BC wineries have picked approximately 135 tons of grapes for ice wine since December 5, when temperatures fell to levels required for the harvest.
Twenty wineries registered an intention to produce ice wine this year with the BC Wine Authority, which regulates production. Seven plucked frozen grapes for the sweet beverage on December 5, 6 and 9. The wineries hope to harvest a total of 735 tons, meaning the greater part of the harvest has yet to occur.
This year’s harvest began a month later than last year’s harvest, which was one of the earliest on record. Wineries registered intentions to harvest 696 tons from 170 acres, but harvested just 475 tons. Wineries must register ice wine intentions with the BCWA by the end of October. The intervening period from registration to harvest leaves grapes open to depredation by birds and dessication that can concentrate the fruit but also reduce the final tonnage.
BC’s biggest ice wine harvest of the past decade occurred in 2013, when wineries harvested 960 tons and produced a total of 288,000 litres of ice wine. The harvest that year began November 20.