British Columbia

Northern Hemisphere wine harvest begins: how will the 2016 vintage turn out?

On The Coast Master of Wine Barbara Philip also shares some picks from recent vintages around the world.

Also, check out Master of Wine Barbara Philip's picks for this week

Workers harvest grapes at the La Motte wine farm in Franschhoek near Cape Town, South Africa early in 2016. The northern hemisphere wine harvest is getting underway now. (Mike Hutchings/Reuters)

It's harvest time in the Northern Hemisphere, and On The Coast master of wine Barbara Philip says there's a lot of speculation about the quality of this year's vintage in many regions.

Annual weather conditions like temperature and rainfall affect how the grapes ripen and what characteristics they will bring to the final wine.

She says in B.C., growing conditions have made her excited to try the 2016 vintage.

"Quite early in the season it was really hot ... and then all of a sudden, it got a little cooler," she told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

"It looks like it's going to be a long vintage. And that's something we always look for in the Okanagan: we want the grapes to spend time on the vine. We don't want the season abbreviated by frost in the spring, or rains or cold in the fall."

Philip has some recommendations this week for recent vintages from around the world that turned out well.

Black Sage. Cabernet sauvignon. Okanagan Valley. 2014. $24.99

"Cabernet sauvignon requires a long growing season and, in 2014, conditions were excellent for ripening cab in the Okanagan. What made 2014 particularly special was that while it was warm, temperatures were relatively steady and lacked the heat spikes of another warm year like 2003. This enabled complex flavor development in the grapes and produced balanced wines."

Château Clarke. Listrac-Médoc. Bordeaux. France. 2010. $45.99

"2010 was the second great vintage in a row for the Bordeaux region. It produced fully ripe cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes with dark fruits and full-bodied wines with bold tannins. Concentrated wines like the Château Clarke will continue to improve with eight to 12 years in the cellar."

Montecariano Valpolicella Classico. Veneto. Italy. 2014. $26.49

"2014 was a particularly wet and cool vintage in northern Italy, and this juicy Valpolicella reflects that, with bright sour cherry and floral fruit. It's an ideal shoulder season wine and would match well with late summer grilled meats."

Santa Rita 120. Sauvignon blanc. Central Valley. Chile. 2015. $10.29

"Because it's sourced from several vineyards in the large, reliably warm, Central Valley in Chile, the 120 Sauvignon blanc is dependable and consistent each vintage. Fresh herbs, citrus and a hint of passion fruit make it a great partner with fresh seafood."

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast