Restricted amount of Ontario icewine to possible make 2020 bottles in excessive demand

Denise Paglinawan, The Canadian Press

Printed Monday, December 28, 2020 three:50PM EST

TORONTO – The smallest ever recorded quantity of Ontario grapes designated for icewine is more likely to create a excessive demand for 2020 bottles of the tremendous candy deal with.

VQA Ontario, the province’s wine regulator, reported simply greater than 1,000 tonnes of grapes registered for icewines this yr, down from virtually 6,000 tonnes final yr.

It is a report low because the company started regulating the icewine harvest 20 years in the past, VQA Ontario mentioned.

“A mix of top quality and restricted amount will possible make 2020 wines in excessive demand,” mentioned the company’s govt director Laurie Macdonald..

Whereas a number of 2020 desk wines have already been launched, the 2020 icewines needs to be accessible round mid-2021, Macdonald mentioned.

The grapes for 2020 icewines haven’t been harvested but, as wineries go away them on the vine to be harvested when the temperature drops beneath -Eight C.

The regulator’s report mentioned the yr was “exceptional” for climate and wine in Ontario, with most wine-growing areas skilled wonderful situations.

Macdonald mentioned the 2020 classic is anticipated to provide high-quality wines.

Wineries are selecting to make desk wine, as an alternative of leaving grapes on the vine to make icewine, mentioned Magdalena Kaiser, public relations director of the Vineyard Advertising and marketing Affiliation of Ontario.

The pandemic has affected wine export in all worldwide markets, mentioned Kaiser.

Ontario icewines are largely bought by vacationers travelling to Canada, she mentioned.

“Due to COVID and other people not travelling to the nation, gross sales have been in decline,” Kaiser mentioned.

“There have been challenges round icewine this yr so wineries aren’t essentially needing to make as a lot as they’d have.”

Icewine producers would nonetheless have provide from earlier years, she mentioned.

“This has been a really difficult yr for small and medium-sized VQA wineries,” mentioned Richard Linley, president of Ontario Craft Wineries.

Linley mentioned that whereas LCBO and grocery shops have been important for gross sales, cellar door and restaurant gross sales are down.

“Ontario VQA wineries have been hurting pre-pandemic and COVID-19 has made issues a lot worse,” he mentioned, warning that some wineries might not survive the winter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Dec. 28, 2020.