Icewine is truly winter’s gift to the wine lover. Originally developed in the cool-climate regions of Europe, the production of Icewine is ideally suited to the climatic condtions of Canada’s Niagara Peninsula. The grapes, having already reached full ripeness in October, are left untouched on the vines under a cloak of protective netting until the first deep freeze of the Canadian winter. During the time, the grapes are naturally dehydrated by the elements, adding to the concentration of flavours, aromas, sugars and acids in the juice. Temperatures dipping to below -10C in December and January freeze the grapes solid, initiating the arduous task, usually undertaken at night, of hand harvesting and pressing.
The yield of highly concentrated juice is extremely low (5-10% of normal) since most of the natural water content of the juice is left behind in the press in the form of ice crystals. Icewine is characterized by intense natural sweetness, a highly aromatic bouquet and a depth of flavours that is without equal in the realm of dessert wines. Savour Icewine well chilled (5-7C), either on its own or accompanied by dessert. One sip and you’ll discover why Inniskillin is ranked among the world’s finest wines.
[From Inniskillin brochure that came with Vidal ’04]