Ask Sid: Is this the end of icewine production?

March 4th, 2020
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Question: Is this the end of Icewine production?

Answer: Hopefully not. The German Wine Institute just announced that “The 2019 vintage will go down in history here in Germany as the first year in which the ice harvest has failed nationwide.” This is another result of warmer winters from climate change. However this may be good news for Canada the world leader in producing Icewine. Their first one was released by Hainle in the Okanagan back in 1973 and since then some 70+ wineries in Ontario & 20+ in British Columbia have produced some below -8C (17.6F) with a minimum 35 Brix usually between November to February. Many BC wineries took advantage of the cold spell between November 28 to December 1, 2019 to harvest frozen grapes of many varieties for an early quality vintage with good balancing acidity. The sweet nectar yields only about 15% of the usual for dry table wines. Probably in the future even less Icewine will be produced globally with pressure on the supply/demand ratio resulting in an increased price to the consumer.

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March 4th, 2020

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