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Made From Frozen Vidal Grapes, Canadian Ice Wine Is Like No Other
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Somewhere on Niagara Peninsula, wine lovers converge on a vineyard. A snowstorm a day before has left behind eight inches of fresh snow.
It is not a bleak and cheerless situation as one would believe.
It is a perfect condition, according to a wine maker, to make specialty Canadian IceWine.
By local laws, ice-wine makers cannot call their product Canadian IceWine unless it is crafted by grapes picked off the vine at or below 18 degrees Fahrenheit, or less than 8 degrees Celsius.
Among devotees, farm lands bordering Lake Ontario is the Mecca for indulging a sip of ice wine, a delicately sweet wine they say goes so well with rich cheeses and desserts.
Apart from Canada, Germany figures as a prominent producer of ice wine, although Austria and Switzerland are also among makers of this popular alcoholic beverage.
However, what is it that makes Canada the choice country for producing this top-quality dessert wine?
Unlike other locations in the world, Canada has consistently cold winters, a guarantee that you will get frozen grapes every year.
Yet, Canadian IceWine like any ice wine is pricey. This is because ice wine represents only a small portion of all wine produced. One ton of grapes generates just one-sixth of wine as table wine.
As one ice-wine maker commented, "These grapes when picked are as hard as marbles. But when squeezed to extract juice they have exquisite flavors."
One piece of information that would be of interest is that Ontario wine makers prefer Vidal grapes to make this dessert beverage.
These grapes have thick skin and are resistant to cracking at sub zero temperatures.
This variety was developed by Jean Louis Vidal, a French grape breeder, with the primary aim of developing a variety for making high-quality Cognac. However, the winter hardiness of Vidal grapes lent itself very well for growing in Canadian wine regions of Ontario.
Vidal is the permitted grape of Vintners Quality Alliance or VQA, an appellation that guarantees quality and authenticity for origin of Canadian wines.
For wine geeks, Vidal makes the perfect Canadian IceWine. Since these grapes are literally picked frozen, the amount of water in grapes is very low and glycerin and sugar levels are high.
As one wine aficionado puts it, "Icewine made from Vidal grapes has just the right blend of honey, peach syrup, wildflowers, and stone fruits."
Even if your taste buds are not so well-honed, you will not fail to miss the exceptional tang. Even those who order wine online can get a fine variety.
Colio Estate Wines produces great Canadian ice wine, an exclusive advantage credited due to its geography. Customers can order wine online and also buy through retail boutiques, winery, and LCBO stores.
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