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 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.
2015 saw excellent conditions in the growing year for icewine grapes. With a few freeze/thaw occurrences throughout the winter months the sugar levels and flavour concentrations were at their peak just prior to the harvest. The consistent frosty weather allowed the grapes to reach optimum harvesting temperature which maintained the high-quality standards with the desired sugar levels and acidities well-balanced. 4th January 2016 brought the ideal temperature of -10º C required to begin Inniskillin’s thirty-second icewine harvest. This was one of the quickest harvests on record, Vineyard Director Gerald Klose and Winemaker Bruce Nicholson began early morning and finished picking all estate fruit and receiving all grower fruit by the end of 5th January.
Picked at -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 21 days. The Riesling was fermented in stainless steel, with no oak influence.
This Riesling Icewine has an abundance of vibrant aromatics including fresh orange, lemon, lime and spice. On the palate, this rich Icewine has concentrated flavours of peach, apricot and a hint of clove, all balanced by a crisp and lively acidity.