What is Icewine?
VQA Icewine is a highly concentrated dessert wine made by harvesting grapes naturally frozen on the vine at -10 C in December-January. Inniskillin VQA Icewine is internationally awarded and recognized and is exported throughout the world. View all Inniskillin Wines
Inniskillin Oak-aged Vidal Icewine (375ML half-bottle) 1998
Other Dessert from Canada
Icewine is nectar of the gods - some of the hardest to make, most intense wine in the world. Grapes are left on the vine well into the winter months. The resulting freezing and thawing of the grapes dehydrates the fruit, and concentrates the sugars, acids, and extracts in the berries, thereby intensifying the flavours and adding complexity to the wine made from it.
Genuine icewine must follow VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) regulations that prohibit any artificial freezing of grapes. The grapes are painstakingly picked by hand in their natural frozen state, ideally at temperatures of -10 to -13 degrees C -- sometimes the picking must be done at night to take advantage of the temperature. Yields are very low, often as little as 5-10 percent of normal.
The frozen grapes are pressed in the extreme cold. The water in the juice remains frozen as ice crystals, and only a few drops of sweet concentrated juice is obtained. This juice is then fermented very slowly for several months, stopping naturally.
The finished icewine is intensely sweet and flavorful in the initial mouth sensation. The balance is achieved by the acidity, which gives a clean, dry finish. The nose of icewine recalls lychee nuts. The wine tastes of tropical fruits, with shadings of peach nectar and mango.
Icewine is winter's gift to the wine lover: one of the best-kept secrets of the wine world that garners gold medals in virtually every competition in which it is entered.
Extremely concentrated aromas featuring candied fruits - lychee, melon and guava, enhanced with notes of raisin and vanilla. This wine bursts on your palate showcasing ripe exotic fruits followed by a coasting of tangerine and stone fruits. A long and lingering experience. When pairing an Icewine with a dessert ensure that the wine is sweeter than the dessert or enjoy Icewine as dessert. Food Pairings include: rich veined cheeses, foie gras, peach, apricot, pear, apple, nectarine and exotic fruit based desserts.
Austrian-born and monastically educated, Karl J. Kaiser, and native Canadian Donald J.P. Ziraldo, a decendant of a family of winegrowers in Northern Italy, founded Innisklillin Wines on July 31, 1975, obtaining the first winery license granted in the province of Ontario since 1929. Located in Niagara-on-the-Lake at the historic Brae Burn Estate, Inniskillin was founded upon and is dedicated to the principle of producing outstanding wines from vinifera wine grapes grown in the Niagara Peninsula. Karl and Donald tirelessly tested the new ground of Niagara, grafting old-world wisdom in the new-world terroir. Inniskillin rocketed to international notoriety when its pioneering 1989 Vidal Icewine was awarded the Grand Prix d'Honneur at Vinexpo 1991, and drew worldwide attention to Canada's burgeoning wine industry.
What is Icewine?
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.