Icewine is woven into the heritage of the Okanagan thanks to dedicated winemakers like Walter and Gordon Gehringer.  Since 1991, the brothers have been invested in the labour of love that is icewine production.   Icewine is about more than the risks taken on the weather.   If the decision is made to produce an icewine, there is no down time for the winemaker (or  their family).  The frantic activity of the harvest is replaced by a need to stay close and be ready for action the moment the temperature drops below the magic number. 

The difference in the flavour of a grape picked during regular harvest and that same grape as little as two days later under completely different conditions is astounding.  The concentration is in large part due to the removal, through freezing, of the water present in the grape, leaving behind its pure essence.  The best results though, come down to one simple factor: acid.  An icewine is supposed to be sweet; it’s a dessert wine.  There does, however, need to be a balance on the palate.  The acid level in the wine should be high enough so that you experience the sweetness, but diminish it on the way down, leaving your palate feeling clean and ready for the next sip.  Walter and Gordon have done such a good job with their dessert wines that they have won a number of awards for them, including four Platinum awards from the Wine Press Northwest 2012 judging.  In fact, Gehringer Brothers has won so many Platinum Awards from Wine Press Northwest, that the magazine has dubbed the winery “King of the Platinum”.

 

~ Courtney Fossett

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