2019 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine
We are excited to release our first true ice wine. True Ice Wine is made from grapes that hang on the vine until frozen. There is another version, often called “iced” or “ice style” wine where the grapes are picked in the fall when fully ripe and then placed in a freezer.
By allowing the grapes to stay on the vine well into the winter, the berries dehydrate a bit, but they also have changes in their fructose to glucose ratio because of the large temperature swings. This process results in a reduction in the grape crop by a quarter to one third. However, while “ice style” wine tastes like frozen grape juice, true ice wine develops complex caramel and marmalade flavors.
The Ice Wine Process
Grapes for ice wine are harvested after 3 consecutive days where the high temperatures do not exceed 18 degrees F. This allows the remaining water in the grapes to freeze. The frozen grapes are immediately pressed in a freezing environment so that the ice in the berries won’t melt. Our barn was between 16 and 19 degrees Fahrenheit during the 14 hours of pressing.
The juice comes out slowly, like maple syrup, with a sugar content over 33%! The juice must them be warmed up to 55 degrees F to begin a slow, cool fermentation. Because the initial sugar level is so high, the yeast cannot ferment all of the sugar in the juice resulting in a wine with a lot of natural residual sugar. No sugar is added to true ice wine.
The amount of labor to get this wine from vineyard to bottle is among the highest for any wine. However, we think the effort is worth it and hope you appreciate this unique product.
2019 Diamond Semi-Dry
This semi-dry white wine is made from the Diamond grape, a hybrid cultivated in the 1880s in Brighton, NY, specifically for this region. It was fermented and aged for 11 months in stainless steel.
A small portion of the grapes (10%) were hand-tended and hand-picked from our own estate vineyard. The remaining portion (90%) were carefully cared for, hand-tended, and hand-picked by Donald Caldwell and his team at the Cornell Teaching Vineyard.
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Our tasting room, converted from thoroughbred horse stables, provides a unique setting for an afternoon of wine tasting. Walk-ins are welcome or you can call (773) 551-9245 to reserve a time slot or table. While you’re here, order a charcuterie board or vegan plate and enjoy a glass of wine on our patio overlooking acres of farmland.