Kelowna Wine Tasting Tours: 4 Things to Keep in Mind When Tasting Ice Wine

Kelowna Wine Tasting Tours: 4 Things to Keep in Mind When Tasting Ice Wine

The Okanagan is a unique wine growing area, not only because of its hot, dry summers and perfect soil conditions, but also because it is one of the few places in the world where ice wine is produced. This liquid dessert is sweet and rich and is also extremely hard to produce, as the grapes must be picked while frozen on the vine and must meet strict Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) standards. You can try this sweet nectar while on Kelowna wine tasting tours with Teehouse Wine Tours.

 

  1. A Sweet Beginning

 

Inherent of Germany’s eiswein, ice wine started being produced in the Okanagan (and North America) in the late-1970s when Hainle Vineyards in Peachland produced an ice wine made from locally grown Riesling grapes.

Other Okanagan wineries soon followed suit.

The 1990s and the 2000s saw the Okanagan as one of the biggest suppliers and exporters of high quality and award winning ice wine in the world.

Okanagan wine tours have continued to attract visitors from around the world, who love to sample the sweet, viscous nature of the wine, which is often served at a temperature of 10-20 degrees Celsius in small dessert glasses or even chocolate cups.

 

  1. Minus Double Digits

 

Ice wine cannot be called as such without the grapes being picked from the wine while still frozen. There is usually only a one-to-two week window in winter when the fruit can be picked here in the Okanagan. Usually, it occurs in December or January when it is between -8 and -11 degrees Celsius and often the grapes are picked at night to ensure they stay frozen.

In 2017, the Okanagan saw one of the earliest harvesting seasons on record when temperatures dipped below -8°C in early November.

 

  1. Good to the Last Drop

 

The harvesting of grapes is not the only finicky thing when it comes to ice wine production. The processing is also difficult.

When crushed, the grapes, which resemble tiny, hard marbles, will only produce a small percentage of usable juice. Because the resulting concentrate is so high in sugar, it takes a long time to ferment.

To meet VQA standards, no artificial refrigeration or added sweeteners are allowed. The residual sugars present in the wine at the time of bottling must not be less than 100 grams per litres and must come from the natural sugars in the grapes.

Due to the work it takes to harvest, process and bottle ice wine, an average bottle can range from $50 to $135, depending on its vintage.

 

  1. Enjoy Ice Wine on Kelowna Wine Tasting Tours

 

Ice wine is a great way to cap off a fine dining experience or to taste along Teehouse’s standard and private wine tours.

Our Lakeshore and West Kelowna wine tours take you to some of the best wineries renowned for their ice wines. Enjoy Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s organic 2014 Chardonnay Ice Wine, a gold winner at the 2017 Chardonnay du Monde, held in Burgundy, France or Kalala Organic Estate Winery’s 2013 Chardonnay Ice Wine, which won the same award in 2016. You may also want to sample Mission Hill Family Estate Winery’s Reserve Merlot Ice Wine 2013, which has also received glowing reviews.

 

Learn more about Kelowna wine tasting tours by reading about the History of Fruit and Wine in the Okanagan Valley.

 

Teehouse Wine Tours is one of the top-rated West Kelowna wine tour companies, which has been receiving five-star reviews for our Okanagan wine tours and accommodations at our Teehouse Bed and Breakfast. See, taste, and experience why we are Kelowna’s #1 wine tour company.



Don't Just Take Our Word For It

We take pride in ensuring you have the best Okanagan wine tour experience.

  •   Booked a wine tour with Teehouse Wine Tours and were not disappointed From the front door pickup and drop off, to the attentive service of our driver we were very thrilled with the entire experience. Everything right down to lunch was scheduled for us and...More

    thumb Matthew K
    10/18/2018

      We stayed at the Teehouse and also was fortunate to be taken on a wine tour, we were treated like royalty and given the best experience one could have asked for. The tour guide, Arthur was professional and very accommodating. His wife Lynda was an...More

    thumb alanajill13
    10/16/2018

      Arthur was a great guide!He answered all of our questions, in addition to sharing facts we hadn't even thought to ask.The selection of 5 wineries we were taken to had such a fantastic range - from small and organic, to established but pioneering, all the...More

    thumb Terri J
    10/08/2018
  •   My partner and I had a great time. Arthur was engaging and has built a strong relationship with the wineries we visited. We had some time left in our day and he was able to get us an extra visit to a winery which was...More

    thumb FarAway220386
    9/25/2018

      We only booked this tour at the last minute upon arriving in Kelowna late one day.And we were so fortunate to spend the one day we had in the area with Arthur on this tour. We visited five very different and all very enjoyable wineries...More

    thumb patlynscott
    9/24/2018

      Arthur was the most amazing tour guide. He was knowledgeable and extremely courteous and a great sense of humour. Visited 5 wineries which were all fantastic! The choice for our lunch stop was amazing. Would highly recommend Teehouse Wine Tours. Cheers!

    thumb thoentracey
    9/23/2018
  •   Our tour was excellent! We did a privet tour with family, friends and our son. I only have great things to say about this tour stating with the cleanliness of the van, our friendly very patient guide Arthur. He was great! We all were presently...More

    thumb lmartinez21
    9/21/2018

      Arthur was amazing. The wine tour was perfectly organized,we treated us as special guests. Very recommended!!

    thumb Nervesi87
    9/10/2018

      Arthur took a group of 11 of us for a wine tour starting at 10:30am. He was so accommodating and great! He also provided us with snacks and water in between the wineries. He was very knowledgeable and so friendly!

    thumb alliemm70
    9/03/2018