Yikes! Just what we were hoping wouldnt happen - an intense deep freeze and early in the winter season yet. Thats not good.
Mid December hit the Okanagan and our area with terrible cold..the kind that will set you back a season or two. Yes there was some intense cold with lows in the -30c range experienced from Kamloops to Salmon arm and Vernon to Kelowna.
That kind of cold will kill the buds and trunks even on some of the varieties grown in those parts..like merlot..gamay..pinot noir etc. Whats worse is that the cold hit so early in the winter that the vines were not as yet climatized to full winter hardiness and even the likes of -20c can cause significant bud damage. Unfortunately, alot of vineyards as far south as Summerland and Penticton that have likely had some damage.
While we didnt get the cold that some places did we still hit -26c which is the coldest temp wevecever had. Our previous coldest temperature was -24.5c. Now most of our varieties have cold hardiness to about -30c at max..but they will probably have some damage as this cold spell happened so early in the winter before they would have reached there max cold hardiness.
We see that Nakusp to the north of us hit -22.5c and this is the coldest they have recorded since 1968.
We also had drought stressed vines so we may have more damage than if the vines were stronger going into winter.
The winter is not close to being over yet but hoping thats the real cold part has gone by.