Vacation Inspiration – Niagara Ice Wine Festival

It’s a treat for the taste buds – and the senses! For three weeks in January, Ontario celebrates Ice Wine with the Niagara Ice Wine Festival, featuring tastings, festivals, parties and culinary surprises that will have you coming back for more. Here’s a few ideas to help you plan your trip to the festival.

It’s all about Ice Wine
Always wondered what ice wine is? Wonder no more: Ice wine is a dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The Niagara region offers the perfect climate for making ice wine in the winter. The grapes for Ice wine are picked in winter at temperatures of at least -8˚C.

The ice wine festival is the perfect chance to discover the nuances of ice wine. Try anything from a Vidal to a Cabernet Franc Ice Wine from a range of wineries at events like Winterfest in Market Square and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Ice Wine Festival. Plus, watch for the great ice sculptures!

Ice Wine Festival - Niagara

Ice Wine Festival 2013

The Ice Wine Experience at Reif Estate Winery
Want to delve deeper into your Ice Wine education? Reif Estate Winery offers a tasting experience paring four ice wines with some delicious culinary finds, including delicious cheeses, tarts and soup. Located on the Niagara Parkway, the journey to this winery is also part of the experience. Get ready to see some of the most historic homes and beautiful scenery around. Reservations not required but highly recommended. $30 per person. Email tours@reifwinery.com
Reif Estates Winery
Reif Estates Winery
Save Room for Dessert
Ice wine isn’t the only sweet treat you’ll indulge in! From the annual Ice Wine Gala that kicks off the festival to the Twenty Valley Winterfest in Jordan, you won’t have to look far to get your sugar fix. Some of our favourites? The  homemade ice wine flavoured marshmallows at the Sugar Stars booth & the crème brûlée and cake pops featured at the Ice Wine Gala.
Ice Wine Festival
Ice Wine Gala
Niagara Ice Wine Festival

Discover Wine Region

One of the most exciting parts of the Ice Wine festival is the chance to explore the Niagara region. If you love quaint villages and towns, you can easily fit visits to towns like Niagara-on-the-Lake, Virgil and Jordan (and their local wineries!) all in one day. Make the most of your time with The Icewine Festival Discovery Pass, which gives you access to three weekends of wine and culinary experiences for $40.  The designated driver can indulge in eight mocktail and culinary pairings for only $30 with the Driver’s Discovery Pass. For more info click here.

Jordan, Ontario

Inn on the Twenty

Experience Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is just a short trip from Niagara Wine Country, and is the perfect way to cap off your adventure. If you’ve been to Niagara Falls in the summer, it is definitely worth another trip in the winter – make sure to snap a photo of the memorable contrast of the falls, mist, ice and snow. For some bright lights and excitement take the walk up Clifton Hill – which is especially eye catching at night. Take a ride on the Niagara Skywheel and see the falls from a whole new angle.

Niagara Falls, Ontario

Clifton Hill, Ontario

The Niagara Ice Wine Festival is on until January 27th, 2013. For more information click here.

What is your favourite Ice Wine?

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