Icewine lovers gather at Grizzli for first annual festival

The festival also celebrated the Lunar New Year

Icewine lovers flocked to Grizzli Winery over the weekend for its first annual icewine festival.

Besides being an inaugural event, this year’s festival was special as it coincided with the Lunar New Year.

The winery welcomed the Year of the Rat with a calligrapher on site who taught attendees how to write good luck messages in Chinese. Attendees were also taught about some of the things they could do to make 2020 a lucky year, such as wearing the lucky colour and offering mandarin oranges to spread good luck.

Residents and tourists flocked to the West Kelowna winery to savour and celebrate four icewines and two other table wines. The wines were then paired with curated fruits, cheeses, and crackers to highlight the flavours.

The winery was packed, with approximately a hundred people coming and going just in one day. Many mingled inside as they waited their turn to sample some wine, and others gathered around an outdoor fire to have hot chocolate and roast marshmallows.

The response to the festival was positive, according to the winery.

Grapes for icewine are left to freeze on the vines before they are picked. The optimal temperature to harvest the grapes are around – 8 C to -14 C. The Okanagan’s recent cold snap brought the ideal conditions for the harvest to be sweeter as the water in the fruit is frozen and only sugars remained.

Each bottle of white icewine contains 30 to 35 pounds of grapes, and a bottle of red icewine has about 50 to 55 pounds, according to Grizzli Winery’s sales coordinator Breanna Nathorst.

“White icewines are more common and red icewines are a lot more rare, which is why they’re also more expensive,” she said.

“The reason for that is because you’re getting a lot more flavour in there, and they’re riskier to produce because we wait until it’s -14 C before we pick the grapes.”

This year’s harvest was pressed about a week ago and is now fermenting. Due to the high sugar content, fermentation will take quite some time so this year’s icewine won’t be ready for bottling until the spring.

READ MORE: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan Mascot Games returning to Penticton this July

HarVee and the Vancouver Canucks’ Fin are among the 24 mascots coming to the South Okanagan

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

Penticton seeking additional downtown input on potential cycling routes

The City has narrowed down the choices to two options and wants public input before deciding

Breaking: Penticton woman pleads guilty to manslaughter of boyfriend

Kiera Bourque pleaded guilty in a Penticton courtroom on Monday

Long-time winemaker retires after 14 years in Oliver

Robert Summers joined the Hester Creek Estate Winery team in 2006.

Okanagan rescue team comes back home from Australian mission

Brad Pattison’s team spent 33 days rescuing wildlife

Kelowna mayor to request RCMP’s ‘unfounded’ sexual assault report

RCMP said the report was completed over a month ago but have yet to release it or make a statement

Criminality not suspected in Ellison trailer fire death

The body was discovered after crews responded to reports of a house fire

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Kelowna youth accused of killing 16-year-old released

The young woman was arrested on Feb. 21 and is facing one charge of manslaughter

Man arrested following suspicious trailer fire in Kelowna

Reports came in about the fire at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Monday morning

Body discovered following vehicle fire on Kelowna property

Firefighters discovered a body in a home on Anderson Road

‘Please be quiet,’ Kelowna Mayor tells sexual assault survivor protesting in council chambers

Forty per cent of sexual assaults reported to Kelowna RCMP in 2019 were deemed ‘unfounded’

Salmon Arm boy is only Para-Nordic athlete at BC Winter games

Thirteen-year-old Kaden Baum competed in three races on his sit-ski at the games.

Most Read