December 30, 2016 – Thank the polar vortex and generally miserable conditions for an excellent ice wine harvest. Wines & Vines, an industry publication, reports that growers in British Columbia, Michigan and Ontario reported excellent conditions for an early 2016 ice wine harvest. The season kicked off on December 6 in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Three days of 17.6 F was followed more sub-zero temperatures a few days later in both Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. In Ontario, temperatures plunged to 9 F kicking off the harvest start around December 19 followed by Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula.
More good news is that the wineries are reporting higher than normal juice meaning more availability of this sought-after wine. If you’ve never enjoyed ice wine, then add it to your bucket list for 2017. And as you enjoy it, think of the dedicated winery workers with frozen fingers working in frigid temperatures to produce this wonderful libation for the rest of us.