Ice wine harvest arrives

Michael Alexander is tired and cold, but what he is working on these past few days might just be the best ice wine ever.

The winemaker says the team at Summerhill Pyramid Winery started picking for ice wine late Sunday and started processing the fruit around midnight.

“It is actually quite amazing with how warm it has been that all of a sudden we get this cold snap, and this may be one of the most beautiful ice wines I get to make,” Alexander said.

So far, the process has been smooth, and he says they are seeing really high brix, or sugar content, with the cold creating “beautiful juice.”

“It is not uncommon to see high 40, low 50 on the brix (scale), so 45 to 50 per cent sugars,” he said. “It allows us to do a nice long pressing and get the juice we want.”

The next part is up to Mother Nature.

“We will press it as long as we can, but looking at the forecast, I am hoping we can have it all pressed off within 10 days,” he said.

Arctic air moved in on Sunday across southern B.C. and will be sticking around all week, according to Environment Canada.

A warmer than normal January caused anxiety for winemakers, but things chilled out just in time to salvage the harvest.

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