The grapes here are left untouched under a protective netting until
December or January, when temperatures reach -10 degrees Celsius
(for those of us who haven't mastered metric conversion, that's a
chilly 14 degrees Fahrenheit). The vineyard workers pick all the
grapes by hand, sometimes standing in several feet of snow. When
the grapes are crushed, they yield only 5 to 10 percent of the
normal juice, which accounts for the scarcity and cost of
This one is bright and lively with tangy apricot and lush honey.
Inniskillin has also just made (not by mistake, but intentionally)
a new sparkling icewine.
MAGNOTTA 1998 VIDAL ICEWINE ($28)
Magnotta is the third largest winery in Ontario. Gabe and Rossana
Magnotta started as suppliers of fresh grape juice and equipment to
home winemakers, but later decided to go into the full-scale
production of wine. Their line encompasses several different
icewines. This one is made from Vidal, a French hybrid grape. One
of Vidal's parents is Ugni Blanc, the widely planted French grape
used in the making of cognac.
The winter-hardy Vidal is a favorite in Canada, where more tender
varieties are always in danger of succumbing to the sudden frosts.
Vidal's thick skin protects the clusters from late-season damage
and makes this varietal particularly suited to the production of
The Magnotta 1998 Vidal Icewine has exotic tropical fruit flavors
and lots of spicy tones with aromas of peaches, pineapples, passion
fruit, and apricots. By the way, the Magnotta lineup also includes
a Gewürztraminer icewine and a rare red version made from Cabernet
JACKSON-TRIGGS 1998 RIESLING GRAND RESERVE ICEWINE
Meanwhile, on the other side of Canada, in British Columbia,
there's another promising wine region sporting more than 50
wineries. Orchard land is being turned over to grapes at a quick
rate, and vineyard plantings have doubled in British Columbia over
the past three years. The vineyards here lie at nearly the same
latitude as those in the Rhine Valley of Germany.