by LCVB staff member Madison

The colder the better…at least for ice wine grapes!

Ferrante Winery Ice Wine
Woo…that’s a bit cold for us, but the grapes seem to like it!

The cold of Northeastern Ohio brings out a charming spirit at Ferrante Winery and Ristorante, as this is the perfect season for ice wine grapes. Ferrante Winery picked its 2011 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine early Sunday morning, (December 11, 2011). Early arrival and preparation paid off as the temperature dipped to 10 degrees. Equipped with its mechanical harvester, Ferrante Winery started picking at 5 a.m. and finished at 7 a.m.

Ice wine grapes are normally harvested in late December or January; however this year Mother Nature isn’t following the typical protocol.

“This December has been seasonably warmer than years passed and with an expected pattern of warmer weather, we needed to take the opportunity to harvest our Vidal Blanc Ice Wine grape when possible,” explains Wine Maker Nicholas Ferrante.

Generally, grapes contain a higher amount of water than sugars, so once the temperature drops below freezing point, the water in the grapes becomes frozen. This concentrates the sugars and when pressed, produces a pure flavor with natural sweetness. Twelve tons of Vidal were picked and pressed averaging 35 brix. This wine will be fermented to 15 percent residual sugar and bottled in the spring of 2012.

Vidal Blanc Ice Wine is a dessert wine with rich aromas of apricot and orange blossoms with flavors of honey and ripe melon. A wonderful after dinner treat!

Be sure to mark your calendars for the Grand River Valley’s annual Ice Wine Festival. This year the festival will be March 3, 10, & 17 from noon to 5 p.m. at participating wineries in the Grand River Valley. The festival will include award winning ice wine samples, delectable appetizers, great festivities and so much more! Visit for additional details.

Guest post by Alyssa  Sekerak –  Ferrante Winery & Ristorante Marketing Director

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