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A Full Information to the Niagara Icewine Pageant 2023

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If there’s one bonus to visiting Toronto in winter, it’s the chance to attend the close by Niagara Icewine Pageant and take pleasure in ice wine, gourmand delicacies and spectacular frozen surroundings.

Positive, it will probably get bone-chillingly chilly (and Niagara Falls itself can really freeze!) however that’s only a reminder of what it means to be an actual Canadian and is all of the extra motive to heat up with some VQA Niagara icewine.

Right here’s our information to what to do, the place to remain, one of the best icewines to try to extra on the Niagara Icewine Pageant and different must-see winter occasions in January in Ontario.

View of the American Falls from Niagara Falls in winter.
Brrr…however stunning! View of the American Falls from Niagara Falls in winter. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

What’s Icewine?

However first, what’s Canadian icewine? It’s principally a specialty dessert wine produced from frozen grapes.

Whereas icewine may sound straightforward to supply, it’s really much more difficult than it sounds!

Making high quality icewine requires cautious cultivation of the vines, perfect climate situations and vigilant harvesting of the grapes.

 It requires a mixture of magical timing and cautious manufacturing.

No less than three full nights of under -10C climate is required for icewine grapes to launch their distinctive focus of sugars, acids, flavours, and aromas into the juice.

Frozen grapes on a vine in Niagara, Ontario.
One of many cool issues in regards to the Niagara Icewine Pageant is the chance to see frozen grapes on the vine. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

In the midst of the coldest night time, grape pickers from native wineries don their warmest winter gear and head into the vineyards to hand-pick the grapes.

The clusters are then gently pressed, with every grape yielding only one drop of the prized juice. The labour intensive course of and low yield means the price of icewine is greater than common wines.

Try this video about how Ontario VQA Icewine is harvested:

Grapes which can be harvested outdoors of those strict necessities are often called late harvest wines. 

Because of this whereas all icewines are late harvest wines, not all late harvest wines are icewines as a result of they didn’t really freeze on the vines earlier than being picked.

Varieties of Icewine within the Niagara Area 

Whereas most individuals are aware of Vidal icewine, one of many stuff you’ll shortly study on the Niagara Icewine Pageant is that there are literally many different sorts of ice wines.

Icewine can also be produced in wineries alongside Germany’s Rhine and Moselle Rivers (the place it’s often called Eiswein) in addition to different European international locations the place the temperatures drop low sufficient. 

The grapes that develop properly in chilly climates are fashionable grape varietals used for making ice wine.

This implies you can even discover Riesling, Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Gewürztraminer.

Iniskillin ice wine outdoors at Niagara Icewine Festival.
Iniskillin ice wine at Niagara Icewine Pageant. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

Not all wineries produce every kind of icewine!

Some icewines are produced in such small portions, they’re not even accessible on the LCBO (or Responsibility Free Retailers) and you’ll solely pattern them on the wineries or at Niagara Icewine Pageant occasions.

That is the place the enjoyable begins.

Finest Niagara Icewine to Select

Woman pouring ice wine in a wine glass.
Ice wine? Sure, please. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

What does Niagara icewine style like?

Whereas all icewines function a extremely concentrated, candy flavour, they vary in color from pale gold to vibrant ruby pink.

The aromas vary from the cherry, pink licorice and raspberry of a Cabernet Sauvignon icewine to the citrus notes of a Chardonnay icewine.

As a way to determine on one of the best icewine on your palate that you must pattern a variety of icewines.

You is perhaps stunned to find that though Vidal icewine is essentially the most broadly accessible ice wine, there are different icewines you may get pleasure from extra.

The 2023 Xerox Icewine Gala 

People attending the Xerox Icewine Festival Gala.
Pattern uncommon in addition to fashionable ice wines on the Xeroz Ice Wine Gala. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

The Xerox Icewine Gala is a swanky gala night that takes place in early January.

It’s a chance to pattern uncommon icewines, dance to reside music, take pleasure in fabulous delicacies and gawk at Niagara Falls lit up in its technicolour glory.

Whereas the Xerox Icewine Gala normally takes place on the Fallsview On line casino Resort, in 2023 will probably be occurring on January 14, 2023 on the Niagara Parks Energy Station. 

This heritage constructing located on the Niagara Parkway (Google Map) is an architectural masterpiece that gives spectacular views of Niagara Falls. It’s positive to be a incredible backdrop to the Cool as Ice gala cocktail reception. 

Tickets are $225 per individual. Buy them on-line on the Niagara Icewine Pageant occasion website. 

The occasion options pouring stations from not less than 30 completely different Niagara wineries. They are going to be pouring icewines in addition to pink and wine VQA wines.

It’s price testing our Fast Information to Wine Terminology earlier than you go to raised perceive and revel in your wine tasting. 

A few of my favorite must-visit pouring stations embody Pillitteri Estates Vineyard for his or her Reserve Vidal Icewine, Henry of Pelham for his or her Reisling Icewine and Peller for his or her Andrew Peller Signature Collection Cabernet Franc.

Examine costs and availability at Hilton Niagara Falls – Fallsview Resort & Suites on

Examine costs and availability at Sheraton on the Falls on

Can You Take a Niagara Wine Tour within the Winter?  

A variety of wines in glasses on a table.
Pattern quite a lot of wines on a Niagara wine tour.

To get pleasure from a style of Niagara with out the effort of driving, it’s price taking a guided wine tour that features choose up and drop off at your Niagara Falls (or Niagara-on-the-Lake) space lodge.

The most well-liked Niagara wine excursions that embody transportation are: 

  • Half-Day Wine & Cheese Tour that features stops at three or 4 wineries with wine tastings and cheese pairings.    
  • Niagara Wine Tour with wine tastings and transportation. These excursions normally embody a cease for lunch in Niagara on the Lake (at further price).  
  • Customized Wine Lovers Tour with chauffeured transportation the place you select the wineries (or craft beer breweries and distilleries) you’d like to go to.  

For those who’re visiting Niagara outdoors of the winter ice wine festivals, it’s nonetheless attainable to expertise a pairing of meals and ice wine by reserving forward.  

The most well-liked icewine tour is: 

  • A Luxurious Icewine and Glowing Wine Tasting that features meals pairings (equivalent to aged cheese, toffee and mango) with Eric Brut Glowing Wine, a Vidal ice wine and a Riesling ice wine. This tour doesn’t embody transportation. 

Find out how to Get Discovery Move 2023 Tickets 

Discovery wine pairing of wine at the Niagara Wine Festival.
Use your Discovery cross to pattern wine and meals combos on the Niagara Wine Pageant. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

Whereas the gala is a memorably posh occasion, the primary attraction of the Niagara Icewine Pageant is the chance to get pleasure from icewine tastings at taking part Niagara wineries.

Each Niagara vineyard is exclusive so it’s an thrilling expertise to pattern what’s on provide. 

This occurs with the acquisition of a Discovery Move.

This magical passport permits you to get pleasure from meals and wine pairings throughout choose January weekends on quite a lot of wine routes by the Niagara Wine Nation Area.

Every passport presents six scrumptious meals and wine pairings for use at your alternative of taking part wineries.

In 2023, there can be greater than 30 wineries taking part!

Buy your Discovery Move On-line, obtain it and retailer it in your cell system. In 2023, the fee is $49 (plus HST) for a Discovery Move and $39 (plus HST) for a Driver’s Move that embody meals paired with a non-alcoholic beverage.

Jackson Triggs Ice Wine paired with chicken.
The Discovery Move permits you to pattern quite a lot of ice wine and meals pairings. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

For instance, in earlier years, a cease at Megalomaniac Vineyard on the Discovery Passport obtained you a pattern of icewine and a honey-infused drizzle over prime of a two-bite goat cheese, apple and pecan tart.

It paired superbly with their 2014 Coldhearted Riesling Icewine.

The easiest way to do the Niagara Icewine Pageant is to plan your stops and driving route prematurely primarily based on the wines and meals you need to attempt on the Discovery Move Listings.

Niagara Icewine Pageant Dates 2023 

Xerox Icewine Gala – January 14, 2023

Weekend 1 – January 13-15, 2023
Weekend 2 – January 20-22, 2023
Weekend 3 – January 27-29, 2023
Flex Fridays – Discovery Move is legitimate on Fridays on January 13, 20, 27 

What’s Included in a Discovery Move?  

Artisanal products at Twenty Valley Winter Winefest.
Artisanal merchandise at Twenty Valley Winter Winefest. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

Your Discovery Move Offers you entry to some scrumptious candy, spicy and savoury meals plus an icewine pairing. 

Among the thrilling combos within the culinary line-up up to now have included: 

  • Hen and Waffles, unfold with Riesling Icewine Butter at Iniskillin Vineyard,
  • Roasting an icewine marshmallow over an open fireplace at Pellar Estates,
  • Tacky chile con queso nachos topped with crumbled bacon and blue cheese at Fielding Vineyard,
  • Late Harvest Vidal tucked inside a Chocolate-dipped Strawberry Cup at Pondview Property Vineyard.

Finest Niagara Icewine Pageant Accommodations

View of a hotel at Niagara Falls Canada.
Get pleasure from fabulous views at one of many Niagara Icewine Pageant accommodations. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

The Niagara Icewine Pageant is an adult-oriented (19+) weekend journey greatest fitted to {couples} or a girlfriends’ getaway.

In Niagara Falls, the best choice is to decide on a lodge that’s aimed toward an older crowd somewhat than one of many family-friendly accommodations with waterslides close to the Clifton Hill arcade zone.

One other vital consideration when selecting which lodge to remain at through the Niagara Icewine Pageant is deciding which weekend you’ll be attending and if you happen to’ll be attending the Xerox Icewine Gala.

For those who’re attending the Xerox Icewine Gala, you then’ll need to keep in Niagara Falls. 

Niagara Falls Hilton Fallsview: Positioned within the Fallsview space, this contemporary tower is located overlooking Niagara Falls and is right for exploring the parkway and pure sights (or going to the Fallsview On line casino).

It’s not near the Clifton Hill arcade zone so if you happen to’re trying to hit up enjoyable zone sights like dinosaur mini-golf  and ferris wheels, be ready to drive. If not, you’ll be completely happy to be within the peaceable a part of city.

Examine costs and availability at Hilton Niagara Falls – Fallsview Resort & Suites on

Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Pageant 2023 

Person carving an ice sculpture.
Ice carvings are sometimes a spotlight of the Niagara on the Lake Icewine Pageant.

Sparkle and Ice Gala 

The gorgeous city of Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) is one other excellent place to have a good time winter in Ontario. It’s situated a scenic 20-minute drive alongside the Niagara Parkway from Niagara Falls.

In 2023, they’ll be kicking off their festivities with the Sparkle and Ice Gala going down on January twentieth between 8 and 11pm. 

Held within the ballrooms of the Outdated Courthouse, this swanky occasion options Niagara-on-the-Lake icewine makers and their VQA wines paired with culinary treats.  

Tickets for the 2023 Sparkle and Ice Gala price $150 (plus HST) per individual and will be bought on-line. 

Icewine Village Weekends 

Relating to winter wonderland settings, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Heritage District is as magical as a storybook. And it’s additionally the setting for its very personal outside Icewine competition.

Held open air on Queen Avenue within the coronary heart of city, it options reside music, cooking demonstrations, icewine tastings and a VIP lounge with fireplace pits the place you possibly can heat up and chat with associates.

This season, the Icewine Village weekends happen on January 21 and 22 and January 28 and 29, 2023.

Buy tickets on-line on the Official Niagara Icewine Pageant web site.  

Firepit at a Niagara wine festival in the winter.
Heat up at a fireplace pit.

The place to Keep in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Brockamour Manor B & B: Keep at this historic visitor home and also you’ll be within the coronary heart of the wintery NOTL Icewine Village environment. 

Inbuilt 1809, it’s well-located on King Avenue just some steps away from every thing on the Niagara-on-the-Lake. The charges are cheap and breakfast is further particular. 

Examine costs and availability at Brockamour Manor B & B  on

Pillar and Publish Spa & Inn: This atmospheric inn can also be situated close to the icewine festivities of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It’s a luxurious lodge that options an heated indoor saltwater pool in addition to a sauna, scorching springs pool.

It’s a best choice for a romantic winter getaway within the Niagara space. 

Examine charges and availability at Pillar and Publish Spa and Inn on 

Oban Inn: Set in Niagara-on-the-Lake overlooking Lake Ontario and the golf course, the Oban Inn makes the perfect base for having fun with one of the best of Niagara wine nation in winter.

A historic landmark since 1824, this 28-room luxurious lodge options lush gardens, an outside scorching spring and swimming pool, the full-service OSpa and a wealthy custom of culinary excellence.

On the Oban Inn’s restaurant must-try dishes embody a pink curry cod with orange-scented rice, a traditional beef tenderloin and antipasto platter for 2 that includes regionally sourced cheeses and cured meats, house-made pickles, fruit chutney and heat olives.  

Twenty Valley Winter Winefest (Cancelled 2023) 

Whereas this was one in every of our favorite winter festivals up to now, it’s not going down in 2023. But it surely’s nonetheless price visiting the wineries close to the gorgeous city of Jordan Village, conveniently situated simply off the QEW. 

For those who haven’t been to the Twenty Valley space earlier than, it’s price staying an additional night time.

With an additional day you’ll have time to hike to the gorgeous Balls Falls waterfalls, discover the quaint retailers and make a number of stops on the Higher Canada Cheese Firm till you’ve eaten so many free samples of artisanal cheese that they ask you to depart.

Make sure to replenish on Niagara Gold, a buttery, French-style, semi-firm cheese. 

Michele Peterson of A Taste for Travel at Twenty Valley Winter Winefest
Bundle up on the Twenty Valley Winter Winefest. (Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

For {couples} searching for a Niagara wine nation getaway, essentially the most romantic lodge is the Inn on The Twenty in Jordan. It options its personal wine cellar, a full service spa and is strolling distance to many sights. 

Examine costs and availability on the Inn on The Twenty in Jordan on 

Closing Ideas on the Niagara Icewine Pageant

Assuming you don’t attempt to get to Niagara from Toronto in the course of rush hour (4-6 pm), it ought to take you not more than 90 minutes to reach within the coronary heart of Niagara Wine Nation.

Listed here are some hyperlinks that can assist you plan your journey:

Ice sculpture of Ontario cheese.
I couldn’t agree extra with the emotions of this Ice sculpture of Ontario cheese.(Credit score: Francisco Sanchez)

Niagara Icewine Pageant Value: Discovery Passes are offered at $49 (plus HST) every and comprises expertise vouchers, redeemable at taking part wineries. Costs are topic to vary. 

Official Web site:  Wine Nation Ontario

Ontario Journey: Get maps, planning and journey suggestions and inspiration from the Official Ontario Tourism web site.

Discovery Move Tickets: Purchase tickets and plan your route on the Discovery Move Listings Web page.

Niagara Falls: For those who’re visiting the Niagara Icewine Pageant you don’t need to miss experiencing Niagara Falls, Canada. Listed here are 10 Wonderful Issues to do in Niagara Falls so that you don’t miss a factor.

Different Winter Getaways in Ontario 

For extra concepts on day journeys from Toronto, take a look at these favorite getaways: 

Rejoice Winter at  Le Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain

Sip Moonshine and Craft Beer on {Couples} Getaway 

Why Hockley Valley Resort Needs to be Your Subsequent Weekend Getaway 

23 Issues to Do in The Kawarthas 

Or, subscribe to the A Style for Journey e-newsletter and obtain journey suggestions, reductions, giveaways and inspiration direct to your in-box.

Incessantly Requested Questions:

Does Icewine Enhance With Age?

No, icewine doesn’t enhance with age. So there isn’t a level saving that dear bottle of icewine within the hope that it’s going to improve in worth. Get pleasure from it now!

Does Icewine Have an Expiry Date?

As with different sorts of wine, icewines don’t have an expiry date. The alcohol in icewine acts as a preservative.

How Lengthy Does Icewine Final?

Unopened icewine doesn’t have an expiry date. As soon as the bottle is opened, it must be sealed and saved within the fridge. It would final two to 3 weeks within the fridge.

Are Niagara Wineries Open Yr Spherical?

Most Niagara wineries are open 12 months spherical though some could have decreased hours within the winter. Examine with every particular person vineyard to make sure they’re open.

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