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Bitter cold provides ideal conditions for ice wine

Photo from Leonard Oakes Estate

The bitter cold January temperatures are ideal for harvesting grapes for ice wine. But it demands that grape pickers head out to the vineyards in the coldest weather.  Wednesday morning, they gathered nearly   grapes from an Orleans County field.   WBFO'S Jay Moran spoke with Jonathan Oakes, winemaker for Leonard Oakes Estate Winery

"Right about now, when the temperature drops to the right level, to concentrate some of the flavors -- then we go out and pick them," said Oaks. "18-degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of four hours before we can actually go out and legally harvest." 

The temperatures, Oakes said, present the ideal set of conditions for the makers of ice wine. In fact,  "very few regions can reproduce" the conditions needed to produce ice wine.

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