Peller Estates Icewine Harvest Begins with a Welcome Cold Snap

by Joseph Luk
With temperatures dropping below -10 ̊C in the early morning of January 4, 2016 Peller Estates Winemaker Katie Dickieson gave her team the signal that the time had come to head to the vineyard. The weather conditions were picture perfect with an extreme weather alert called for the

Niagara Region and the stage was set for the Icewine harvest to begin. With such ideal conditions, the team was successful in harvesting all of the Cabernet Franc and Riesling as well as a significant amount of Vidal grapes. Another cold snap is scheduled for the middle of January which will allow the remaining Vidal grapes to be harvested.

Despite unseasonably warm temperatures through Niagara in December, so mild that golfers enjoyed one last round on Christmas Eve, the Icewine harvest was a constant topic of media attention. Mother Nature did not disappoint and the temperatures turned with the New Year and she provided us with weather conditions ideal for Icewine production. “I am pleased that we were successful in harvesting our Icewine in such a short window, the second picking of Vidal will allow us to achieve a wide range of complexity of juices”, states Winemaker Dickieson.

The winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake produces limited quantities of Icewine each year when the outside temperatures reach -10 ̊C or colder. The grapes are then carefully harvested, sorted and pressed while still frozen with only one drop of juice collected from each single grape. The skin, seeds and shards of ice are left behind, allowing the intensely sweet flavourful juice to flow from the press. The concentrated juice then goes through several weeks of fermentation and in some cases, months of barrel ageing. The resulting wine is sweet and exquisitely flavourful and aromatic. Peller

Estates Icewines have been awarded prestigious trophies and Gold medals in the world’s greatest wine competitions and is the best-selling Icewine in Canadian Travel Retail.