January can be a tough month in Canada. Let’s face it, for the most part it’s cold, it’s dark at 4:30 p.m. and winter has really settled in. There are two options: mope around for the next few months or accept reality and find things to do to actually enjoy yourself.
Here is a fantastic option that really embraces winter: the Niagara Icewine Festival 2010. Back for its 15th year, the entire Niagara region transforms into a wintry wonderland to host a celebration of one of Canada’s most beloved products, Ontario icewines.
Much more concentrated than regular wine, icewine is a dessert wine whose name comes from the process that goes into harvesting the grapes. The Niagara region in January is when the grapes freeze while still on the vine. Wineries harvest the grapes delicately at night when they know they’re frozen. It’s a very labour-intensive process that results in small quantities which makes the wine relatively expensive. The first Canadian icewine has been traced to the Okanagan Valley in B.C., but the Inniskillin Winery is believed to have started the process in Ontario after launching its first icewine in 1984.Read