Wineries in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley started picking frozen grapes on November 28 when temperatures below -8°C triggered the 2019 harvest. That’s the legal threshold for the Icewine harvest.
According to Country Life in BC,Quail’s Gate Estate Winery was one of 20 wineries registered with the BC Wine Authority to make Icewine in 2019.
Grape growers were pleased to start picking well ahead of the Christmas season. The Kelowna Daily Courier reported that the Inniskillin Winery near Oliver seized the opportunity to harvest 16 tonnes of frozen Riesling grapes in a weekend. Their Reisling grapes are at a high elevation which usually registers temperatures several degrees lower than the valley floor.
The actual size of the harvest won’t be known for a few weeks. In 2018, intentions were to harvest about 707 tons, but in the end, only 274 tons were crushed. This is one of the reasons why Icewine is such a highly valued product.
Source: Country Life in BC December 4, 2019