If you like your wine to have a smoky flavour, having the grapes ripen in the midst of a raging wildfire is not how you get it.
The Okanagan region of southern British Columbia once again is threatened by fires racing through the tinder-dry forests near the postcard-pretty lake shore. Some of the area’s flourishing wineries are getting ready to again protect their vineyards and buildings.
It’s just one of the sectors of B.C.’s agriculture industry that has to worry about wildfires, whose damaging effects aren’t limited to blackened strands of timber. Cattle ranchers, pork and chicken operators and orchard-fruit growers can all find themselves scrambling if fire threatens to encroach on them.
Memories of 2003’s Summer of Fire aren’t buried very deeply around Okanagan Lake. That year, the Okanagan Mountain Park fire ate into the grapevines at Oak Bay Vineyards and destroyed the first winery building at adjacent St. Hubertus Estate winery, as well as co-founder Leo Gebert’s home.
“It wasRead More »from Smoky grapes, scorched beef: ‘Agri-threats’ posed by B.C. wildfires