Ice wine makers welcome the freezing temperatures
Not everyone is unhappy about the freezing temperatures. Western New York ice wine makers are embracing the cold. YNN's Kevin Jolly stopped by one Niagara County wine maker to see how they're taking advantage of the deep freeze.
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NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. — While many people are wishing the cold weather would just go away, wine makers Anne and Martin Schulze couldn't be happier.
"It is technically too cold for us as human beings, but we're very excited with this small window that we have a few days of this weather," said Schulze.
That small window Schulze is referring to is the time they have to harvest the perfect grape for making ice wine.
“We know with what has been happening in this last couple of years that we're never sure if we're gonna get that window, so this week here of cold weather," said Schulze.
Since October, the grapes have been netted to protect them from animals and allowed to dehydrate on the vine. The freezing temperatures help to create this super sweet grape which is the basis for ice wine.
The concentrated juice inside takes a colder temperature to freeze so that juice is kept intact, very sweet and concentrated, and that water is frozen.
Schulze Vineyard and Wineries is just one of about 16 wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail and just one of three that produces ice wine. While ice wine accounts for a small percentage of what the winery produces, Schulze says at about $50 a bottle it's in high demand among their customers.
"Ice wine is one of our specialties. It is something that people will purchase for special occasions for a nice dinner, things like that," said Schulze.
Last year, Senator Chuck Schumer led and effort to ease duty fees on Canadians who purchase U.S. wines. Schultz says, in addition, she's like to see the Niagara Wine Trail expanded.
"It's down in Albany right now to expand our Wine Trail to Rochester and that will really make a difference for the Rochester people to see how close we really are," Schulze.