Skip to content »
Skip to second navigation »


Jan

08

2015

Jan

30

2015

Jan

08

2016

Jan

30

2016

Jan

08

2017

Jan

30

2017

Jan

08

2018

Jan

30

2018

Jan

08

2019

Jan

30

2019


Drink Canada’s liquid gold at the Icewine Festival in Niagara

Published by Bianca, Writer

Country: Canada

The Experience

If you thought Niagara was only a summer travel destination with magnificent waterfalls — think again! This area has a surprising winter event that will have wine connoisseurs clambering for their snow boots.

Held at various wineries and locations along the Niagara wine trail in Ontario, the Niagara Icewine Festival is an annual celebration of Canada's most cherished product.

Affectionately dubbed Ontario’s “liquid gold”, icewine is made from grapes that have been left to freeze naturally on the vine. By allowing the grapes to freeze after the regular harvest, the water content is reduced through dehydration, leaving concentrated flavors and increased sugar levels. The result is an incredibly sweet and aromatic dessert wine.

While icewine originated in Europe, the Inniskillin Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake brought attention and accolades to Canada in 1984, when the winery's co-owner Karl Kaiser produced their first icewine.

In contrast to the other popular wine-producing regions, Canada has consistent freezing in winter and is subsequently the world's largest icewine producer. With approximately 75% of Canada’s icewine made in Niagara, the Niagara wine trail is the best travel destination for this specialty wine.

In honor of the sweet nectar, the Niagara wine trail celebrates with the icewine festival. Over three weekends in January, icewine is served at wineries and venues throughout the Niagara region, with most of the festivities taking place in the villages of Jordan and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

While icewine can be enjoyed throughout the year, if you visit during the Niagara Icewine Festival, you’ll have the opportunity to see the region turn into a winter wonderland. Sculptors show off their talent by chiselling ice blocks into elaborate designs, while bartenders demonstrate their skills at specially made ice bars. At each of these ice bars you can sample a variety of local icewines including various vintages.

In addition to wine-tasting, you’ll find a number of other things to do in Niagara during the Icewine Festival. These activities include a gala evening, outdoor concert, cocktail competition and food demonstrations.

Winemaker challenges are also on the schedule and are increasingly popular attractions at the Niagara Icewine Festival. Local icewine makers battle it out each year in a traditional barrel race and outdoor hockey competition.

If you don’t mind braving the cold, make a trip to the Niagara Icewine Festival for a wonderful way to experience some of Canada’s award-winning icewine and the unique region where it's produced.

When to Go to Niagara Icewine Festival

Many wineries take part in the Niagara Icewine Festival and offer food-pairing events, tours and tastings. Weekend Discovery Passes grant access to all the food and wine events at several of the participating vineyards.

Odds n' Ends

While you can go icewine tasting in the Niagra region throughout the year, visiting during the Niagara Icewine Festival in January will give you the true icewine experience.

There are many great accommodation options, but find your hotel in Niagara in advance, to ensure you reserve a place that will best suit your needs.

Video

Video Wall

You are now being transfered to our Video Wall

Language Guides

French , Italian , Japanese , Lao , Portugese , Russian , Spanish , Turkish , Vietnamese are some of the languages spoken in Canada. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


Discussion

Experienced this and have something to share? Experienced something like this somewhere else? Looking for advise or travel companions? Use this space to leave your mark. Our writers and editors are more than happy to help answer your questions.

Recent Tweets

Listed below are the most recent comments made on Twitter for "niagara icewine festival":