Though Icewine's roots can be traced to centuries old German winemakers, there is nothing more quintessentially Canadian than this luscious luxury borne of patience and sub zero bravura. Grapes are left on the vine well into the winter months to concentrate and intensify the flavours, as water content freezes, thaws and dehydrates in each precious Icewine grape.
Made in the Niagara Peninsula
Ideally suited to the Canadian winter season in both the Niagara Peninsula and the Okanagan Valley, the magical process of crafting Icewine is guided by nature -- triggered by the snap of the wintry elements, the harvest can't begin until temperatures drop below minus eight degrees Celsius for a sustained period of time. Inniskillin produced its first Icewine in 1984 with harvest dates ranging as early as Dec. 2nd and as late as March 5th! There are rigorous specifications regulating the making of Icewine set out by Canada 's quality control and appellation of origin system, the VQA (Vintner's Quality Alliance). Artificial freezing of the grapes is strictly prohibited.
Once the extreme temperatures arrive, which is often in the dead of night, the harvest of the naturally frozen clusters begins. The precious grapes are then pressed in the extreme cold to extract the luscious nectar. In this process, the water content in each grape which is about 80% remains frozen as ice crystals. These crystals will remain inside the grape during pressing puncturing the skin for added flavours. The resulting juice is highly concentrated and rich. Icewine yields are a mere 10-15% of an average table wine harvest. Slowly fermented over the coming months, this delicate nectar will eventually become Icewine.
Intense Flavours, Pure Varietal Character and Great Balance
The finished Icewine is intense and concentrated with the natural sugars balanced with the natural acidities creating a unique sensation on the palate of a surprisingly dry finish. Renowned for its layers of tropical and citrus fruit flavours and aromas ranging from mango to peach to lemon to lychees, Icewine is truly a natural wonder and extreme winemaking at its best. Icewine styles range from non oaked to slightly oaked to Sparkling.
Inniskillin is the World Leader in Icewine
Inniskillin Icewine is well renowned as the world leader in Icewine. It is sold in over 74 countries and is the #1 distributed wine in Global Travel Retail. It can be found around the world on the wine lists of famous restaurants and hotels, in collector's cellars and on many major airlines.