crop seems to be abundant this year,” Williamson said. “We have not had the same crop fluctuations in the Cowichan (Valley) as other areas.

“Honestly, without the beautiful autumn we would have been screwed, it was the only thing that saved us from not harvesting.”

The bounce in grape yields comes at an im portant time for the BC wine industry, which has suffered a drastic, four-year decline in total tonnage. According to the BC Vineyard

2022 Wine Survey - We Asked & You Answered

Fire about 25% of the various government employees and they could fill private sector work positions. They may have to learn how to work, Lol. Make SAWP more user friendly.

Allow farm workers live on agriculture land.

Working permits for foreigners who want to come here specifically for jobs in agriculture.

For the first time we had flaky pickers... it would be great if vineyards wouldn’t be so stupid as to offer 12 cents per pound or at least be honest and say it’s for a hard to pick reason... mildew sorting, extremely low crop... so a lot of walking to get a pound. We pay 7 cents per pound and a decent picker makes $40/hr!!

34 Year End 2022
44% Yes 50% No 6% N/A
Do you
a shortage of agricultural workers this year? What do you think would help?
READERS EXPERIENCED SHORTAGES IN • Parts • Plants • Organic fertilizers • Prices were up 30%
DELAYS ON • Bottle glass • Winery supplies • Tanks
to 50%
Blue Grouse Estate Winery Harvest. Photo credit: Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Resiliency Report issued in July this year, crop yields have declined in BC by rough ly 33 per cent between 2018 and 2022, with the tonnage decreasing from 30,000 tons to 20,000 tons over that period. Most winemakers and viticulturists said that decline is due to a combination of cli mate change in general causing extreme weather events, and also the ‘knock-on effects’ of damage from recent weather anomalies like the heat dome, the flood ing in 2021, and a damaging cold snap in the Thompson-Okanagan.

“It’s Mother Nature, global warming, and the time it takes for vine recovery after weather events,” said Schatz. Kullman agreed, but added he now has a

theory that severe frost events at unsea sonal times of the year is the single great est culprit in the four-year decline.

“My theory is that with climate change we’ve been getting more and more frost each year … and that will cause lower yields,” Kullman said. “My gut feeling is that it’s the cumulative years of warm er winters and then more severe frost events in the spring, or like in early 2019 when we had the early autumn frost, is causing long-term damage to the vines.”

Whatever the cause, winemakers and growers alike were thrilled to see that both the yield and the quality are up this year, although not likely to see a return to the high tonnage values of 2018.

Top loss and loss to a percentage of vines.

It always does! This year, everything was late due to the long cold spring. Then the sum mer and September/Oct were great and everything caught up. It squeezed harvest to one month, instead of 6-7 weeks.

Cold wet spring made for late bloom - which led to a very late harvest, but great yields and beautiful fruit in the end.

Mildew was a crazy battle this year, decimated our Chardonnay and affected some other crop load as well.

Extreme delay in ripening. Then a very compressed picking season.

Powdery mildew in the late spring but beautiful weather that saved us in the fall.

Some powdery mildew, unexpected so dry. Late season but good yield with good sunshine.

Farming is always affected by the weather, Sometimes good sometimes bad. That’s the nature of the industry. It’s weather related.

Winter damage.

Late start of the season delayed bloom, fruit set and veraison, but exceptional weather from July on did balance this out to a degree. Low yield, low sugars, shorter than usual hang time. Still harvesting in November.

35 Year End 2022
86% Yes 14% No
Did the weather affect your crop?
Julie Rufier grapes processing at Blue Grouse Es tate Winery. Photo credit: Blue Grouse Estate Winery

2022 Wine Survey - We Asked & You Answered

Are you concerned about water for irrigation, given changes in climate?

for 14% Not sure 52% No 53% YES 22% WE’LL BE OKAY 14% NOT SURE 11% NO

due to 34% Yes

Mortgage payment up at least 8000.00 a year. Not easy for the little guys.

Depends on how long and bad the looming recession will be.

higher prices of

Cut wine production, increase prices of grape sales and wine sales; cut staff and do more myself where possible; cut back sprays and hope for the best.

We will invest less and probably have to raise our prices, that has the risk of slowing sales.


Will 25% No

the rise in interest rates affect your business? 39% Unsure

Look for cheaper dry goods, look at our process and try to see where we can save.

Instituting minimum order quantities for our BC retailers (wholesale customers) in order to accommodate the increased shipping costs which we are not allowed to pass along to our wholesale customers, per BC LDB regulations. And a few other things.

36 Year End 2022
Will you change your management practices
the potential
equipment, additives, glass
Will have a big affect on business, planning to get more equipment and to increase production. other items. 36% Yes
We have a shallow well and plenty of water at this time, but if it keeps going with these droughts, I am worried.
Increasing pressure from the two ministries involved, apparently trying to claw back licensed water under the beneficial use clause.
Prolonged dry winters will lead to a valley water shortage… no water means no fruit or any agricultural crop. No one wants to talk about this or how climate change will impact agriculture… it is all taken for granted.
Modifying the irrigation systems and studying the soils so we can adapt and only deliver what the plants need.

All winemakers we spoke to said their grapes have shown consistently good qual ity, and in some regions like Vancouver Is land, higher brix values than normal.

“Everything was really good, and I wasn’t expecting that,” said Moody. “Initially I was expecting this would be the bottom five for any vintage we’ve done here, but after that warm dry spell saved us, I would rank it in the top five, going all the way back to the 1980s.”

His Vancouver Island neighbour Blue Grouse is seeing the same thing.

“Based on what we see, it will be a delicate vintage, with low alcohols and nuanced aromas,” Williamson said. “Early tasting is showing bright red fruits in the Pinot Noir, cherries raspberries red currents.

“After malolactic fermentation and some barrel aging we should see minerality and those bright Pinot Noir characteristics emerge. On the whole, 12 per cent alcohol

seems to be the norm this year. The whites are showing lots of aromatics, albeit lower alcohol.”

Back over the mountains in the Okanagan Valley, Schatz says her team is thrilled with the grapes going into the tanks this year.

“The fruit I have seen and brought in this year has been great,” she said. “Wines will be juicy and have a great acidic backbone.

“At our vineyard in Osoyoos we grow Mer lot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Grenache,” she

2022 Wine Survey - We Asked & You Answered

As we sell higher end wines we noticed people buying less bottles on average and I believe this is related to the decline in the stock market by 20% and people drinking down their wine cellars.

Our Management practices remain consistent, but Mother Nature is keeping us very busy! Nothing can be assumed anymore as it relates to expected weather.

Direct and online sales (wine club) are down as people are reconsidering their budgets. Sales to restaurants are up a lot. The balance is better than last year.

Due to high fuel prices, higher interest rates and general financial uncertainty, customer are slowing their wine purchasing, cancelling wine club memberships and not travelling to wine country as much. Cost increases have been more in 2022 for packaging, shipping etc. plus interest rate hikes... less people to our wine shop (but higher $/person spend) than in the pandemic year perhaps because they were able to travel further away, perhaps due to high gas prices and cost increases and interest hikes. etc.

Labour shortages hurt us in the vineyard as we had a hard time keeping up with the rapid growth.

More people traveling, less restrictions, made it easier for people to stop in and visit.

Restrictions cause economic problems and employee shortages. Recession and supply chain issues. Less tourism and inflation.

More rules and challenges with local government restrictions.

37 Year End 2022
Was 2022 easier, harder or about the same as 2021 for farmers and growers?
34% Harder 26% Slightly Better 26% About the Same 8% Easier

added. “All those varieties are thriving, as they are young and the vine vigour is high.

“I haven’t seen anything struggling this year to grow, but I am sure in some areas some later ripening red varieties would have liked a bit of a longer season to fully mature and show their potential,” she notes. “That’s why there is a year on every bottle; every year is different.”

Osoyoos Larose grows primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and Kullman said that while the grape quality was good overall, it was much better for Merlot, which is a cold hardier grape. However, Kullman also said the timing of rain events in June had a major impact. “We had a lot of rain over flowering, especially when the Cabernet was flowering in early June,” he explained. “When Mer lot flowered in early June we had this window of beautiful weather, but when the Cabernet flowered 10 days later it rained quite a bit. As a result, we had about 50 per cent less (yield) in the Cabs than in the Merlots.”

Also for those reasons, Kullman says quality for the Cab Sauv is good, but he expects the coming vintage for Merlot will be fantas tic.

“Generally I’m very happy with the quality,” Kullman said. “I think it’s definitely a Merlot year; the Merlot is just fantastic, while 2021 was more of a Cab year due to the heat.”

All in all, the winemakers we spoke to said that while 2022 has been a challenging year that required rapid adaptation by growers.

“I would say it was full of unknowns and some anxiety as we watched the weather and saw the vines react,” said Schatz. “The wait to har vest was a bit nerve racking, wondering if we would get to ripeness, so that was a bit stressful and then the extremely compact harvest, which usually happens over 6six to eight weeks, happened over two weeks, was a fast and challenging two weeks.

“Lots of vineyard visits and grape maturity monitoring was happen ing during September and the start of October,” she added. “As far as grape quality goes, I am really happy with the fruit we received; the flavours that are coming through and how the wines are finish ing up ferment.” 

38 Year End 2022
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Update on BC Tree Fruit Packinghouse Controversy

Editor’s Note: This story originally ran on orchardandvine.net on November 18, 2022. Due to the publication date of the magazine, O&V was unable to update the story for this issue. However, a full update on the results of the meeting is now available at orchardandvine.net.

The decision to cancel construction of a new packinghouse in Kelowna has led to a bitter internal battle within the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative.

Dozens of growers have forced the BCTF to call a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Nov. 22, with the intent of removing the cur rent Board of Directors.

“We want transparency, we have lost confi dence in the CEO and the board of directors, said West Kelowna farmer Parm Saini. “We want them to show the growers the finan cials, we feel they have dropped the ball on where the membership is on this issue.”

Saini, who recently moved back to West Kelowna to help his mother with the family farm, has become a spokesman for what he says are more than 90 farmers who oppose moving packinghouse operations to Oliver.

As a result, the board and the CEO of BCTF,

Warren Sarafinchan, will now be fighting to keep their jobs as they face growers during the SGM in the Peachland Community Hall.

In a letter to its members on Nov. 10, the BCTF board and management defended the decision to cancel construction of a planned packinghouse in Kelowna, and to consoli date its operations in an existing packing house in Oliver.

“The decisions to close Winfield packing and renovate Oliver rather than build new in Kelowna were made after detailed analysis of the Cooperative’s costs, volumes, and ex isting facilities,” the letter said. “The change to a renovation in Oliver instead of a new Kelowna build was due to a sharp rise in construction costs and interest rates which would have increased risk for the Coopera tive. Both decisions were made to improve grower returns as quickly as possible while managing Cooperative debt levels.”

The board also pointed to what it called the “economic realities” of the current situation, saying Okanagan farmers face increased competition, high overheads, a rise in in terest rates and labour costs, declining crop volumes, much higher construction costs, and aging facilities.

The BCTF had originally planned to build

a new packinghouse in Kelowna, but CEO Warren Sarafinchan told Orchard and Vine that the plan was cancelled primarily due to the issue with rising interest rates and in creased construction costs.

“The situation changed, so the plan had to change,” Sarafinchan summed up. “Con struction costs are increasing by, in some cases, 20 and 30 per cent in the last cou ple of years. When you factor in increases in construction costs, increases in interest rates, and then there’s also a level of urgen cy to get our returns to a more sustainable level for our growers.

39 Year End 2022
West Kelowna farmer Parm Saini.

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“The difference is, we could have this proj ect completed in Oliver for the 2024 crop, and in fact, the first phase will take place for the 2023 crop. So, we can start to increase grower returns and see benefits from this project as early as next year.”

But Saini says the group of growers he represents tried and failed to get detailed financial analysis of the project, and they simply don’t believe the board made the right decision for growers.

Saini has been calling on the board to keep the Lake Country packinghouse open, and to spend a smaller amount of money updat ing the equipment in both the Lake Coun try and Oliver packinghouses.

“I’ve been in the industry for a long time,” said Saini. Experts will tell you it’s not the building that saves you money; it’s the equipment, it’s the tools, it’s the manpower.

“So, we’re not asking them to build a new building, because we believe we can use the Lake Country facility as is. If you put a bit of money into it, if you can optimize the current equipment, we can run the facility and we (growers) can continue shipping our apples there.”

The BCTF, however, says the current build ing is too old and requires high operational overhead costs, so it has proposed putting funds into a major renovation of the Oliver packinghouse.

That has enraged apple growers like Saini, who says the vast majority of apples are grown in the Central and North Okanagan. “The soft fruits, like the peaches and nectar ines, are primarily grown down south, while cherries are grown all over the Okanagan, but with apples, it’s more than 90 per cent that are grown in the north and central Okanagan,” Saini said.

“So, why would you want to haul apples, which have a tendency to bruise with each additional touch, all the way down to Oli ver? It doesn’t make sense.”

While Sarafinchan has said BCTF has shipped apples to Oliver many times with out any damage, Saini and others insist the longer transit increases risk from bruising or freezing, and also makes it difficult for growers to travel to the packinghouse to see their fruit is graded and packed correct ly.

But perhaps the most contentious issue between the BCTF critics and the board is the feeling by some members that the co

40 Year End 2022
Dave Ledinski, CAIB Daniel Tassoni
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operative has not been transparent with the financial modelling behind its decisions.

“I’m just saying that, in our opinion, the transparency is not there,” said Saini. “We’re being told, we’re spending $85 million of your money and with no promises, and we don’t believe that the proper due diligence was done. We can’t believe the numbers or the information that’s been given to us so far. It’s been very vague and very high level. “We can’t trust any of that because we’ve done our own due diligence and we’ve asked the questions, but in a very lengthy three hour information session, Warren could not answer one of the questions to our satisfaction. And when he did answer the questions, it’s like he seemed to contra dict everything that’s now in writing.”

Saini also says he and other growers tried to get the full financial analysis that led to the board’s decision.

“In the (Cooperative Association Act) there’s a section about the examination of records, so we’re allowed to go in and look at the records,” he said. “But what happened was, when we went in there some of these re cords had been removed. Not all of them, but it just seemed (the records) were not complete.”

Sarafinchan has said in the past that some aspects of the decision-making process were in fact kept private for some time, such as anything that would impact on the priva cy rights of BCTF employees.

Typically, boards can sometimes hold meet ings privately - known as in camera meet ings - when delivering matters associated to labour issues, legal issues, or land purchases.

And while some members clearly want a change at the board and management lev el, Sarafinchan argued this week that the co operative risks losing all the progress it has made in recent years.

“I think it’s important for members to rec ognize that changing the path that we’re on will slow down the progress that the cooperative has made and that’s going to slow the improvement in returns that they need,” he said. “Over the past two years, the cooperative has changed the momentum of the business and we’re now moving in the right direction. It’s important for mem bers to recognize the increases in returns that have been delivered, the fact the debt has moved down to something that is very manageable. 

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41 Year End 2022
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Wine Growers British Columbia Release BC Vintage Guide

alike can interpret the guide by recognizing how these high-level descriptions of the growing conditions and yield output affect the wine in the glass.

With so many uses for this handy guide, CEO & President of Wine Growers British Colum bia, Miles Prodan, was proud to introduce it to the industry and consumers in Septem ber of 2022.

BC vintages are never the same way twice, making each 100 per cent BC wine a true expression of not only the beautiful place, the hardworking people, but also a unique moment in time.

With 30-plus years of the modern winemak ing industry behind us, it is time to start looking back and capturing the character of each BC vintage.

Wine Growers British Columbia (WGBC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new industry resource, the BC Vintage Guide, which celebrates and educates on the nu ances of each year of BC wine dating back to 2010.

The BC Vintage Guide is a snapshot of grow ing conditions across BC’s nine wine re gions. The guide depicts the last 10+ years of BC vintages in terms of weather factors such as temperature and rainfall, as well as crop yield.

In a recent blog on WineBC.com, author Rhys Pender, MW, points out how wine in dustry professionals and BC wine lovers

Pender cites the cooler temperatures of 2010 and 2011 as a marker of more deli cate wines, the grapes from these vintages having ripened at a slower pace, retaining fresh fruit flavour and acidity. For the warm er stretch of vintages 2013 to 2015, Pender suggests punchier alcohol levels and riper fruit notes come into play. The more mod erate years of 2016 to 2018 produced wines with a balance in structure mirrored in the balanced growing conditions.

Wine enthusiasts are often wine knowledge sponges, soaking up any additional layer of information that would connect the sensa tion of aromas, flavours, and structure to the terroir.

The BC Vintage Guide does just that, serving to elevate BC wine tasting experiences as a tangible demonstration of how BC wines re flect the land where the grapes are grown; on the most northerly threshold of where wine can be produced, resulting in intensi ty, purity, and natural freshness with distinct characteristics reflective of the vintage. The BC Vintage Guide is a useful tool for hospitality professionals serving back-vin tages of BC wine, for winery event staff or chestrating a vertical vintage tasting, and even for the BC wine lover with a collection of aged BC wine tucked away in the cellar.

“BC winegrowers focus on crafting small-production, premium quality wines that are a true expression of the vintage and the place,” said Prodan. “The BC Vintage Guide celebrates and embraces the nuanc es of each distinct BC growing season. Not only that, but the guide also speaks to the proven ageability of BC wine.”

“BC wine is undeniably age-worthy and that is something that we continue to discover as we expand on our collection of library vintages,” said Emily Walker, Wine Direc tor at the Naramata Inn. “A visual, practical tool like this one is exactly what I needed to build confidence in our team’s ability to guide guests toward the right wine style and to tell the story of a vintage.”

The BC Vintage Guide is a Wine Growers British Columbia resource, with information based on details published every spring in WGBC’s annual BC Wine Grape Vintage Re port. For more in-depth details on BC vin tages, the archive of reports is available on WineBC.com.

Kelly Josephson, Communications Manager, Wine Growers British Columbia winebc.com

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Master your Trade Show Participation With These Tips

and ideally have a great time.


Make the investment worth it

As this article comes out the trade show season will be in full force. After many shows were cancelled or postponed over the past two years, the industry is hungry to gather and meet customers as much as possible. Also over the last two years, many companies have done a 360 with their staff. Many winer ies, breweries and cideries now have new and inexperienced teams that are now supposed to represent the company at a trade show or coordinate the lo gistics. Bear in mind the follow ing to help your team succeed.

Trade shows have been a vital sales and marketing tool for decades, providing the perfect setting for B2B companies to come together and connect with industry peers, audit mar ket trends, get feedback, learn,

As you’ll be meeting retailers, sommeliers, suppliers, the me dia as well as potential leads, for a successful participation, the work starts before the show opens, and organisation is key. You want to leave a good im pression from start to finish.

Register and choose the high est traffic location booth or ta ble you can. Also consider that each show has its own unique set up. Keep in mind what size table you will have, the kind of signage provided, and what items you are allowed to bring yourself; if there is a power out let available and if table linens are supplied. Pro tip: Even when the tablecloths are supplied, it is a good idea to bring your own branded ones, in table run ners and overlays, and a good squishy mat to stand on is al ways a good idea!

Plan your marketing materials like brochures, business cards and product information. If you have access to power, level up your booth display with a pre sentation or slide show.

There is likely to be travel and logistics to arrange and often you can organize additional events at the show, such as seminars, feature tastings or satellite dinners.

Before the show, targeted PR and communications around your attendance in the event is important to announce your presence and attract attendees. Request the lists for who is com ing from the event organizer and start to network in advance.

If a list isn’t available from the organizers, actively seek out in formation on who is attending through social networks, as you communicate your intent to be there as well.

Ask for meetings from your ac counts before, during or after the show. The moment you ar rive in the city, aim to have your calendar filled with meetings. Lastly, create a detailed plan and timeline for each trade show to enable your team to be fully prepared for each event and that everything runs smoothly.


Some shows have a combina tion trade and consumer com

ponent. In a future article we can talk about how to master consumer interactions.


Get attention at your booth by offering branded swag or offer ing a prize draw.

When you are at your booth, ask, answer, and listen to re al-time feedback. Always try to understand and make it about the visitor at the table. Remem ber, you have limited time to connect on a personal level.

After understanding their pro file, you should have a few dif ferent 30-second pitches pre pared in advance that you can deliver depending on what you learn about the person.

The pitch should describe how your brand is positioned in the market, with the goal of get ting a sit-down meeting in the near feature. A good way to ap proach your event participation is to prepare pitches around a single product for which to cen tre your story around.

Don’t try to sell all your brands at once. Talk to visitors about how you are there to support them with wines that their


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customers and the public wants.

Trade shows are all about networking. Buy ers rarely simply taste your product and buy on the spot. Offer to visit with them postshow to learn more about what they need.

It’s also a good tactic to stay active on social media throughout the event to drive booth traffic, as well as to connect with the onsite contacts you’ve made.


Debrief with your team while the event is fresh in your mind to get feedback.

Make sure you follow up with your leads and any contacts you meet with a “thank you for visiting” email. Instead of making it “salesy”, share your thoughts about the event.


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44 Year End 2022
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Following the Rules for Using Rodenticides Safely

As a result, SGARs will continue to be available for use in agricul tural operations, but with new requirements related to Pesti cide Applicators Certification and IPM practices, including more record-keeping.

The minister’s order on SGARs:

• Restricts who can buy SGARs

• Restricts who can use SGARs

• Requires vendors prevent unau thorized buyers from accessing SGARs

funding is available to help with an IPM plan, which would then provide proof that the above-noted measures are in place.

Pocket Gophers and Voles cause damage to trees in Okanagan orchards. The cost of planting an acre of orchard varies be tween $7,000 and $30,000, and losing even part of this invest ment to rodents is a significant financial impact on an orchard operation if there are high levels of infestation.

In the past, growers could rely on the fail-safe method of ro denticides, which thin the blood and cause death by internal bleeding, to kill rodents. How ever, new rodenticide regula tions require additional effort on IPM practices.

This Fall, after a public consul tation, the Ministry of Environ ment announced a ban on use of Second Generation Antico agulant Rodenticides (SGARs). During the consultation, the BCFGA and other agricultural organizations noted the finan cial impact of rodents on or chard operations and the need for continued access to SGARs by agriculture operators.

SGARs have come under fire because dead rodents killed by SGARs can be eaten by animals, especially owls, hawks and ea gles that are higher up the food chain. Feeding on the poisoned rodents can cause illness and death in raptors.

The reduction of the population of raptors means that there are fewer predators for the remain ing voles and pocket gophers. Thus, unbridled use of antico agulant rodenticides to control rodent populations could lead to a rebound in rodent popula tions when predators are more scarce, and increase reliance on anticoagulants.

The new regulations are to en sure SGARs are used only when needed and appropriate under an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan.

From the Ministry’s website: The [Environment] minister has created an order to protect wild life from unintended impacts of SGAR use by banning or restrict ing their access.

• Requires SGARs are used only as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program

• Requires proper disposal

• Requires record keeping for the sale and use of SGARs

When using SGARs, IPM mea sures must be implemented by the farm (and as usual, re cord-keeping for each of these new requirements is essential to avoid penalties in case of audit). SGAR users must

• Demonstrate knowledge of the target rodent: identify the type of rodent and under stand rodent behaviours.

• Determine the rodent popula tion level and decide if pesti cide use is necessary

• Incorporate alternatives to rodenticides for control mea sures, such as traps (e.g. keep records of number of traps placed and effectivenessnumber caught in traps).

• Record information about the application.

Help is available to implement IPM measures, through the En vironmental Farm Plan (EFP) Program. For growers with EFPs,

For more information on SGARs: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/ content/environment/pesti cides-pest-management/leg islation-consultation/rodenti cide-ban#user_resources

For more information on ro dents in the Tree Fruit Produc tion Guide: https://www.bctfpg.ca/pests/ wildlife-damage-prevention/ rodents/

For more information on EFPs: https://iafbc.ca/environmen tal-farm-plan/

The BCFGA provides a $250 incentive to grower-members who obtain or renew an EFP. Once an EFP is in place, fund ing for Beneficial Management Practices is available - e.g. for implementing IPM programs for rodents.

Please support your agricultur al association by becoming a member, so that your associa tion may continue to seek a bal anced approach to regulations in agriculture and advocate for EFP funding.

Glen Lucas, General Manager, BCFGA, www.bcfga.com

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Zanatta’s Jim Moody at Vancouver Island’s Oldest Winery

This month in O&V we’re profiling Jim Moody, the winemaker at the first winery on Vancouver Island, and part of a winemaking family that call themselves the ‘accidental pioneers’.

Zanatta was founded by Moody’s fatherin-law Dionisio (Dennis) Zanatta, who grew grapes and made wine for his family.

Then, after a study called The Duncan Proj ect researched the suitability of wine grapes for the region, Zanatta applied for and re ceived in 1985 the first license for an estate winery on the island, and among the first in Western Canada!

Jim and his winemaking wife Loretta have continued the family tradition in the pictur esque Cowichan Valley.

O&V: How did you get started in the wine industry?

Jim Moody: My late father-in-law, being Italian, he had his own little block of vines to make wines for himself and his family, but he’d heard it was in the works that there was a new type of licensing coming out that was then called the Farmgate Winery, which al lowed those with five acres or more to have a winery, because prior to that you couldn’t even do it; you had to be commercial, really. So in 1985 he basically started planting commercially, and in 1990 we did our first vintage and in 1992 we did our first sales. How I got involved, well, I’ve always had an interest in wine, but in reality it all hap pened because I met my wife Loretta at UBC, and her family of course had started Zanatta winery, so I came over here and that was the end of it.

O&V: Where did you go to school or ap prentice, and what did you get out of that?

Jim Moody: I did my degree in agricul ture at UBC and that’s where I met Loretta. Then she went off to Italy actually and that’s where she got her masters in oenology and then apprenticed with her mom’s cousin at a winery called Trevisiol (in Veneto, Italy) where they were producing a lot of Prosec co.

Then Loretta came back and we married, and then around ’96, due to a variety of cir cumstances I started taking over the wine

making, and from there I learned on the fly and through Loretta’s educational back ground in oenology.

O&V: Have you worked or studied in any other countries, and what was that like?

Jim Moody: No, I’ve always wish I did, and I’m trying to get one of my kids to do exactly that, but of course my wife worked at Trev isiol, so in a way I’ve had the benefit of her travel to Italy, and in fact, I still have a bottle of their wine from our wedding!

O&V: What is your favourite varietal to work with and why?

Jim Moody: That’s always a tough question! I keep mulling over two different varieties in my head, those being Ortega and Cayuga, which are two of our original varietals here at the winery, but they’re very different. Ca yuga is a very easy grape to work with, while Ortega is not an easy grape to work with at all, but there’s something about it that makes it the one I keep coming back to. It’s been 32 vintages now!

O&V: What is the best thing about your job?

Jim Moody: That one’s easy to answer. Y’know, I don’t spend a lot of time anymore at events or in the tasting room, but when I did I would meet up with customers, and when people keep coming back because they know you and in some cases you’ve

been part of an important event in their life, mostly weddings generally, and they had your wine at their wedding, it’s really neat. Obviously now I’ve been at it so long that I get a lot of people who say that, and it’s really nice that you’re doing something that people really appreciate. What you did be came part of their world and was memora ble to them, and that’s a great feeling.

O&V: Is there a particular wine or vintage that you have made that you are most proud of?

Jim Moody: No, actually, they’ve all kind of smooshed together over the years.

The only one I really remember vividly was a really terrible one that was incredibly dif ficult. It opened my eyes up though, I will say that. It was 1996 and it was just an awful, awful year. It was the Ortega, and it came out nothing like I wanted it to be like.

It wasn’t like the previous vintage at all, but weirdly, the sales never changed. I had peo ple complaining they didn’t like it, and then when I got back to doing a better vintage, I had some people complaining that it wasn’t like the ’96, which I really didn’t enjoy! Not to mention, that’s the year we had our first child, so it was quite a year. But, I will say, I certainly learned a lot about making wine that year! 

Winemaker Jim Moody of Zanatta in the Cowichan Valley.
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