But then 2022 arrived, and a record early cold snap on November 11th coaxed us right in. The home for this pristine Riesling fruit, just a five-minute drive up the hill from us with growers at Hidden Vines vineyard.
A late harvest style wine carries all the hallmarks of icewine, with just a little less sweetness and a little less acidity. The aromatics are fresh and fruit forward with lemon and lime, more citrus in profile than its big brother icewine. A hint of baked apple pie and crème caramel add wonderful complexity to the wine. On the palate, orange peel, and yuzu reduction is here in spades with grilled pineapple topped with a spearmint note. As with most dessert wines, expect great length and ageability here.
Our bundled-up team descended out into the dark just before 5am to Hidden Vines Vineyard’s beautiful high elevation site in East Kelowna. The temps hovered around -9/-8 degrees Celsius as we maneuvered in the cold and snow to bring in the frozen goods. Following the pressing of the juice for our Riesling icewine, once the press was cut at 35 Brix (the legal sugar requirement for icewine), we pressed further into the frozen grapes for the resulting Late Harvest Riesling juice (at a threshold of 28 Brix). After pressing, the must was transferred to stainless steel tanks for fermentation, and remained on fermentation lees for 2 months before bottling. 629 bottles made.
100% RieslingAlcohol: 9.3%Residual Sweetness: 130 g/LpH: 3.11Total Acidity: 12.2 g/L
2022 was a very challenging season, but it produced some exceptional quality grapes and resulting wines. The winter of 21/22 was harsh, with many vines exhibiting primary bud damage following a cold snap of -26.5 around Christmas. Above average rainfall in May charged the soil with water and gave the vines everything they needed to hit the ground running after a long winter and late bud break. The rain continued into June meaning no irrigation was needed for the vines till much later than average and allowed the cover crop to flourish.
Summer was mild though some hot spells in late July and early August helped push the season along. September and October were perfect for developing flavours in the grapes while not having too much sugar produced. This resulted in balanced wines with moderate alcohol. A cold snap in early November just after all the sparkling and still wines had been harvested and meant that we were able to produce our first icewine since 2017.