Pressed from frozen grapes, ice wine is luscious and intense. It is sweet enough to be enjoyed as dessert, and perfect for rounding up a meal, preferably starring foie gras and blue cheese. Accented with lychee, papaya and pineapple, it gets a whole new dimension. And added to sparkling wine or cocktails, it is a seductress.
Canada (Icewine) and Germany (Eisewine) are the world’s largest producers of Ice wines. About 75 percent of the Icewine in Canada
is grown in Ontario. Canadian law requires that the grapes must hang on their vines well into early winter – until they are frozen to -80 C and reach a minimum of 350 brix (amount of sugar). The fruit must be picked by hand, in the cold. It takes at least six hours to harvest and press the grapes – usually during the night. The labour and complex fermentation process makes it expensive, but a chilled bottle of Icewine is totally worth it.
Niagara Ontario Canada boasts 25 beautiful vineyards just 15 to 20 minutes outside Niagara Falls, Canada in quiet and charming Niagara-on-the-Lake. The entire Niagara wine region along the shores of Lake Ontario-is home to over 50 wineries. Discover the best of the region’s vineyards by following the Wine Route of Ontario through the countryside by car, bike or guided tour.
Team TS toured the Inniskillin winery on a crisp winter morning. The full, grape-scented vineyards were soaked in gentle sunlight. Then we tasted the first sip of ice wine, and it was love at first sip. If Canada is on your plans this year, do tour the Niagara wine belt. You’ll thank us for the idea!