For this wine, cold temperatures are best

A wine company in the northeastern United States is taking advantage of frigid winter temperatures to produce a type of flavor used as a dessert wine.

An upstate New York wine entrepreneur admits that producing wine at these temperatures may sound “crazy,” but he insists temperatures of 12 to 18 degrees Fahrenheit (11 to 7 degrees below zero) are ideal for wine. grow grapes for ice wine.

Freezing these grapes removes their water and concentrates their sugars and acids, resulting in a more intense flavor.

“It’s a process that’s done in the cold and in the dark and it has to be quick,” explained Dave Breeden, winemaker at Sheldrake Point Winery near Cayuga Lake.

“We all help, not only the field workers who are outside, but also those in charge of the tasting room, the administrative staff, the owners. Even people who used to work with us come back and help,” Breeden told

In December, temperatures were relatively mild, which delayed the harvest, but the recent cold has attracted farmers.

Just under a score of vineyards harvest frozen grapes, while others harvest them in the summer and then freeze them.

Casa Larga Vineyards in Fairport, near Rochester, will host a wine festival next month.