Guest blog: Rae Rivers on The Keepers and Ice Wine

Today we have Rae Rivers sharing a guest blog about the setting for The Keepers trilogy. Rae has also shared her daily view, below, which has team Impulse feeling incredibly jealous! Certainly beats the Hammersmith flyover…

Rae Rivers - The Keepers Ice Wine
Here’s a quick peek at my daily view

If you think this above scene looks peaceful, don’t be fooled – or at least, that applies mostly to the town of Rapid Falls, the fictional town I created for my Keeper series. It’s within this setting that warriors and warlocks lurk between the greenery, itching to create some chaos.

Many people have asked me since the release of my debut novel, The Keepers: Archer, why I chose the wine industry as the backdrop for Rapid Falls and the Bennett Estate. My vision for the town is that it’s a small, thriving town surrounded by mountains, forests, rivers, and endless grapevines. Rapid Falls is well known for the production of Ice Wine, a unique type of wine made from frozen grapes. At the edge of the town, is The Bennett Estate which houses three charming Keeper brothers. The estate is surrounded by forests and grape vineyards, ripe for magic and mayhem, and produces the grapes used for these wines. Three handsome men who love wine? My kind of guys!

Why wine?

The wine farm industry is my stomping ground. I live within this industry and am surrounded by the most beautiful wine farms. Very few meals are enjoyed without a glass of wine. In my opinion, wine goes with everything – dinner with friends, social celebrations, quiet evenings beside the fire, a bubble bath, reading a good book, or whilst watching a movie. Wine is a constant companion in our lifestyle – in moderation, of course!

Ice Wine is not a recognized wine style in South Africa as our climate isn’t suitable, but it sounded like a new, fun concept to explore and as my fictional town is set within Canada, it seemed perfect.

So what is Ice Wine?

It’s a very sweet, concentrated wine made from grapes that are picked and pressed whilst frozen. Harvesting of these grapes occurs when temperatures have dropped to -8°c. It’s known as one of the more challenging wines to make because of the extreme weather conditions as well as the brutal force required for extracting the juice from the grapes. The process takes any time from 3 weeks to 5 months to ferment the fruit into wine. A lot more grapes are required to produce one bottle of Ice Wine than it does for other wines but the result is a wine low in alcohol and filled with natural sugars – a sweet, flavourful experience.

Sound tempting?

Have you tasted Ice Wine? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading! Rae Rivers

The Keepers: Archer is out now. Free prequel to The Keeper trilogy, Sienna, publishes later this month.

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