Icewine Festival Transforms Niagara

As the mercury begins to drop in Ontario, the province’s talented winemakers prepare for the Icewine harvest.  

There are over 60 wineries in Ontario that produce Icewine. That’s 60 winemakers that watch in anticipation, waiting for those few magic days where the temperature drops to – 8o C for four consecutive days.  

It�s an exciting time; one that harolds the start of Niagara�s Icewine Festival — taking place over three weeks in January, right in the heart of Niagara.

?Niagara�s Icewine Festival is a signature Wine Country Ontario celebration that offers visitors the opportunity to discover and experience a Canadian treasure � Icewine. No other wine region in the world offers wine lovers an opportunity where they can experience a wine country that has turned into a winter wonderland?, Allan Schmidt, President of Vineland Estates Winery.

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Vidal grapes awaiting harvest at Inniskillin Wines in Niagara-On-The-Lake

The Icewine Festival is a unique celebration. Get hands on and discover (or rediscover!) Canada�s most distinctive and delicious wine. During this special time, wine enthusiasts, cocktail fans and food lovers can all choose from a collection of Icewine events reflecting the authentic and local flavours of Ontario.

I had the chance to chat with Deborah Pratt of Inniskillin Wines — recent Lifetime Achievement Award winner from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario — about the history of Icewine in Ontario. 

“Icewine helped put Canadian wines of the map on a global level.” she said, standing over the stone commemorating Karl Kaiser’s 1991 win at Vinexpo in Bordeaux. The winery took home the competition’s highest accolade — Le Grand Prix D’Honneur — for their Vidal Icewine. 

Today, Inniskillin is a leader in the production and sales of Icewine. For The Icewine Festival, they’ll have firepits and marshmellows ready for visitors — and two rows of icewine grapes still on the vine.

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Roasting icewine marshmellows at Peller Estates Winery

The celebrations kick off on January 9th with the annual Xerox Icewine Gala at the Fallsview Casino Resort.

Also featured throughout January are street festivals in both Twenty Valley�s Jordan Village from January 9th � 11th and Niagara-on-the-Lake from January 16th � 18th

New this year, Icewine Festival programming includes events in Niagara Falls. You can sip on Icewine, try Icewine inspired creations, check out ice sculptures, listen to live music, and sit cozy by a fire all while embracing what Icewine means to Canadians.

Want to do it all? Grab a Discovery Pass and choose from over 35 incredible wineries and culinary experiences along the Wine Route. 

Want to dig even deeper into the world of icewine? You can visit any of the following sites:

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