he B.C. Tree Fruit Co-operative is moving ahead with a $1 million expansion of its Lake Country packinghouse to include an addition to the building and a new bagging line, explains Chris Pollock, marketing manager for the co-op. The building is largely within the City of Kelowna, but a small portion is across the boundary in the District of Lake Country, which makes it much more complicated to get building permits for the work to be done. Plans are for the work to be completed in time for it to handle this year’s crop... There could also be an expansion in the future of the co-operative’s cider company as its Broken Ladder Ciders take consumers by storm. Beginning with the apple cider, then apples and hops, Broken Ladder now offers a pears and peaches cider. All continue to gain in popularity, notes Pollock, who admits they had hoped for this sort of success, but adds, “this is perfect.” All are made with 100 per cent fruit, no additives, sugar, water or concentrate, which he feels has been very attractive to consumers...


More than 550 wines were entered in this year’s B.C. Best of Varietal Wine Awards, making the 14 judges work hard to narrow it down to 141 finalists. A new feature was the separation into price categories of under and over $19 for white varietals and under and over $25 for reds, with a minimum of 10 entries in each price category in each varietal. Judging chair was Luke Whittall of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, and it was conducted under the guidance of Marjorie King, who has been behind the scenes at such contests for more than 20 years in the Okanagan. Judged the wine of the year was the Wild Goose Vineyards’ Mystic River

Gewurztraminer, 2016, and it was also the best Gewurztraminer. The Bench 1775 Cab Franc 2013 was chosen the best of that varietal, while Nk’Mip Cellars’ Qwam Qwmp Cab Sauvignon 2014 placed tops for its varietal. Best Chardonnay $19 and over was from 50th Parallel Estate for its 2015, while the under $19 was the 2015 from Nk’Mip. Best dessert-style wine was the Northern Lights’ Seduction 2016 and best icewine was from Volcanic Hills, a 2014 Riesling Icewine. Best Merlot was from Cassini Cellars, the Nobilus 2013, while the best Pinot Blanc was from Kraze Legz, its Skaha Vineyard 2016. In the Pinot Gris category, Hillside’s Unoaked 2016 was judged the best $19


and over, and Arrowleaf’s 2016, the best under. Arrowleaf also won for the best Pinot Noir under $25 for its 2015, while Privato Vineyard’s Grand Reserve 2012 was judged the best over $25. For a red blend $25 and over, Cassini Cellars’ Quattro Collector’s series 2012 won, and Monte Creek Ranch Winery’s Hands Up Red 2015 won for best red blend under $25. Sandhill’s Small Lots Two 2014 won for the Best Meritage Blend $25 and over, while the Wild Goose Red Horizon 2014 won for best Meritage under $25. Arrowleaf again took top honours for its 2016 Riesling for the best under $19 in that category, while Kitcsch Wines won for its 2015 Riesling for best under $19. Arrowleaf picked up the best for a Rose under $19 for its 2016, while Tinhorn Creek’s Oldfield Reserve 2016 won for $19 and over. The best Sauvignon Blanc was judged to be Gehringer Brothers’ Dry Rock Vineyards 2016, while Wild Goose won for best single white varietal $19 and over for its Morio and Friends Muscat 2016, while Inniskillin Okanagan’s Chenin Blanc 2016 won for its under $19. The best single red varietal $25 and over went to Blasted Church for its Holy Moly 2014, while Thornhaven’s Pinot Meunier 2014 was picked as best under $25. Best sparkling went to Noble Ridge for The One 2012, while the best Viognier went to Red Rooster for its Rare Bird Series 2016. Best Syrah went to Black Hills for its 2014, while the best Syrah blend went to CedarCreek for the Senator’s Red 2013. Finally, the best white blend $19 and over went to Inniskillin for its Viognier/Gewurztraminer Discovery Series 2016, while Thornhaven Estates’ Brooklyn’s Blend 2016 came tops under $19... New pears known for their blush are

being touted as having the potential to spark a revival of the pear industry in Canada. Current predictions say that by 2021 they will be available for purchase. The pears were developed in Ontario at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Harrow and then Vineland research station in the Niagara region. One of the varieties, HW624, is about to begin the process to commercialization and follows a handful of pears developed originally in Harrow that could help Canada reduce imports and pitch its pears to the rest of the world. Due to fire blight disease, the number of growers in Canada has fallen since the 1980s, causing the production of pears in the country to plummet. Now 90 per cent of the pears Canadians eat are imported. That’s $82 million worth of pears. The first trees of HW624, which will be named by the group that commercializes it, could be planted this spring and another variety, HW623, will be planted next year and be producing fruit by 2021. The centre is still evaluating 80 to 100 selections, so more new pears could be on the way...

Flooding, pests, disease and other extreme weather events are constant risks to the businesses and livelihoods of farmers. The federal government is helping the

development of new risk management tools with a $786,921 investment for Farm Management Canada to develop a new online tool called AgriShield. Its aim is to give farmers real-time assessments of potential negative impacts to their businesses and provide mitigation solutions. For instance, if an overland flood is imminent, the tool can help farmers to assess the degree of risk they face and potential mitigation measures that they can adopt, such as tile draining or insurance coverage...

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Summer 2017

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