We think of ice-wine as nature’s winter wonder, born out of frozen temperatures in a gray landscape. An ideal, early season harvest on November 13th gave us fruit that had not seen the ravages of multiple freeze and thaw cycles….clean and pure.
We hand picked at 4 AM in minus 10 C, by the light of our headlamps and our farm tractor’s overhead lights. By 7 AM the fruit was in the press and the first golden drops of nectar were falling into the juice tray.
This ice wine is an electrifying yellow and this electric descriptor carries through to the nose and palate. Aromas of barbecued pineapple, quince paste, baked gala apples and lemon caramel. The palate is reminiscent of a lemon meringue pie with brilliant acidity, offset with opulent sweetness. Layers of apple sours, pie crust, peach cobbler and key lime pie wash the palate and the long finish is bright and refreshing.
The 2014 growing season has been classified as one of the warmest on record. Interestingly enough, it produced an outcome that most of us don’t normally associate with hot weather – a slowing of the grape ripening process. This happens when daytime temperatures rise above 35C. The vines shift into a protective mode and go dormant. A chilly September finished out the ripening phase in a truly, cool season fashion. As a result, the wines from this vintage are decidedly bright and complex.
We continue to farm as sustainably as possible – without the use of herbicides or pesticides. Our honey bee apiary is thriving and we’re amazed at the species diversity that can be found on our estate, including all that dwells within our mature, 10-acre forest at the centre of the vineyard. A naturally biodiverse vineyard and our LEED-Certified winery are just two of the many ways we’re working towards excellence in environmental sustainability.