Cold weather heats up harvest for icewine grape growers

Far more grape growers have decided to pick frozen grapes for icewine this year compared to past years.

Far more grape growers have decided to pick frozen grapes for producing icewine this year in the Okanagan Valley compared to past years.

And last weekend’s   plunge in the temperature allowed and the first icewine grape harvesters to get an early start.

Stephen Cipes, with  Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, says they gathered about 10 p.m. Saturday night and began picking the frozen grapes until the temperature went up above the required minimum temperature of -8 C.

About 30 pickers—including regular employees, natives and neighbours—turned out and got three acres of 17 that have been saved from the regular harvest for production of icewine picked by about 1 a.m. on Sunday, he said. “Then we stayed up until 6 a.m. and ate pizza and watched the crush and the wine (juice) drip through,” said Cipes.

This year is the first time in several years Summerhill has saved any large acreage from the regular picking for icewine, because they had a backlog of the popular premium dessert wine.

For some growers, the first icewine harvest this year comes only days after completion of the regular grape harvest, which was very late this year.

Lindsay Kelm, of the B.C. Wine Institute, says it marks one of the earliest starts to the icewine harvest in B.C., second only to the Nov. 5 harvest in 2003.

This year, 26 wineries have said they will be picking frozen grapes for an expected 875 tons, the most ever projected for icewine in this province.

Two other wineries also picked icewine grapes last weekend, but the B.C. Wine Authority won’t release the names because it’s “proprietary information,” and the growers haven’t given permission.

The remainder of the icewine harvest will begin once temperatures plunge again, likely next month, commented Kelm.



Just Posted

Tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 8.0 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Work continuing on new Kelowna visitor centre

Crews working through winter on downtown lakeshore site to have building ready for this summer

Pizza delivery car stolen during Kelowna delivery

While delivering a late night pizza, man has car stolen, then runs to recover it

Kelowna’s Serwa named to Olympic team

Kelsey Serwa is one of eight Canadian ski cross athletes headed to PyeongChang

Vernon Search & Rescue find lost snowmobiler

Male, 19, went missing in Hunter’s Range area near Enderby

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Angels at The Mule

Penticton nightclub introduces angel shots for safety

Dryer explosion at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read