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Weathering the Storm: BC Wine Industry Faces Challenges in 2024


Snow covered Naramata vineyards
Snow covered Naramata vineyards

The recent cold snap from January 11th to 15th, 2024, brought unprecedented challenges to British Columbia's wine industry, particularly in the interior vineyard regions.


Temperatures plummeted to between -23 and -30 degrees Celsius for over 50 consecutive hours, causing significant damage to more than 30 grape varieties.


The impact on the 2024 vintage is profound, with an estimated 97% of it expected to be lost.


A joint report by the Winegrowers of BC and consulting group Cascadia Partners predicts staggering financial losses of $350 million to wineries and vineyards, along with an additional $100 million loss to related suppliers and distributors.


In response to this crisis, wineries and industry stakeholders are rallying together to assess the damage and chart a path forward. Urgent discussions are underway regarding short-term emergency needs and long-term sustainability measures.


Among the key considerations is the possibility of regulatory flexibility to allow wineries to source grapes from other regions to salvage the year's production.


Another pressing question revolves around replanting strategies, including the selection of grape varieties and adoption of best farming practices to mitigate the impact of future extreme weather events.


To support the BC wine industry during this challenging time, there are several actions individuals can take:

 

·        Direct Support: Show support for your favorite BC wineries by ordering wine directly from them.

 

·        Visit the Region: Consider making travel plans to visit the Okanagan, Similkameen, or other interior wine regions this year.

 

·        Raise Awareness: Stay informed about the challenges facing the BC wine industry and help raise awareness among your friends, family, and neighbours.

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Javen - Poured By Jay

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