After a few years of harrowing vintages, the 2012 vintage was a return to a more normal growing season. Growers across British Columbia welcomed warmer temperatures and good growing conditions, ideal for BC VQA wines.
After a mild winter, spring brought the rains, creating plush canopies with bud break almost a week earlier than the previous year. Due to intense rains, bud break continued up to a few weeks in some areas, because of the increased vigor in the vines. This also meant that vintners often didn’t need to irrigate.
Summer was warm and dry, with good fruit development. High temperatures in August and September allowed the grapes to fully ripen, and increased the overall health of the vines. Harvest began on September 9, and continued through October and early November.
Due to the warm conditions, the wines from 2012 are very exciting. The 2012 whites are now hitting store shelves and consumers can expect fragrant wines with expressive fruit flavours. Some of the standout whites will be Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The majority of the 2012 reds will not be released until next year, but they will be worth the wait.
At the 2012 Winemakers and Viticulturalists’ Forum last year, many vintners noted very full and ripe flavours from the rich reds in particular, with an increase in production from the great vintage. Some of the reds to look forward to include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Due to the excellent conditions of this vintage, full bodied red wines will be in demand from this year. When planning a wine cellar, stocking up on wines from a good vintage offers great value, as the wines will age well and continue to taste better through time. BC VQA wines from 2012 will continue to increase in value through the years – expect to see higher prices for these wines in the future.
Wines that do well with bottle aging include Sparkling wines, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Meritage style blends; keep these wines in mind for a cellar. After deliberation, consider purchasing a case of an age worthy wine instead of simply a bottle. Tasting a bottle from the case every few years to see how the wine matures is an exciting experiment – and ensures the wine is enjoyed at its peak