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Cold weather pleases NS grape grower

December 29, 2009  ByMarg Land


icewineDecember 17, 2009,
Malagash, NS – Other than Nova Scotia ski hill operators hoping to make snow,
John and Anne Warner were amongst the few people in Nova Scotia pleased about
the cold temperatures last night.



December 17, 2009,
Malagash, NS – Other than Nova Scotia ski hill operators hoping to make snow,
John and Anne Warner were amongst the few people in Nova Scotia pleased about
the cold temperatures last night.

The Warners are the
largest producers of icewine juice in Nova Scotia. From their vineyards on the
edge of the north mountain, north of Kentville, their juice is sold to Blomidon
Estate Winery
, Jost Vineyards, Gaspereau Vineyards and Domaine de Grand Pré.

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“With a mild November
and December, there is always the worry that the harvest may not happen until
well into January, by which time, many of the grapes would have fallen to the
ground, reducing the icewine harvest,” says John Warner. “Most harvests take
place over three or four nights, but this year we managed to get everything
harvested between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. last night.”

Most icewine harvests
happen at night because the sun starts to melt the grapes on the vine in the
morning, diluting the flavor. Icewine grapes need to be harvested at –8 Celsius
or colder to concentrate the sugars and flavours in the juice, leaving behind
the frozen ice crystals. Even the pressing happens in a cold, uninsulated
building in the middle of the vineyard.

“I am pleased that the
icewine harvest is completed now, before the holiday season,” says Hans
Christian Jost, owner of Jost Vineyards. “Now it is up to our winemakers to
ferment the juice into wine over the next month, with some of the 2009 icewine
hitting the market in the summer of 2010.”

Nova Scotia icewines
consistently win top honours in national and international competitions. Jost
Vineyards
1999 Vidal Icewine was Canada’s Wine of The Year at the 2000 All
Canadian Wine Championships
.


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