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by Fred McMillin
Baby, It's Cold Outside
The Good News
Germany's most rare and expensive wine is Eiswein (ice wine). It is made from frozen grapes; is very, very sweet and shows great character.
The Bad News
BUT, one must pay unbelievably steep prices for ice wine.
...from Robert Parker, Jr.'s Wine Buyer's Guide
To reduce those prices, we need more production. Where else can one obtain frozen wine grapes regularly? Eastern Canada. Their vintners didn't just fall off the turnip wagon last week. Eastern Canada has become the largest producer of Ice Wine in the World! Germany's Eiswein is made from the Riesling; Canada's Inniskillin 1998 Icewine also is made from the Riesling...at $65 (375 ml.), well below the German counterpart. Inniskillin?? Here's its story.
The Thrillin' Inninskillin
The son of Italian immigrants, Donald Ziraldo, (pictured), met Austrian-born biochemist Karl Kaiser in college in Canada. Against all odds, they obtained the first winery license granted in Ontario in over 40 years, planted Riesling vines just north of Niagara Falls, and produced their first icewine in 1984.
A Vintage for the Birds
Now they had planned to start a year earlier. The grapes ripened nicely and temperatures were dropping toward freezing. Suddenly "a black cloud of starlings dropped out of the sky and devoured the entire crop in 30 minutes." By the next year they owned a full set of protective nets for the vines.
Our Wine of the Day
1998 Inniskillin Riesling Icewine, $65 (375 ml.), (pictured)
A Chilling Note: Why such a cold topic today? On this date 133 years ago, the USA bought Alaska from Russia.
03/28/00—The Boss Blew It
03/24/00—A Giant in the Valley
03/23/00—Another Bulgarian Bargain
03/21/00—Feast of St. Benedict
03/20/00—A Divine Ice Wine
03/16/00—A Cab From Puckerville
03/15/00—The Peju Debut...Doom & Gloom
03/14/00—Birth of a Blanc
03/13/00—A Bargain Hunter
03/10/00—Hogue's in Vogue
03/09/00—Unordinary Fred Cherry
03/08/00—It Was Quite a Fight
03/07/00—The White Zin Cash In
03/06/00—Ah-Mah-Row-Nee is No Phony
03/03/00—A Medoc Moment
03/02/00—Take a Pott Shot
03/01/00—The Wrong Name: Women & Wine
This page created March 2000