This weekend, my wife and I enjoyed a winter get-away at Peller Estates as part of the Ice Wine Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Billed as a boot camp for bon vivants, the Intense Ice Wine Weekend didn’t strain too many of our muscles except the ones needed to raise a glass to the lips. The idea behind the boot camp was to introduce us to ice wine production from beginning to end. We started near the beginning on Saturday morning with a visit to Falk Farms, one of the growers that works closely with Peller to provide some of its ice wine (and table wine) grapes.
Falk Farms has 5 of these harvesters. Theoretically, they could get by with one, but because ice wine is such a temperature sensitive industry, they have to be prepared to jump at a moment’s notice and harvest as quickly as possible. In addition, the cold pretty much guarantees mechanical problems, so extra harvesters serve as an insurance policy.