A Word from the Wine Trail by Sarah Troxell of Galen Glen
The mild start to our winter has been delightful, unless you are a grape destined for Ice Wine. Ice Wine grapes are frozen, typically harvested at night when the temperature dips below 17F. The best Ice Wine conditions begin with several freeze/thaw periods in November, allowing the sugars to concentrate. A final frigid blast for a few days in December before harvest ensures a superb sweet crop.
All the unseasonably warm temperatures accelerated the dehydration of Ice Wine grapes, turning them into raisins. So what’s a winemaker to do? Make wine out of raisins, of course! While it won’t be Ice Wine, it still will be a sweet dessert wine with plenty of intense honeyed flavors.
And if winter does arrive, what better way to end an evening than with a glass of dessert wine and a toasty fire. While not everyone makes Ice Wine, all our member wineries do offer something seductively sweet to fill your glass this winter.