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|What is Icewine?|
"Icewine" is a late-harvest wine made from grapes handpicked and pressed while frozen. Ontario's Niagara Peninsula is the world's largest producer of Icewine, garnering international recognition for this rare, sweet ambrosia. "Eiswein", as it is called in Germany, was first discovered there by accident as early as 1794. When Peasant farmers in Franconia were hit by a sudden, unexpected frost, they prudently made wine from the frozen grapes. The result was considered a treasure, but with the moderate German climate, perfect conditions for making this wine occurred only in very cold winters and so it remained, indeed, very rare. Ontario's warm summers ensure high sugars in the grapes and our cold winters guarantee a natural icewine harvest . Our climate, combined with the standards set by the Vintner's Quality Alliance, makes the quality of Ontario's Icewine difficult to exceed.
Online shopping is now available to order Hernder Estate's Vidal Icewine for international delivery.
Please visit the Icewine Niagara website for full details.
VQA authorities randomly sample and analyze the must, juice and wine to ensure their strict standards are being met.
Because of the high risk, low yield, and intense labour required by the production of Icewine, the price will always be costly. In spite of the expense, the mounting demand continues, especially in the export market. In Japan, Ontario Icewines sell for over three times the domestic price, so coveted is this "nectar of the gods".
Storing & Serving:
After any wine is opened, it will begin to oxidize, becoming bitter tasting if left open too long. Once you open your Icewine, it will be enjoyable for up to 3-5 days (if you can make it last that long). A 375 ml bottle will easily serve up to 6-8 people. Chilling for an hour in the refrigerator will cool the wine sufficiently; you don't want to consume it too cold. Offer an amount as you would that of a fine liqueur in wine glasses with proper bowls. This will enable you to savour the complex fruit flavours, and delicate balance of sugar and acidity. Try not to equate the size of the glass to the quantity of Icewine being served.
Most enjoyable served at the end of a meal or just on it's own, while paired with fruit or blue cheeses, it's a sensory delight - this particularly sweet ambrosia!
The "Vintner's Quality Alliance" standards in Ontario have strict requirements for Icewine. VQA authorities randomly sample and analyze must, juice and wine to ensure the standards are being met:
Before harvesting, the producer must verify in writing, (by specified form) the following: