© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Culture

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.

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.
Related Content
  • Harvesting grapes for ice wine demands that pickers await the coldest weather before taking to the vineyards. With that standard in view, a mostly…