Icewine harvesting is underway in the Okanagan and surrounding areas (contributed)

Icewine harvesting underway in Okanagan

Hundreds of tonnes of grapes expected to be harvested this year for icewine in surrounding Okanagan area

Temperatures are cooling off in the Okanagan and that means icewine harvesting is underway.

According to the British Columbia Wine Institute, temperatures must hit at least -8 Celsius for Okanagan farmers to be able to harvest their frozen grapes for icewine production.

READ MORE: Icewine harvest is about to begin as temperatures drop in Kelowna

The BC Wine Authority said Rollingdale Winery in West Kelowna is one of 11 wineries that have already picked 111.2 tonnes of grapes for icewine this year.

“Temperatures hovered between -8 C (17.6 F) and -10 C (14 F) while we picked the pinot blanc,” Rollingdale Winery vineyard manager Brendan Smith said.

“We had a small amount to pick, so we’re all done now! The juice tastes great and everything looks good for this year’s icewine.”

Summerhill Pyramid Winery winemaker Michael Alexander said their icewine harvest is just beginning for this season.

“We only got about a two-hour window to pick, so we still have about 90 per cent of fruit hanging, but it’s really pretty fruit,” Alexander said.

“It’s pressing off nicely. It’s going to make some really nice icewine.”

Apprixmately 463 tonnes of grapes across 124 hectares of the Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley and Shuswap region are expected to be harvested this year for icewine, according to the wine authority.

For more information on provincial wines, you can visit the BC Wine Institute’s website.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

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