Niagara’s well-known and beloved Icewine Festival is set to return once more this Friday, January 10. The festival will celebrate local icewine and other endeavours made by the many wineries in the region.
Icewine is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing for a more concentrated grape juice to develop. Canada is the world’s largest producer of icewine, producing a greater volume of icewine than all other countries combined. Within Canada, a Niagara winery was the first to produce icewine for commercial purposes. The Niagara Icewine Festival seeks to honour the history and quality of wine produced every year by local wineries.
This year’s festival, which has been hosted in the region for 25 years now, will span across 17 days from Jan. 10 to Jan. 26.
The festivities will begin with the annual Niagara Icewine Gala at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls on Jan. 10. Those in attendance will enjoy live entertainment as they sample wines from over 30 Niagara wineries, paired with culinary creations from Fallsview Casino’s chefs.
Niagara’s Twenty Valley will welcome local chefs and winemakers for their ‘Sparkling Dinner’ and ‘Icewine Brunch’ as part of their 11th annual Winter WineFest. The festival will also see musicians such as Figure Four and LMT Connection on the main stage. This year, Winter WineFest will be held in Jordan Village from Friday, January 10 to Sunday, January 12. The festival attracted over 11,000 visitors in 2019 and is expected to be even larger for 2020.
For the first time in its history, the Niagara Icewine Festival will feature a ‘Snow Globe Soirée’, presented in conjunction with Niagara Parks every Thursday to Sunday between Jan. 16 and February 16. Guests can choose between two seating times and enjoy a unique winter dining experience in one of 10 “snow globes”. This experience is set to feature the best of Niagara’s wine and culinary flavours served in a clear dome on the brink of Niagara Falls. Dinner will include a pre and post-dinner wine lounge.
Between Jan. 17-19 and 24-26, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Queen Street will transform to celebrate icewine with culinary creations, music, shopping and sparkling ice sculptures during the free admission ‘Icewine Village and cocktail competition’. Attendees can also take part in ticketed events including the ‘Sparkle & Ice Gala’ and ‘White on Ice Dinner’.
Interested individuals can purchase a Niagara Icewine Festival Discovery Pass at a cost of $45 that will be valid throughout the month, from Jan. 10 – Jan. 26. Pass holders will have the opportunity to choose eight stops from a list of over 30 wineries along Wine Country Ontario’s Wine Route for exclusive VQA Icewine and food pairings.
“Ontario’s icewine harvest is a truly unique and magical time of year,” said Sylvia Augaitis, Executive Director of Marketing for the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario. “What better way to celebrate the bounty of this special harvest than to welcome VQA wine lovers to discover the beauty of Ontario’s Wine Country this winter.”
Individuals who desire to purchase tickets to events and find more information can visit niagarawinefestival.com/icewine.