Ice Wines of Canada
A real ice wine requires a cold climate in which the grapes are harvested from frozen vines. In the coldest climates, where the grapes freeze on the vines, they cannot be harvested, what is called a real "ice wine." If the grapes are commercially frozen, dessert wines may be referred to as "ice wine" as long as they are not commercially available in Canada. If you're looking for a real ice wine, be wary of your salespeople and read the label and look for product information. Indeed, any country that can rely on cold winters can produce ice wine, but unfortunately, traditional areas are now experiencing weather unpredictability problems due to climate change. Here in the states of New York, some of the largest producers are small-scale, with most coming from Lake Ontario, Lake Champlain, the Hudson River and the Great Lakes region. In the traditional sense, the iced wine is made from grapes that have been frozen by the vines on the vine and are harvested during the traditional harvest time in Germany, which is usually late in the European wine region.
Since there has been no shortage of cold weather in western Colorado in recent years in sub-freezing temperatures, some of my friends decided to take the grapes they harvested and harden them in a freezer. This is a novel way of making ice wine, but should not be considered a real ice wine. So while some traditionalists would say that this is not the natural way, Canada remains so. You will find that the market for sweet wines made from grapes that have been frozen on the vines and frozen off the vines has become relatively full. The grapes are left in the freezer for a few days, during the freezing and thawing cycle that takes place, the sugar and flavor of the grapes are concentrated. Ice wine is now a highly valued drink developed in Germany, Austria and Canada. The Niagara region of Ontario, Canada, is currently home to some of the largest ice wine production and refinement operations in the United States. Canadian ice wine, if produced correctly, must comply with VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) regulations to ensure the quality of the product. Canadian ice wine is governed by the V Intrinsic Quality and Alliance Act, which sets the rules for ice wines that can be released for sale. Although the regulator prohibits the use of an ice wine label unless the wines are V-QA certified, the ice wine industry is a great example of Canadians having fun.
A Successful Style of Wine
From Western Europe to Shanghai, the overall success of Canadian ice wine has inspired a steadily growing market for counterfeit wines. Wine lovers who want to buy a bottle of their favorite ice wine, however, have absolutely nothing to fear as long as they buy it from their local winery. Ice wine was made in Michigan in 1983 by Mark Johnson, who studied at the College of Wine and Wine Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Selected wineries in northern Michigan produce a portion of their Riesling grapes annually to produce ice wines. While many wineries on the Niagara Peninsula produce ice wine, some wineries in Ontario, such as St. John's Winery in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara - am - Lake produce ice wine. Canadian ice wine production in Canada is regulated by the Liquor Control Board of Canada (LCBC) and the Canadian Ice Wine Association (CWA). Ontario - Ontario-based Inniskillin Winery, one of the world's largest ice wineries, is credited with bringing Canadian ice wines to the international stage in the 1980s and 1990s. Winemakers tend to harvest even at the lowest minimum requirements, but ironically, Canada's rules are against them. The Niagara Icewine Festival, which takes place over three weekends in January, is one of the largest ice wine festivals in the world with more than 1,000 exhibitors and over 100 wineries. Niagara Falls in Ontario and Lake Ontario, home to the Niagara River, produce ice wines almost every year, according to Inniskillin. At this time of year, the wineries await the harvest and production of the famous Canadian ice wine, but in winter, when the grapes are already harvested and the ground is covered with snow, you will not see it. Canada may not have invented ice wine, but within a few decades, it has become one of the most sought-after wineries in the international wine community.
A Growing Industry
Canada is probably best known for its ice wine, and not just for its delicious taste and aroma. It is still a small industry, with only about 1,000 hectares of land planted, compared with the world's largest wine - produced in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Italy. Canada, however, produces more ice wine than any other country in the world, and the magnificent ice wines it produces have earned Canada an international reputation as a serious wine producer. Riesling, Vidal, Gewürztraminer, and Cabernet Franc are the most widely used wines in the production of ice cream and wine. Two Canadian grape varieties are the dominant grapes for ice wines, including the popular Chardonnay and Chablis, as well as the much more popular Riedel. Canada, however, produces a number of other grape varieties, such as Chambord, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Pernod, Pinot Grigio, and Patek.