The Okanagan Valley Canada

The Complete Grape Growing System

The Complete Grape Growing System

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tte Okanagan Valley is located in the southern interior of British Columbia. It is long and narrow with an area of 8,200 km2, and is flanked by mountain ranges. Wine is its second highest grossing commodity.

Producers know that climate-related conditions are important for wine-growing operations. In good years, favorable conditions include a hot and dry summer with a long growing season and early spring. In bad years, the growing season experience lower temperatures and greater rainfall than normal. Additionally, they also identify risks associated with costs of production, pest and disease outbreaks, changing government policies, interest rates, failures in technology and risks associated with the market, such as loss of the tourist market.

tteir efforts to manage climate-related risks, which to them are the ones they can readily adapt to, include measures such as fruit thinning or 'dropping crop' in cold and wet seasons to address poor weather for the grapes, and investing in risk-reducing technologies such as wind machines. By reducing the cropload, more energy is available to achieve a higher quality of grapes.

Some of their anticipatory strategies are site selection and changing topography, avoiding or removing frost pockets in the vineyard, choosing to plant varieties that mature earlier in the season, or having vineyards in different locations to have a greater chance that one region will sufficiently mature the grapes.

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