About Our ICEWINE
Table wine is made with grapes that are harvested in September, however, for Icewine, it is made with grapes that are left on the vines until late December, early January. By leaving the grapes on the vines for an extra three months, the grapes on the vines continue to ripen so much that the acidity of the grape decreases and the sugar content continues to concentrate. Icewine is made from naturally frozen grapes. Even though water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius, but due to the sugar in the grapes, it takes a temperature of -8 degrees Celsius or colder in order for the grapes to completely freeze. When Icewine grapes are frozen, they are as hard as marbles. Since the water content in the grapes are frozen, when they are pressed, they are filled with an intense aroma, sugars, and nutrients; this is called “Grape Honey.” It takes at least 30lbs of frozen grapes in order to make a 375mL bottle of Icewine.
Icewine, known as Canada’s liquid gold has become such a luxury item that there are many imitations of it around the world. The reputation of Canadian icewine is being damaged by the flood of fake ones available for sale in the overseas markets. Our winemaker is often invited to work overseas with our Canadian Consulates to educate the overseas media, importers, and distributors on what real Canadian icewine is.
BC ICEWINES, Best of the World
The VQA mark on our bottles assures consumers that they are getting a quality bottle of wine and also protects consumers from buying inferior wine. There are many rules and regulations that must be followed when submitting a wine for VQA approval. The VQA monitors each batch of wine made and puts each wine through a chemical test and a blind tasting panel test. Only when the wine has passed both tests will the wine then receive a letter of approval allowing the use of the VQA mark on the bottle.
VQA and ICEWINE Making Process
VQA monitors the production of ICEWINE from the beginning till the end in the following steps:
1. Each winery must pre-register with VQA the following information by November 15th of each year:
a. Winery Name
b. Grape Variety(ies)
c. Acreage and Rows of Grapes
d. Vineyard Address
2. What does VQA monitor during harvest?
a. Whether the grapes are frozen or not
b. The time of picking (from the beginning till the end)
c. The temperature at the beginning and at the end of pressing
e. How much of an area was picked and weight of picked grapes
f. The brix levels of the pressed juice
g. The liters of pressed juice
3. According to the VQA wine making regulations, the following requirements must be met in order to use the VQA mark:
a. Finished wines must be chemically tested and approved
b. Wine must be tasted and approved by a blind tasting panel
c. VQA must issue a letter of approval
4. What is inside a fake ICEWINE?
a. Concentrated grape juice
b. Artificial sugar
c. Artificial flavoring
d. Artificial color
Note: Artificial ingredients can cause bodily harm
5. How to recognize if a bottle of ICEWINE is real or fake? The following should be clearly seen on an ICEWINE label or bottle:
a. VQA mark
b. “Product of Canada” statement
c. Winery Name
d. Wine Region (Okanagan Valley)
e. Variety and Vintage