You've probably heard the saying "make hay when the sun shines", but what about "pick grapes when it's freezing outside"? For one type of grape at Coyote Moon Vineyards, there's not a sweeter time to pick.
It was a cold morning Saturday in the north country but the staff at Coyote Moon didn't seem to mind. They were picking hundreds of frontenacgrapes for ice wine.
"I'm just happy doing this. We are one of the first in the US to do ice wine with a frontenac grape so it's just exciting to be on the front lines doing this," said wine maker, David Countryman.
But why are they doing this when it's freezing? Tony Randazzo owner of Coyote Moon says to pick grapes for this type of wine, temperatures have to be below 17 degrees for over 48 hours.
There are a few differences between Ice Wine and regular wine. The grapes for ice wine have a higher sugar content.
"The complexity and the flavors are just intensified," stated Randazzo.
But making a wine that tastes so strong isn't easy.
"In my experience, I've been doing this for five years now, and this is definitely the hardest wine I've had to make," said Countryman.
And every little grape is important since some have been knocked down by wind. The grapes also have less juice, which means the pressing process takes longer.
"You get 150 gallons from a ton of grapes that you pick during normal season we might only get 20 or 30 gallons at best of the same volume," Randazzo explained.
After the grapes are pressed the juice will go through the fermentation process and next year the wine will be on the shelves.
News article by Channel 7 News. View original article and news special here.