Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: The changing icewine season | Feb 24, 2017

(music plays)

Against a gray sky, an animated black globe spins. The title of the programs reads "TVO Climate Watch Shorts."

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Nam Kiwanuka. Climate Watch Shorts host."

Nam stands in tall grass. She’s in her early forties with curly brown hair. She’s wearing glasses, dark green winter coat and striped red and blue scarf.

Nam says WELCOME TO
CLIMATE
WATCH SHORTS
WHERE WE EXAMINE THE
LOCAL IMPACT OF
CLIMATE CHANGE.
ICE WINE GRAPES
NEED A TEMPERATURE
OF MINUS 8 DEGREES
TO THRIVE.
BUT WARMER WINTERS
ARE PUSHING BACK
THE HARVEST AND CREATING
CHALLENGES FOR GRAPE GROWERS.
WE VISIT NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE
AND FIND OUT MORE.

(piano music plays)
A caption appears on screen. It reads "Debra Inglis. Director: Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. Brock University."

Debra stands in a modern wine cellar. She is in her early sixties with short blond hair. She wears glasses and a purple turtleneck sweater.

Debra says IT'S SUCH A SIGNATURE
WINE VARIETY AND STYLE
FOR CANADA.
AND WE'RE THE
WORLD LEADER.
THERE ARE FEW COUNTRIES IN
THE WORLD THAT CAN PRODUCE
THIS UNIQUE PRODUCT.

A young woman pours wine into a glass and drinks it.

She continues CANADA HAPPENS TO
BE ONE OF THOSE.
ONTARIO IS THE LEADER
IN PRODUCTION FOR CANADA.
THROUGH THE WINTER
MONTHS WE'RE LOOKING
FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME
WHEN THE GRAPES FREEZE
AND GET DOWN BELOW
MINUS 8 DEGREES CELSIUS.
THAT'S THE TRIGGER
POINT THAT ALLOWS US
TO HARVEST
ICE WINE GRAPES.
THAT'S A REALLY
KEY TEMPERATURE
BECAUSE IF THE GRAPES
ARE PICKED WARMER
THAN MINUS 8, THEN WHEN
WE PRESS THOSE GRAPES
OUT INTO THE JUICE
THE JUICE IS NOT
CONCENTRATED ENOUGH
TO BE A LEGAL ICE WINE.
SO THE JUICE HAS TO
COME IN AT A SUGAR
VALUE OF 35 DEGREES BRIX.

People harvest wine grapes wearing gloves and place them into red plastic containers.

Debra continues AND IN ORDER TO
FREEZE OUT THE WATER
IN THE BERRY AND FREEZE
OUT ENOUGH OF THE WATER
IN THE BERRY, THE
TEMPERATURE HAS TO BE
BELOW MINUS 8
DEGREES CELSIUS.

The caption changes to "Matthias Oppenlaender. Chair. Grape Growers Ontario." He is in his early fifties, clean-shaven with short hair. He wears a dark blue zip jacket, black trousers and purple woollen hat.

Standing in a vineyard, Matthias says SO WHAT USED TO BE A
PROCESS THAT WE COULD
ACTUALLY COUNT ON THAT IT
WOULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN
MIDDLE OF DECEMBER,
CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS,
WITH THE FLUCTUATING
TEMPERATURES, WE HAVE
MILDER NOVEMBERS,
MILDER DECEMBERS
AND IT TAKES A LOT
LONGER TO GET THE
TEMPERATURES AND
GET THOSE FROST AND
FREEZE CYCLES.
WE DON'T HAVE THE
STEADY COLD THAT
WE USED TO HAVE.
SO WHAT HAPPENS IS WE
LEAVE THESE GRAPES
HANGING IN NOVEMBER,
AND THEY'RE EXPOSED
TO THE ELEMENTS.
THEY'RE EXPOSED TO
THE BIRDS, OBVIOUSLY.

A black net covers the vines.

He continues THE LONGER WE HAVE
TO LEAVE THEM HANG,
THE MORE THEY DEHYDRATE,
THE MORE DAMAGE WE GET
THROUGH BIRD DAMAGE,
WILDLIFE DAMAGE,
AND THE CROP DECREASES.
AND THE YIELDS
DECREASE AS WELL.
IT'S BECOMING A RISKY
BUSINESS LATELY.

The caption changes to "Barry Smit. Professor emeritus. Department of Geography, University of Guelph."

Barry is in his mid-sixties, clean-shaven with receding white hair. He wears glasses, lilac open-necked shirt and black jacket.

In a library, Barry says NOW IF YOU LOOK AT
THE NUMBER OF DAYS
IN ONTARIO, IN
NIAGARA, IN WHICH
YOU'VE ACTUALLY
EXPERIENCED LESS THAN
8 DEGREES CELSIUS,
THAT HAS DECREASED...
NOW IT VARIES FROM
YEAR TO YEAR...
BUT IT'S A
DEEP DECLINE.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE DATES
IN WHICH ICE WINE HAS
BEEN HARVESTED OVER
THE LAST SEVERAL DECADES
YOU'LL SEE THAT IT'S
BECOME, ON AVERAGE,
LATER AND LATER
IN THE YEAR.
SO ICE WINE PRODUCERS
HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THAT.
ABOUT WHERE THEY PLANT,
WHERE THEY'RE GOING
TO PLANT IN THE FUTURE.
THEY MAY ACTUALLY WANT
TO GO AREAS WHERE THERE'S
MORE LIKELIHOOD OF COLD
CONDITIONS RATHER THAN
THE WARMTH THAT WINE
GROWERS NORMALLY LOOK FOR.

Debra says THROUGH RESEARCH THAT
WE'VE DONE HERE AT
THE INSTITUTE, WE DO
KNOW THAT THE FLAVOUR
PROFILE OF THE GRAPES
DOES CHANGE THROUGH
MULTIPLE
FREEZE-THAW CYCLES.

A female scientist weights a laboratory glass bottle containing a yellowish liquid.

Debra continues SO IF YOU HARVEST THE
GRAPES EARLIER IN THE
WINTER MONTHS, SAY
JUST AFTER THE FIRST
MINUS 8 DEGREES
CELSIUS COLD EVENT,
THE JUICE THAT RESULTS
HAVE A DIFFERENT PROFILE
IN THE WINE.
THEY'RE A LITTLE
MORE FRUIT FORWARD.
FRESH PEAR AND APPLE
WOULD BE SOME ATTRIBUTES.
AS THOSE GRAPES
GO THROUGH MORE
FREEZE-THAW CYCLES,
PHYSICAL CHANGES AND
CHEMICAL CHANGES START
TO OCCUR IN THE GRAPES,
AND THE GRAPES WILL
TAKE ON MORE OF A
DRIED FRUIT
CHARACTERISTIC.
BUT IF WE WAIT
TOO LONG, THEN THE
TONNAGE OF GRAPES
THAT WE GET OFF BECOMES
LESS AND LESS, AND WE
GET LESS AND LESS JUICE
THAT RESULTS.
AND SO THE RETURN ON
THAT TONNAGE REALLY
STARTS TO DROP DOWN.

The caption changes to "Thomas Oppenlaender. Manager. Huebel Grapes Estates Ltd." He is in his mid-forties, with short hair and clean-shaven. He is wearing a blue woollen hat and a brown jacket.

In a vineyard, Thomas says NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE USED
TO BE VERY TYPICAL.
IT GETS COLD AND
IT STAYS COLD.
WE WOULD ENJOY A
CERTAIN AMOUNT OF SNOW
SO OUR GROUND FROM OUR
PLANTS WOULD BE PROTECTED.
WITHOUT EVEN HAVING
TO HILL UP, LIKE WHAT
WE DO NOW.
SO THE SWING OF
TEMPERATURES, WHICH IS
NOT GOOD FOR PLANT.
A PLANT LIKES A STEADY,
COLD TEMPERATURE.
I'D RATHER HAVE A WINTER
THAT'S MINUS 10 ALL THE TIME
THAN THESE PLUS 5, PLUS 10
DEGREES AND THEN WE DIP
BACK DOWN TO MINUS
15, MINUS 16
BECAUSE THAT'S WHEN IT
BECOMES DANGEROUS FOR
THE PLANT TO ACTUALLY
GET SOME DAMAGE
FOR THE PRODUCTION
FOR THE NEXT SEASON.
MY GRANDFATHER USED
TO HAVE A SAYING,
BASICALLY, THAT SAID
REMEMBER THAT YOUR WORKSHOP
IS OUT UNDER
THE OPEN SKY
SO WEATHER MAKES
YOU OR BREAKS YOU.

(music plays)

A final slate reads "TVO.org/climatewatch."

Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: The changing icewine season