It feels very odd to be slipping on wool gloves and zipping up a parka when the temperature outside is in the upper 20s. But visitors to Peller Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake are happy to bundle up for an iced experience, no matter what the season.
10Below Icewine Lounge, by Peller Estates, is designed for guests to experience the exact temperature at which icewine grapes are harvested, to explore the complexities of its production and to savour the layered flavours of the winery’s three icewines – vidal blanc, riesling and cabernet franc.
The winery provides fur-trimmed parkas (rather fetching, actually) and gloves that are smartphone-compatible, which is a different kind of cool. It’s a design detail that makes a selfie set against the carved ice walls easy to post. Inside the ice room, there’s an ice bar, benches and an elegant ice chandelier.
The lounge is both Canadian in its icewine theme and Canadian in execution. Designed and built by Hensall, Ont.-based Iceculture Inc., which has designed and built ice lounges and sculptures around the world, the structure was created from more than 13,000 kilograms of crystal clear ice blocks. It holds up to 15 people, and is intended as a place to sip and savour the elixir sometimes referred to as “liquid gold” but also as an opportunity to learn about the wine’s production, a time-consuming and concentrated process, and one that Canada has come to own.
Contact Peller Estates to book a tour with tastings or a wine pairing in the winery’s restaurant. Celebrity chef Jason Parsons has developed some lovely dishes using the product – such as his icewine-braised pulled pork with peach salsa, or his icewine-poached lobster – to illustrate the wine’s complexity and versatility.
For a different treatment and a bit of luxurious indulgence, try a glass of Peller’s Ice Cuvée, a traditional méthode sparkling wine made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, with added flavour from the vidal icewine. Icewine with bubbles! It’s nice to get iced in Niagara.
Source: The Globe and Mail: Niagara’s Peller Estates offers a very chill icewine experience. Read full article here.
With temperatures dropping below -10 ̊C in the early morning of January 4, 2016 Peller Estates Winemaker Katie Dickieson gave her team the signal that the time had come to head to the vineyard. The weather conditions were picture perfect with an extreme weather alert called for the
Niagara Region and the stage was set for the Icewine harvest to begin. With such ideal conditions, the team was successful in harvesting all of the Cabernet Franc and Riesling as well as a significant amount of Vidal grapes. Another cold snap is scheduled for the middle of January which will allow the remaining Vidal grapes to be harvested.
Despite unseasonably warm temperatures through Niagara in December, so mild that golfers enjoyed one last round on Christmas Eve, the Icewine harvest was a constant topic of media attention. Mother Nature did not disappoint and the temperatures turned with the New Year and she provided us with weather conditions ideal for Icewine production. “I am pleased that we were successful in harvesting our Icewine in such a short window, the second picking of Vidal will allow us to achieve a wide range of complexity of juices”, states Winemaker Dickieson.
The winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake produces limited quantities of Icewine each year when the outside temperatures reach -10 ̊C or colder. The grapes are then carefully harvested, sorted and pressed while still frozen with only one drop of juice collected from each single grape. The skin, seeds and shards of ice are left behind, allowing the intensely sweet flavourful juice to flow from the press. The concentrated juice then goes through several weeks of fermentation and in some cases, months of barrel ageing. The resulting wine is sweet and exquisitely flavourful and aromatic. Peller
Estates Icewines have been awarded prestigious trophies and Gold medals in the world’s greatest wine competitions and is the best-selling Icewine in Canadian Travel Retail.