Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 9:30am – 6pm,  Sundays 9:30am – 5pm

18270 Keele St, Newmarket

Experience Ice Wine - The Ultimate Indulgence!

Holland Marsh Wineries is one of the few Ontario wineries outside the Niagara Region that also produces ice wine.  To make ice wine, the Vintner’s Quality Alliance mandates that specific weather conditions must be met. Grapes must be left to freeze on the vine, and temperatures must be no warmer than -8 degrees Celsius for a period of several days.  At this point, the water in the grape freezes, but the sugars do not, causing them to concentrate.   Grapes are pressed while still in their frozen state, and the concentrated juice is fermented.

If the temperature conditions are not right, such as in an unpredictable winter where there is a cold snap that doesn’t last, the harvest will be lost.  Further, VQA designation as a true ice wine is based on additional factors like quality and growing region.  But if conditions are right, the result is worth the risk.

Next time you have the opportunity to experience the wonders of ice wine, here are a few tips:

  1. Take a bigger mouthful of ice wine, to start. People tend to sip at it, but the bigger the mouthful, the bigger the flavour.
  2. Avoid contact with the tip of your tongue, where your sweet receptors are. Instead, let the ice wine sit at the back of your tongue where your palate won’t be overwhelmed by the rich sugars.
  3. Incorporate some air into your sip and keep your nasopharynx open – that’s the part that connects your nose to your throat. Scent is an essential component of taste, and a bit of air will allow the vapours of your ice wine to engage your olfactory senses and amplify the wine’s flavours.
  4. Hold your big sip of ice wine in your mouth for a few seconds. Some things are simply too good to be rushed.