Manic Monday – Minus 8 means more than just a bit cold

Midnight Musings from our CEO

With the temperatures seriously dipping below zero for several days in a row it can only mean one thing…. Ice Wine!  Sitting warm and toasty in my car with the heated seats helping to take the chill out of my bones, my eyes wander to the bright lights on the surrounding hills, the significance of which is all too clear. Our vintners together with friends and family have donned warm clothing to shield them from the elements, oft times in the dark of night, in search of the perfect frozen grapes.

There are many rumors about when the grapes are picked for Ice Wine but here is the version that I believe to be the truth for British Columbia (it does differ from province to province). “In BC, wineries must register their intention to make Ice Wine with the BCWA and advise them when they commence harvest. The grapes must be frozen and the ambient air temperature is required to be  -8° C or lower at the time of harvest.” A harvest which is done entirely by hand…

From bud break to this moment of truth, this fruit, together with the wine maker, has been on quite a journey; one that is not for the faint of heart. This frozen piece of perfection has endured a summer season that hopefully had just the right amount of sun, rain and heat followed by a fall that did not cool down too quickly. It has managed to escape the bears and the birds, the hail and the winds to be here in this moment and ready for the choosing.

Ice wine is an exact science and one that involves considerable risk for those wineries prepared to take the chance on creating something that is truly a Canadian Signature Item and renowned world wide.

As you consider what you might want to slip under the tree this Christmas season… keep in mind this fine delicacy and remember the many hands that worked countless hours to bring those few ounces of intense flavor into the sleek and slender bottle.


A Few Highlights from this Weeks News Centre…

Congratulations to the Shuswap Trail Alliance who hosted their second very successful Shuswap Trail Roundtable in the new Splatsin Cultural Centre in Enderby (read more); Travel Penticton is pleased to announce the appointment of their new Executive Director, Thom Tischik (read more); the Okanagan Wine Festival has announced its new Board of Directors for 2017 (read more) and our Okanagan College Students have won a spot in the BC Tourism Competition which will take place in February (read more). 

Read all of this weeks News Centre stories at

We hope you keep following and contributing on TOTA’s Facebook and Twitter sites throughout the week; send us your stories, photos, events  and remarkable experiences. Make sure the industry knows what is happening around our region and be sure to use the #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories from around the region.

All News