Ice Wine Harvest
During the night leading into Dec 2, it got cold enough for us to pick ice wine grapes. Sixteen to eighteen degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot for ice wine grapes– frozen enough that much of the natural water is in solid form (ice!) in each grape, but not frozen too solid, so we can still press them. Four of us– Chris, Nathan, Roxanne, and I– started well before sunrise and harvested over 700 pounds of Frontenac Gris, including a very small amount of Swenson White grapes.
It takes several days for the thick, syrupy juice to warm up enough to add yeast and begin fermentation. We wheeled the small tank right down into the tasting room so it could take advantage of the heat off the wood stove.
(Click the thumbnails below for the full image)