ICEWINE is a wine made from grapes that would normally be harvested in ~September, but instead ICEWINE grapes are left on the vines until late December early January. By~ leaving the grapes on the vines for an extra 3 months, the grapes on the vines continue to ripen so much that the acidity of the grapes decreases and the sugar content continues to concentrate. ICEWINE is made from naturally frozen grapes. Water freezes at 0 degrees, but because ICEWINE grapes have sugar in them, it takes a temperature of -8 degrees or colder in order for the grapes to freeze. ICEWINE grapes, when frozen, are as hard as marbles. All the water content in the grape is completely frozen so when the grapes are finally pressed, all that is released are intensified aromas, sugars and nutrients; we call this “Grape Honey”. It takes 30lbs of precious grapes to make a 375ml bottle of ICEWINEnuary.
ICEWINE, Canada’s liquid gold has become such a luxury good that it is being knocked off in many parts of the world. Whenever our winemaker can take time out of his busy schedule, he is often invited to work overseas with our Canadian Consulates to educate the overseas media, importers and distributors on what real Canadian ICEWINE is. The reputation of Canadian ICEWINES is being
damaged by flood of fakes available for sale in the overseas markets. Our winemaker has compiled a video of the last 3 years of our ICEWINE Harvest and has put together one of Canada’s best DVDs depicting the ICEWINE harvest. This DVD really helps consumers understand what makes ICEWINE so special. If you ever get the chance to visit beautiful British Columbia, I welcome you to come to our winery to see this special DVD as well as sample our wines.
BC ICEWINES, the World’s Best!~
BC ICEWINE is produced in the Okanagan Valley, home to Canada’s only desert. It’s such a mystery to have a desert in Canada because Canada is known as a cool climate country where winters last up to 6 months for many parts of Canada. The Okanagan Valley receives up to 2 more hours a day of sunshine then Napa Valley and is home to a 200km long lake named Okanagan Lake. The rare combination of a lake and a desert in the same region results in dry spring seasons, long summers, and cool autumns, allowing our grapes to slowly ripen with very little water content in each grape. This is why the Okanagan Valley is the latest harvesting grape region in the world. Our ICEWINE grapes are generally harvested during late December or early January. The climate conditions allow for our ICEWINE grapes to go through a 2 stages of natural concentration first is the extra 3 months on the vines and secondly is the pressing of the grapes when they are naturally frozen at -8 or below
The VQA mark on a bottle of wine assures wine consumers that they are getting a qualitybottle of wine and also protects consumers from buying bad wine. There are many rules and regulations that must be followed when submitting a wine for VQA approval. The VQA monitors each batch of wine made and before the VQA mark can be applied, the VQA puts each wine through a chemical test and a blind tasting panel test. Only when the wine has passed both of these tests, will the wine then receive a letter of approval allowing the use of the VQA mark. VQA only monitors the quality control of grape wines and does not monitor the practices of a winery.
VQA and the ICEWINE Making Process
VQA monitors the production of ICEWINE from start to finish,
below are the following steps:
1. Each winery must pre-register with the VQA the following information by November 15th of each year:
a. Winery Name
b. Grape Variety(ies)
c. Acreage and Rows of Grapes
d. Vineyard Address
2. What is the VQA monitoring during harvest?
a. Are the grapes frozen or not
b. What time did picking start and end
c. What was the temperature at the beginning and at the
d. end of pressing
e. How much of an area picked was picked and weight of
f. picked grapes
g. What are the brix levels of the pressed juice
h. How many liters were pressed
3. According to the VQA wine making regulations, the following requirements must be met in order to use the VQA mark:
a. Finished wines must be chemically tested and approve
b. Wine must be tasted and approved by a blind tasting panel and approved
c. VQA must issue a letter of approval
4. What is in a fake ICEWINE?
a. Concentrated grape juice
b. Artificial sugar
c. Artificial flavoring
d. Artificial color
Note: Artificial ingredients can cause bodily harm
5. How to recognize if a bottle of ICEWINE is real or fake?The following should be clearly seen on an ICEWINE label or bottle:
a. VQA mark
b. “Product of Canada” statement
c. Winery Name
d. Wine Region (Okanagan Valley)
e. Variety and Vintage