Ontario 2009 Icewine report: Significant drop in production

Ontario Icewine Report – 2009 Vintage Niagara Peninsula – Lake Erie North Shore – Pelee Island – Prince Edward County The 2009 growing season saw average temperatures for the season as a whole but wide variations in conditions from month to month.  Coming into Icewine season, the cool October helped keep grapes left on the vine in good condition.  A significantly reduced tonnage of Icewine grapes was registered in November 2009 – 1750 tonnes compared to 6500 tonnes in 2008 – and some of these grapes were diverted to table wines, destroyed by bird damage or otherwise removed from Icewine eligibility.  Harvest began on December 10, 2009 in the Lincoln Lakeshore appellation of Niagara Peninsula and was completed on February 12, 2010 in Prince Edward County.  Icewine juice was produced in every appellation and sub-appellation, with the exception of Pelee Island and Vinemount Ridge. At the end of the season, the total volume of eligible Icewine juice recorded was just over 228,000 litres, representing approximately one quarter of last year’s production, and dramatically lower than the record production of 1.18 million litres in 2006.  In addition, 36,500 litres of Late Harvest juice was produced. Vidal Blanc continued to be the mainstay varietal, making up 56% of eligible juice, with Riesling following at 16% and Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon at 11% and 9% respectively.  Production of Gewurztraminer Icewine has decreased over past years and negligible volumes were produced in 2009. Icewine juice was pressed from fourteen other grapes varieties – evenly split between red and white grapes. Wine expectations 2009 is expected to be a good vintage for Ontario Icewines.  Icewine quality is predominantly affected by the contribution of the freezing cycle and this adds both distinctive character and the critical balance of sweetness and acidity.  Despite the sometimes challenging conditions of the growing season, the 2009 Icewine juice harvest yielded good sugar levels with an average brix of 38.4 degrees.  This will translate into high quality finished wines with the unique flavours that set the standard for Icewine worldwide. Ontario Icewine Report – 2009 Vintage Statistics

2009 Vintage Harvest –Icewine Eligible Juice

Icewine eligible juice is all juice tested at 32 degrees brix or greater

Grape Variety Icewine Juice (Litres)
2009 vintage 2008 vintage Change from previous year
Vidal 127,810 531,808 Down 76%
Riesling 36,136 159,508 Down 77%
Cabernet Franc 24,424 170,325 Down 86%
Cabernet Sauvignon 21,069 41,684 Down 49%
Other varieties 18,851 40,669 Down 54%
TOTAL 228,290 953,994 Down 76%

2009 Vintage Harvest – Late Harvest Eligible Juice

Late Harvest juice is all juice tested at less than 32 degrees brix

Variety Late Harvest Juice (Litres)
2009 vintage 2008 vintage Change from previous year
Vidal 21,700 38,280 Down 43%
Riesling 8,085 14,530 Down 44%
Cabernet Franc 2,280 10,900 Down 79%
Cabernet Sauvignon 1,330 6,385 Down 79%
Others 3,068 3,850 Down 20%
TOTAL 36,463 73,945 Down 51%