French Valley Vineyard hosts ice wine picking event


From staff reports

French Valley Vineyard, located at 3655 South French Road near Cedar, will host an ice wine picking event for the public on Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. During the event, attendees can join vineyard manager Tomas Moreno and senior winemaker Blake Lougheed in the harvest of riesling grapes for ice wine production. 

Ice wine is a unique and exclusive type of wine that is made from grapes that have been frozen on the vine. The process of freezing the grapes concentrates the natural sugars and flavors, resulting in a sweet and complex wine that is highly sought after. Ice wine is typically picked at temperatures of -8°C (17.6°F) or lower. When the grapes are pressed, only a small amount of concentrated juice is extracted, which is then fermented to make ice wine. The low juice to skins ratio, weather variability and more challenging picking conditions all contribute to the higher cost associated with ice wine production.

“We’re picking later this year because it’s been a warmer than usual winter,” said Lougheed. “The coming cold front will provide the drop in temperature required to properly harvest the grapes and since we only harvest grapes for ice wine every few years, our crew is looking forward to it. It’s a fun day.”

As a special thank you to all those who assist in the harvest, lunch will be provided at The French Valley Tasting Room. This event is open to the public. To sign up, email