Inniskillin is now synonymous with top quality Icewine and consistently sets the bar at a much greater height than its competitors. They harvest at a higher brix level (roughly equivalent to the percentage of sugar in the juice) 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 grapes for this classic Icewine were harvested from select vineyards in Niagara on the Lake. The Niagara Peninsula is considered a cool climate viticulture region. Mineral-rich soils are the result of melting glaciers that left behind large and varied deposits of gravel, sand and clay, when they receded approximately 13,000 years ago. Thanks to the warming influence of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River, the region's temperatures during the fruit-ripening phase are moderate and consistent.
The 5th of January 2015 brought the ideal temperature of -10ºC required to begin Inniskillin’s thirty-first Icewine harvest. Vineyard Director Gerald Klose and Winemaker Bruce Nicholson began the harvest under a full moon with Riesling and Vidal grapes at the Pratt Vineyard, Niagara on the Lake. The consistent freezing weather allowed the optimum harvesting temperature to be reached which maintained high quality standards with the desired sugar levels and acidities in good balance.
Picked at a chilling -10ºC, the grapes were immediately pressed resulting in a rich concentrated liquid. The juice was concentrated through the removal of ice crystals and separation from the frozen grapes during pressing. After cold settling the juice was racked and fermented at approximately 15ºC for 18 days. The Riesling was fermented in stainless steel, with no oak influence. The wine was ready to drink after a short bottle ageing.
This Riesling Icewine has an abundance of vibrant aromatics including peach, pear, and lime. On the palate, notes of honey, apricot and mango are balanced by a crisp and lively acidity.