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Cold enough to pick grapes for ice wine

Posted at 10:01 AM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 10:01:00-05

It was cold enough Thursday morning to harvest grapes for the liquid gold known as Ice Wine. 

About a handful of employees at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Lyndonville were quickly gathering an acre of berries from the vines. 

Ice wine harvesting is a spur-of-the-moment job. The weather must be at or below 14 degrees for at least 4 hours to harvest Vidal Blanc Grapes for Ice Wine. The reason is more juice and flavor comes from frozen berries. Let's water comes from the grapes in the squeezing process. This makes ice wine naturally sweeter than any other wine on the market. 

"I think that it takes a special kind of person to want to get out here. Definitely a labor of love," Benjamin Jones, Leonard Oakes Tasting Room Manager said. 

Western New York is one of the 4 areas of the world that can produce ice wine. This region is warm enough to mature the grapes during the summer and fall. Also, it's cold enough to freeze them in the winter. 

To taste Leonard Oakes' Vidal Blanc Ice Wine go to www.oakeswinery.com