2010 Inniskillin Icewine Harvest Starts Dec. 13

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO, December 14, 2010 - Ideal conditions prevailed to allow a start to the 2010 Icewine Harvest at Inniskillin Wines in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. With temperatures reaching Inniskillin’s ideal starting point of -10C throughout the day of Monday, Dec. 13, the Vidal grapes were clearly frozen on the vine by the start of harvesting at 3:00 pm carrying on throughout the evening and finishing before midnight of the same day.  Pressing will continue throughout today and tomorrow. Winemaker Bruce Nicholson along with the Vineyard Team headed by National Manager Frank Hellwig and Niagara Manager Gerald Klose watched closely over the past week as temperatures fluctuated.  This fluctuation causes the grapes to freeze and thaw allowing the grapes to reach the desired aroma and flavour profiles of intense, concentrated fruit which forms the basis of Icewine’s popularity.

Nicholson was very happy with the natural sugar levels and good acidity which is needed to make great Icewine. Nicholson comments, “I am very pleased that the temperatures reached the desired levels this week allowing me to proceed with the 2010 Icewines giving the quality necessary to continue to produce world class Icewines.”

Monday’s picking of Vidal Icewine took place at Montague Vineyard and Woerthle Vineyard. Both of these vineyards are located in Niagara-on-the-Lake within the Four Mile Creek Sub Appellation. While last night’s picking brought in a fair amount of Vidal grapes we still have yet to harvest the Brae Burn Vineyard which is located at the winery site.  This will be done dependent on the next window of opportunity with the ideal temperatures.

While mid December appears early in the Icewine picking season, at Inniskillin we did pick on December 2 back in 2002. The majority of Icewine harvest traditionally takes place in January. Mother Nature completely controls when we pick and we simply must be ready to respond accordingly to get the frozen berries off the vine and in to be pressed. Icewine is tightly regulated through VQA rules.

The grapes were netted back in the fall. The recent snowfall and cold temperatures have the many hungry starlings eyeing the grapes with no apparent deterrent from the sound machines attempts to scare them away.

Inniskillin Icewine has had an extremely successful year. Key 2010 Icewine awards included:

International Wine and Spirits Competition, London, UK

-Golds and Best in Class: 2007 Cabernet Franc Icewine and 2007 Sparkling Vidal Icewine; Gold: 2007 Vidal Icewine.

San Francisco International Wine Competition

-Best of Nation; Double Gold 2006 Gold Vidal icewine, 2008 Riesling Icewine; Gold-2007 Vidal Icewine, 2007 Riesling Icewine,

-Golds-2007 Vidal Icewine (#1 Sweet wine), 2006 Gold Vidal Icewine, 2007 Cabernet Franc Icewine.

Wine Access Canadian Wine Awards

-Golds-2007 Cabernet Franc  Icewine, 2008 Riesling Icewine, 2008 Sparkling Vidal Icewine.

Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada

-Golds-2007 Vidal Sparkling Icewine, 2008 Vidal Sparkling Icewine, 2006 Oak Aged Vidal Icewine                                   

Vinitaly Wine Awards

-Gran Gold-2007 Vidal Sparkling Icewine

All Canadian Wine Championships

-Double Gold-2007 Vidal Sparkling Icewine; Golds- 2007 Cabernet Franc Icewine; 2007 Riesling Icewine; 2006 Oak Aged Vidal Icewine.

Decanter Wine Awards, London, UK

-2007 Vidal Sparkling Icewine Regional Trophy – Canada - Sweet Wine over £ 10


About Inniskillin
The combined efforts of the Inniskillin winemaking team and the viticulture team keep Inniskillin focused on consistently producing top quality VQA wines. Inniskillin Wines, established in 1975 by co-founders Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser, is Canada's premier estate winery producing truly distinctive and elegant wines from premium grape varieties grown in Canada. In January of 2007 Winemaker Bruce Nicholson arrived at Inniskillin after Kaiser’s retirement and is carrying on the tradition of excellence and innovation. Inniskillin has vineyards in the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Inniskillin has gained international recognition for its award winning Icewines, which, as the number one selling wine by distribution in duty free stores, can be found in over 69 countries around the world and 27 airlines. Inniskillin is proud of the role it has played and continues to be one of the rising stars in bringing recognition to Canada as part of the international success of Canadian wines. For more information, visit www.inniskillin.com.


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Deborah Pratt- 905-468-2187 x 5410

Bruce Nicholson- 905-468-2187 x 5407