Canadian Ice Wine

December 8, 2007

I have heard that Canadian Ice Wine is among the best, if not the best in the world, though never tasted any before. A couple of weeks ago our friend Cindy, from Nova Scotia came over for dinner and brought us a gift. The gift is called Ortega Ice Wine from Jost Vineyards of Nova Scotia. And what a gift it is.

The wine comes in a 200 ml bottle, so it is a bit more than a 1/4 bottle. I sense the reason for this is because you could turn diabetic instantly if you consume more of it. This desert wine, made from the Ortega varietal, must have higher residual sugar content than the brown sugar you get at your local grocery store. Imagine tangerine, apricot, and melon syrups blended together and magically turned into an elegant wine with a significant dense body. That is this wine. Truly a trip and a very good one at that.

The reason for the extreme concentration is because they leave the grapes on the vine until late in December and only harvest them in ice-cold temperatures (below -10 Celsius). You can imagine the grapes are basically raisins by this time. Also, because of the high sugar content, the alcohol level is only about 10% in this wine. Not that it matters, you will never drink more than a few sips because of the super high concentration.

If you like desert wine, you have to give this one a try. I imagine it is not an easy one to find in your local supermarket, but it should be available at least via online merchants in North America or perhaps even in Europe. Do seek it out, it will be one of the best desert wines you will ever have.

Name: Ortega Ice Wine, Jost Vineyards, 2004

Rating: 9 out of 10

Body: Full

Price: Free (present), but regularly approx. $45 per 200ml bottle

Got it at: My House

Ortega Ice Wine, Jost Vineyards, 2004

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3 Responses to “Canadian Ice Wine”


  1. You are so right about Canadian Icewine but I must tell you that you haven’t tasted the best yet unless you have tried some of the Icewines from British Columbia.Merlot Icewines are particularly flavorfull. The BC Icewines are not as high in residual sugars as are their Ontario counterparts. Some of the Ontario Icewines have very high residual sugars and not enough acid to carry them through. The hot days but cool nights in the Okanagan valley in BC allow for sugars to develop but give the grapes a rest at night allowing them to retain proper acid levels. Ontario on the other hand has hot humid days and hot humid nights. I speak from personal exposure for 6 years to their climate.Pinot Blanc is another excellent grape for Icewine in the Okanagan.

  2. zoliwine Says:

    I will definitely try BC icewines in the future. Have heard a lot about them and I have been to BC numerous times but somehow we never crossed paths.

    Btw, one interesting thing about Ortega is that it is from Nova Scotia. I never knew that they made wine in Nova Scotia and I definitely never knew they made excellent wine. Nova Scotia is cooooold, and its climate is different from Ontario because of the ocean. Maybe they grow the grapes in greenhouses 😉

  3. Wilf K Says:

    Ortega is another wonderful grape. Here on Vancouver Island at least 4 wineries produce an Ortega wine done in a dry style.On the mainland in the Fraser Valley, Domaine de Chaberton winery makes a late harvest botrytis affected desert wine that is too die for and is very close to an Icewine in character and flavours.
    Enjoy your Christmas!

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