Icewine harvest looking good

The potential for the largest icewine harvest is expected to happen this year according to the British Columbia Wine Authority.

Tinhorn Creek marketing co-ordinator Lindsey White picks grapes during last season’s icewine harvest. It is anticipated 2011 could be a big harvest.

Tinhorn Creek marketing co-ordinator Lindsey White picks grapes during last season’s icewine harvest. It is anticipated 2011 could be a big harvest.

The potential for the largest icewine harvest is expected to happen this year according to the British Columbia Wine Authority.

Stephan Berney, general manager of the B.C. Wine Authority, said 27 wineries formally notified the authority of their intention to produce icewine this vintage. It is an estimated harvest of approximately 873 tonnes, the largest on record.

But, just because a large number of people have registered it doesn’t mean all the grapes will get picked for icewine, said Sandra Oldfield, winemaker and owner of Tinhorn Creek winery in Oliver.

“They still have to find a home at a winery. For example, we are not buying anymore because we have lots hanging out there. They can register, but maybe only half of that is going to find a home,” said Oldfield.

Tinhorn Creek has created icewine since 1994, but in small batches of about four tonnes of grapes. Oldfield said conditions have made it favourable for the potential of icewine this vintage.

“I am sure there is some crop that didn’t get sold this year, so now they are looking at icewine for it. It may not have ripened because it was not an easy ripening year,” said Oldfield. “It actually has been good conditions for the grapes we knew were hanging longer because that lower Brix level, or lower sugar level, really helps. Those grapes are in really good shape right now because they weren’t ripe for regular harvest, so if anything they should be able to hang quite a bit longer. If we don’t get cold enough until late December or early January, they probably still will be in OK shape. In previous years they would be rotting and falling off the vine.”

According to the B.C. Wine Institute, the first icewine in Canada was produced in Peachland at Hainle Vineyards and Estate Winery in 1974. Canada is now recognized as the world leader in icewine production.

Harvesting of the little frozen marbles from the vines is rigorously protected. Icewine must be produced exclusively from grapes that have been harvested, naturally frozen on the vine and pressed in a continuous process while the air temperature is -8 C or lower. Icewine grapes are harvested during the night to guarantee a temperature below -8 C.

The B.C. Wine Institute said there are numerous fake icewines available, particularly in Asia. Currently, there is no control over fake production, which is why it is suggested buying from a reputable retailer and look for the VQA designation.

Oldfield said there is a big market for icewine in Asia, but doesn’t see a-pent-up demand locally. For Tinhorn it is a unique product they can offer visitors at their winery, other wineshops and some restaurants.

“There is only about three countries in the world that can do it consistently and naturally year-after-year and that is Canada, Austria and Germany. There is not many products in the world that Canada can say that about. How many things are made in many, many countries in the world. It’s unique for sure, but in B.C. it is not what we hang our hat on,” said Oldfield.

Just Posted

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read