The Friday Files: News & Notes from Canada's Wine Scene

As of Thursday, Kelowna's Tantalus Vineyards reports their icewine harvest is complete — the earliest ever for the winery. Overall, 2003 was the earliest icewine grape-picking, and 2014 looks to be the second-earliest for wineries.

Check out this piece on the 2014 harvest, including some chilly video with a few pickers in the Kelowna area.

The next time you're at Summerhill Pyramid Winery (not that far from Tantalus), ask them if you can see their nine new 10,000L oak barrels. The winery has spent the fall building and installing the barrels with some help from some Italian coopers. You can see more via their Instagram account or Facebook page.

If you love Canadian wine (and based on your visiting this website, you probably do), you’re probably familiar with Tony Aspler. He’s the only guy in the wine business with an Order of Canada recognition, and the guy involved in books such as the Wine Atlas of Canada and Canadian Wineries.

Tony’s latest publication is The Five Minute Wine Book, an e-book divvied up into micro-chapters meant to be read in five minutes or so. It’s currently under $6 at and easily worth the price.

Wayne Gretzky, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Weir – notable names in sports and acting, and also gents with their own wines.

They’ll be joined by Can-rock staples The Tragically Hip, who are releasing the Fully Completely Grand Reserve Red with Ontario’s Stoney Creek. The band’s seminal album turns 20 this year, and they’re embarking on the Fully and Completely North American tour in early 2015.

And hey, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for your favourite imbiber, you could do a heck of a lot worse than the brand new My Wine Canada gift certificates...


Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.

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