What is Ice Wine?
Ice Wine, in short, is wine made from grapes that have been allowed to freeze naturally on the vine. The grapes are then taken and pressed, yielding just 15% of what a typical in-season table wine would produce. Due to the natural freezing process, the wines typically are high in sugar and low in alcohol content due to the hostile fermentation process caused by the fructose.
Many people enjoy this treat with dessert or as a dessert.
With some of the world’s most ideal production conditions for Ice Wine, the Niagara region of Ontario has been made famous for this sweet dessert wine since 1984!
Now that you know a little more about Ice Wine, here are the best places to try it in Southwestern Ontario!
290 John St E, Niagara-on-the-Lake
If you want to visit a world-renowned winery and try the Ontario-treasure that is Ice Wine, then you need to visit Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
As one of the better-known wineries in Canada, Peller Estates offers a variety of wines as well as a gorgeous 25 acres of vineyard to explore. For just $39 per person, you can check out their Ice Wine Vineyard Tour and learn all about the process of making Ice Wine first hand.
Afterward, you can enjoy a fresh glass of this sweet stuff in their 10 Below Ice Wine Lounge, complete with an ice bar and a history of ice wine production.
1696 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Pillitteri Estates Winery officially opened their doors in 1993 as a winery, but they’ve been around much longer than that. Humbly beginning as Gary’s Fruit Market by a Sicilian immigrant family who settled upon a fruit farm when they first came to Canada, their operation quickly changed faces to become a vineyard.
Today, Pillitteri Estates Winery is still run by the same family producing the same fantastic wine – including their famous rich Ice Wine. To date, they have collected 8 world-renowned awards for their Ice Wine.
You can check out their private Ice Wine tasting session for just $12.00 per person and try the world-famous beverage for yourself! (reservations required)
1499 Line 3, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Although Ontario has been famous for producing Ice Wine since 1984, Inniskillin is responsible for the province’s global recognition in the indulgent beverage. In 1991, Inniskillin won the coveted Grand Prix d’Honneur at Bordeaux’s Vinexpo wine fair and officially put Ontario on the map as the top producer of Ice Wine.
With 4 varieties of Ice Wine available to purchase as well as tours throughout the winter, you too can try their award-winning variation of the drink this winter at the vineyard.
The Ice House Winery
14778 Niagara River Pky, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
If you want an Ice Wine only experience, you need to try The Ice House Winery if you’re in the region of Niagara-on-the-lake. The Ice House Winery was originally opened by a winemaker who earned his expertise in France but shifted gears to focus on Ice Wine when he moved to the region because of the ideal climate conditions for the beverage.
What makes this place unique is not just their specialty in Ice Wine, but their Ice House Wine Slushies and Ice Wine Cocktails. Their unique approach to what you can do with wine is what has made them so special, and their riverside location certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Hopefully this easy guide will have helped you learn a little more about what Ice Wine is and where you can find the best of the best in Southwestern Ontario!