Early Thursday morning, in the pre-dawn gloom, with snowflakes gently drifting down, the magic moment arrived.
It's the moment Niagara winemakers and grape growers wait for every winter.
The temperature plunged to -8C and it was finally cold enough to harvest the frozen grapes that will be used to make the sweet icewine for which Niagara is renowned.
The team at PIllitteri Estates started their icewine harvest in the early morning hours, and will continue overnight tonight and into Friday morning.
The amount of grapes set aside for icewine this year is the lowest ever, because of lost sales as a result of travel restrictions due to COVID. International tourists are a major source of icewine sales and, of course, they did not travel this past summer.
Other growers were also poised to harvest as colder weather moved in.
Watch NiagaraNow.com and The Lake Report for a full story on the sweet harvest in the coming days.