Waiting on wine freeze

Winemakers in the Valley are on standby, waiting for the perfect night to harvest grapes for ice wine.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery assistant winemaker Michael Alexander says ice wine is a premium product.

“It is difficult … to make, and it is a risk,” he said.

Countries like Germany only get to make ice wine once a decade, so to be able to do it every year is uniquely Canadian.

“There is really no one else in the world that has that option,” said Alexander.

In his opinion, to be a Canadian winemaker, you need a few ice wine harvests under your belt.

Crews at Summerhill are ready to be called in, but conditions need to be perfect.

“The longer we let it hang, the more loss we have, and then the birds get to it,” said Alexander.

Temperatures are expected to drop below – 8 C on Tuesday, and the ideal for picking ice wine grapes is -12 C.

“Everyone is on call, and when it happens, we start running a 24-hour crew. And if it doesn’t happen, then we continue to sleep a few more nights until it does,” he said.

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