A winery in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley that became North America's first ice wine producer more than three decades ago says thieves stole more than $30,000 of their prized product during a weekend burglary.

Walter Huber of Hainle Vineyards Estate Winery in Peachland, B.C. said the break-in happened Sunday morning, when 17 bottles were stolen from the winery's cellar.

The missing bottles included ice wines from 1983 and 1984, which can cost as much as $10,000 a bottle.

Huber said the break-in happened two days after a local TV program featured some of his high-end ice wines. 

"Well I assume, because we never had a break in here," Huber told CBC news. "Obviously they must have seen the TV show where they saw the exclusive ice wine, specifically the '78 ice wine."

Huber said that wine is appraised at over one million dollars a bottle, and is kept in another location under lock and key.

Huber's family bought the Hainle Vineyards winery, which is more than 300 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, in 2002.

Its founder, Walter Hainle, opened the site as an estate winery in 1972. Six years later, in 1978, Hainle released his first batch of commercial ice wine, becoming North America's first ice wine producer.

With files from The Canadian Press