Enjoy wine in sub-zero temperatures…

… because we’re Canadian! If you’re familiar with our winter climates, you probably understand why we’re known for producing some of the world’s best Icewine.

For the uninitiated, Ontario Wine 101 explains:

“Icewine is a luscious, intensely flavoured wine, boasting rich aromas and flavours of ripe tropical fruits (such as lychee, papaya and pineapple). All varietals are sweet, but with a firm backbone of acidity, making them perfectly balanced.”

In one of the few horticultural cases where a frost is actually essential to the process, a frozen crop is key in making Icewine. The grapes need to be cold enough to extract a higher concentration of sugars and other dissolved solids, but not so cold to be frozen entirely.

January is a big month for Icewine producers who harvest all at once when the weather reaches −8 °C, or colder. That means assembling a large crew, bundling up, and heading to vineyard after midnight to go to work!

Served chilled!

At WineCollective, we haven’t featured an Icewine yet, but make sure you check out Southbrook Vineyards’ unique selections! Pioneer of biodynamic Icewines in Canada, this innovative winery offers award winning Cabernet Franc or Vidal.

Of course, if you’re looking to get outdoors and truly experience great wine in colder weather (and given the climate, why wouldn’t you?), the Niagara wine region hosts festivals all through January. Including tastings, tours, ice sculptures, and cocktails, it’s a wine lover’s winter wonderland!

Choose your event at Niagara Icewine Festival or tour a local vineyard!

Happy Winter, Canadian wine lovers!