When temperatures are perfect this B.C. winery can make half of its season's profits in just one night
Uniquely Canadian ice wine must be harvested at just the right time in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley
When cold weather hits the B.C.'s Okanagan Valley, most of the grapes at this winery have already been harvested and turned into wine. But about 10 per cent of the vineyard's grapes still cling to the vines, waiting to make a uniquely Canadian drink — ice wine.
In one night, the winery can make up to 50 per cent of its annual income on this small crop alone, but the conditions need to be just right. That's when head winemaker, Michael Alexander, becomes obsessed.
I check the temperature, probably every five minutes.- Michael Alexander, winemaker
The magic happens when the air temperature drops to - 8 degrees Celsius. Then it's all hands on deck to pick the grapes as fast as possible. At this temperature, all the water inside the grapes freezes, concentrating the sugars to give ice wine its sweet and delicious flavour.
But time is of the essence: the team must work quickly to collect all the grapes and process them before the temperature goes up again.
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