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Published:  23 July, 2008

Inniskillin started picking grapes for its Icewine on 2 December, the earliest ever start date in the history of Canadian Icewine production, according to co-founder Donald Ziraldo. The move was sparked by a forecast that mild El Nio conditions' in the equatorial Pacific could lead to warmer-than-average temperatures across central Canada this winter. Last year, we didn't complete our harvest until the beginning of March, which resulted in a significant loss of berries,' said Ziraldo. With the ongoing effect of global warming and the news of El Nio, we've taken a number of steps to maximise our harvesting activities this year.' Inniskillin has invested in a number of new presses, which should allow a larger volume of grapes to be pressed per night, meaning fewer cold nights (-8C or below) will be needed to complete the harvest. Schloss Vollrads, meanwhile, started picking its grapes on 10 December. A spokesperson reported that the 2002 vintage was completed at all quality levels - including Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese - for only the third time in the estate's history.