Canada might not have the most ideal climate for typical vineyards, however it does have the perfect conditions for the rare Icewine.
Unless you come from Canada or Germany, you probably haven’t heard or tried it. It’s the cold country’s secret wine weapon, with its particular flavour and unusual production methods, every wine lover should become curious about Icewine.
Icewine is a type of dessert wine (usually produced from Riesling grapes) that have become frozen while still on the vine.
The water in the grapes freeze but the sugars and solids do not, resulting in a very concentrated and sweet grape. The finished product has a refreshing sweetness with high acidity.
It can be quite expensive due to the tedious and risky labour that goes into making it. Every season is uncertain since there is a chance the frost may not come before the grapes start to rot and ferment. You must be ready to pick the whole crop of grapes the first morning that the temperature is cold enough, around -8 degrees celsius.
The harvest of the grapes is done on the first freeze of the the year, when the temperature drops to -8 degrees. Usually, in Ontario, in mid-November.
Canada is the world’s leading producer, with 75% coming from Ontario. However, Icewine originated from 18th century Germany, where you can still find some good ones.
Impress your friends by replacing your usual grappa, sambuca, limoncello, vin santo etc… for the rare Canadian Icewine.
We recommend with icewine:
Winters Kiss Riesling 2008
If you’re far enough north, you can enjoy Icewine by pairing it with a frozen maple syrup lolly.
A thicker maple syrup (boiled a bit longer), spread on ice, and rolled around a wood stick. Simply delicious, and a good source of energy to face some Canadian cold.
A frozen maple syrup lolly in Quebec City, perfect pair with Canadian icewine