The 2023 vintage was a challenging one from beginning to end but thanks to the diligent effort from our vineyard and winery crews we feel fortunate to have harvested a bountiful crop. The season started with a significant winter cold snap that resulted in massive losses of vines and fruiting buds province-wide. The BC industry lost nearly 60% of the year’s crop to this cold snap, with roughly a third of vineyards needing to be replanted due to vine loss. We are grateful that our own vineyards did not suffer such significant vine damage, though our Keremeos vineyard did produce a very light crop. Luckily, our Thompson Valley vineyards produced the largest crop we have ever produced and our grand total tonnage was 10% more than 2022, making for our biggest harvest ever.
Heat and wildfire were also a big part of the story in 2023, with significant fires near Keremeos and Monte Creek. These conditions resulted in the harvest being completed (save for one last block of Merlot) by October 3rd. For perspective, ten years ago it was nearly unheard of for harvest in BC to begin before October, while this year’s harvest was nearly done by that same date; our changing climate has resulted in an earlier shift of harvest time by 4-6 weeks. The generous heat made for concentrated and flavourful wines, though we were careful to manage our picking dates such that the wines will retain the freshness and fruit-forward character that Monte Creek is known for. Our team also took every effort to mitigate any quality issues associated with wildfire smoke, including early morning hand-harvesting, careful hand-sorting of every bin of fruit, and a variety of techniques within the winery.
We’re satisfied that the 2023 wines will deliver on quality and we’re happy to report that aside from a couple of batches of wine (out of 50-60 batches overall), smoke taint does not appear to be an issue. 2023 was full of curveballs, but we feel our attention to detail in the winery and focus on soil health in the vineyard has put us in a great position to deliver oenophiles some excellent wines that show how even the toughest years can produce gems.