Warm weather brings earliest ever harvest to Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is raising a glass to the end of its earliest ever harvest, which began on August 28 with Pinot Gris and ended October 16 with Cabernet Sauvignon.
A mild winter saw bud break happen in April this year, a month earlier than expected. “We held this head-start until July, when the heat stunted some varieties, especially Cabernet Franc and Gewurztraminer,” says Sandra Oldfield, CEO of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. “With the cooler weather in September the two stunted varieties took off and everything came in at the same time. It’s unheard of to be bringing in Syrah, Viognier and Malbec a month early on October 1.”
Consistent hot, dry weather brought a harvest of average length that took place two weeks earlier than historical harvests. “The vineyards were in superb condition with great fruit quality,” says Andrew Moon, viticulturist/vineyard manager at Tinhorn Creek. “The season was warm and dry, which is great for viticulture. Highlights in tasting the fruit this season were definitely the Chardonnay and the Cabernets.”
“I’m also liking the Chardonnay at this point,” agrees Winemaker Andrew Windsor. “We have some of the most concentrated Merlot I’ve ever seen starting to finish up fermenting now, so that too will be good. Although it’s still early days, I’m also very excited about the Cabernet varieties as well.”
Now in his second harvest at Tinhorn Creek, Andrew Windsor and his team were prepared for a lot of different grape varieties ripening at the same time and were able to get everything in at optimal ripeness. “So far the overall quality is very high,” says Andrew. “The natural ferments have been very strong and are fermenting much quicker this year compared to last, which makes it less stressful for me.”
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards has long been committed to a sustainable approach to viticulture and this year they saw a 35% reduction in the amount of water used across the vineyards after a switch from overhead to drip irrigation. Since 2008 Tinhorn has been tracking and offsetting their carbon footprint, reducing the total by 35% during this time. This year a contribution for carbon offsetting has been made to the Checkamus Forrest Community Project in Whistler. For more information about Tinhorn’s approach to sustainability, please visit www.tinhorn.com/Our-Winery/Sustainability.