40 Knots Winery in Comox now 10 days ahead in growth after being three weeks behind during cold spring. Dean Stoltz has more.
The cold rains of spring could have been a disaster, but thankfully summer arrived with all the sun and heat Vancouver Island wineries could ask for.
“I was hoping to see some heat units because it was going to be a difficult year if it was going to stay that cool and that wet.” said Layne Craig, owner of 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery in Comox.
40 Knots sits on 10.5 hectares and is one of the largest grape growing vineyards on Vancouver Island.
It’s 56,000 vines depend on good weather, but for the last several weeks they’ve been soaking up fantastic weather.
“We were definitely three weeks behind on our initial growth and today we’re ten to eleven days ahead of the normal for our development.” added Craig
The vines have been growing almost 10 centimetres a day some days. The leaves are healthy and some of the grapes are on track now to be picked next month.
“We’re going to be going through and making sure we have decent sunlight exposure, decent air exposure to our grapes to prevent any fungal activities.” said Craig.
The good weather has also been noticed in the tasting room.
It seems winery tours are in favour with travellers this summer as the Canadian dollar is attracting American visitors while the forest fires and smoky conditions in the B.C. Interior are sending people to the island.
“We do find that without being smokey here we’re finding a lot of people that want to live and continue vacationing in British Columbia have come west.” said 40 Knots owner Brenda Hetman-Craig.
Back between the rows of Pinot Gris and Shoenberger, Layne Craig can still hardly believe the turnaround he’s seen this summer.
“If we stay on target for what I’m seeing in the long range weather forecast some of our whites will be coming off third to fourth week of August and we’ll see the majority of the other whites coming off the second to third week of September at the latest and the Pinots coming off in that third, fourth week of September which honest to gosh is fantastic.” said Craig.