Updated 02/19/2010 06:07 AM
Weather impacts 2009 Ice Wine production
Unfavorable weather conditions last year caused some local wineries to opt out of producing a certain wine. Our Kaitlyn Lionti visited two stops on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and tells us why they decided not to include Ice Wine in their 2009 products.
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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- It's described as sweet and satisfying. Ice Wine is a special type of wine, made with a special process.
"In the most traditional way, they're made with grapes pressed when they're frozen on the vine. There's another method of doing it where we pick the grapes and freeze them and then press them when they're frozen. The whole idea is the first juice that comes off when you press frozen grapes is very, very syrupy and very rich," said Elizabeth Stamp, a Partner at Lakewood Vineyards.
But in order for the grapes to be in perfect condition, the weather has to cooperate. Which wasn't the always the case in 2009.
"The requirements that Ice Wine puts forward in terms of getting the product to market, harvesting them, they require certainly a very even growing season and we did not get that last year," said John Iszard, Wine Sales Director at Fulkerson Winery.
Knowing the conditions presented a challenge, both Fulkerson Winery and Lakewood Vineyards decided fairly early that Ice Wine would not be part of their 2009 Vintage.
Stamp said, "We don't make Ice Wine just to have it on the shelf. If it's years we don't think the grapes are going to produce a really good quality wine or something, we can balance and make an award-winning wine out of, then we'll have to skip that year."
Although both locations won't be producing a 2009 Vintage, they do have previous seasons available and Stamp says it's definitely worth a taste.
"It's not something necessarily one sweet-wine drinkers like or only dry-wine drinkers like, it has its own place on a table and it's really a terrific product," said Stamp.
The Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail says although some wineries are not producing Ice Wine from 2009. He expects those who do will still be able to offer a quality product.