Frigid temps stellar for wine

Alanna Kelly

As most of the Okanagan Valley hides inside from the frigid temperatures, some wait all year for the cold.

Winemakers are finally getting the cold temperatures needs to make their ice wine and at Summerhill Pyramid Winery things kicked off Sunday night. 

“The rest of the valley might not like the cold but we are pretty happy we got the snap,” said Michael Alexander. 

Two crews are working 12 hours a day, running 24 hours a day to make their syrup, sweet goodness.

“It is a little colder than we were expecting, but it was a vintage where we were worried that we weren’t going to get ice wine,” he said. “It was a welcome relief.”

Their tip to staying warm in the double-digit negative temperatures is drinking lots of coffee, tea and staying close to the heaters indoors. 

Alexander said they are hoping to be finished late next week, and they will end up with about 5,000 litres of ice wine. 

“It is anywhere from 12 to 36 hours per press load,” he said. 

He added there are very few spots in the planet that can actually make ice wine.

“There is something so fundamentally Canadian about making ice wine,” he said. “Not only do we have to have beautifully warm summers and falls so we get ripe fruit, but then it needs to get cold enough that we can actually get the temperatures and freeze.”

Alexander said this year looks to be the best ice wine yet. 

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