The 2014 vintage was awarded 95 points and a rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards Canadian Section (see blue link below).
Inniskillin Gold Vidal Icewine Niagara Peninsula Ontario 2014- 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards
Inniskillin is now synonymous with top quality icewine and consistently sets the bar much higher than its competitors. They harvest at a higher brix level than the minimum set by the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance in Ontario) and their wines have a higher level of residual sugar. This gives richer, more intense wines that merit their higher price. Inniskillin was founded in 1975 by Austrian chemist Karl Kaiser and Italian-Canadian agriculture graduate Donald Ziraldo, who worked tirelessly to introduce better vines and superior winemaking techniques to Niagara. In 1984, to make the most of the extreme Canadian winter, Kaiser produced his first icewine - a pivotal point in garnering attention from the international wine world.
The Niagara Peninsula is a cool climate region and the mineral-rich soils are the result of melting glaciers that left behind large and varied deposits of gravel, sand and clay, as they receded approximately 13,000 years ago. Thanks to the warming influence of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River, the region's temperatures during fruit-ripening are moderate and consistent.
2016 proved to be an excellent year for Icewine grapes, with ideal conditions in early December providing an earlier than normal harvest. Great weather conditions during September, October and November were instrumental in the development of top quality Icewine grapes for the 2016 vintage as the grapes went into the Icewine season healthy and in great shape. The weather turned cold in December and the Vidal harvest began early morning of 19th December with approximately 95% brought in by midday. There were several freeze/ thaw events in December which are integral to enabling the Vidal grapes to dehydrate, concentrating the flavours.
The frozen Vidal grapes were picked and pressed immediately upon arrival at the winery. The viscous juice was allowed to cold settle for three days before being racked clean and inoculated with a specifically selected strain of yeast. The juice was fermented in new French oak barrels at an average temperature of 15ºC for 22 days and remained in oak a further five months prior to bottling.
Aromas of peach, apricot, cinnamon and clove with a touch of toast on the nose. Intense marmalade and orange flavours balance the crisp acidity of this complex Icewine.