In the past decade, Canada has made a spectacular entrance into the world market for premium Icewines. This uniquely Canadian dessert wine is winning legions of new customers in places as far away as Europe and Asia and is earning top awards for quality and excellence at international wine competitions. To date, Magnotta has earned more than 1,000 awards for its Icewine products alone.

Canada didn’t introduce Icewine to the world; that distinction belongs to Germany, which began harvesting Icewine as early as 1794. But the cold Canadian winters provide ideal growing conditions to facilitate the production of icewines. Today, Canada is the world’s largest producer of Icewines and Magnotta Winery is one of the country’s largest producers of this fruity nectar.

The process of harvesting grapes for Icewine adds another uniquely Canadian dimension to the product. To make Canadian Icewine, grapes are left on the vine until December or January. Leaving them on the vine for this extended period of time concentrates the sugars and acids. When temperatures fall below –8°C, the water inside the grapes freezes into ice crystals that are separated from the juice. These crystals further concentrate the flavour, adding a unique complexity and the resulting nectar. The frozen grapes are then hand-picked in the frozen snow-covered vineyards after dark. Finally, the frozen grapes are pressed at a crushing facility within hours. The cold weather results in a product that is truly special for Canadians and for specialty wine connoisseurs in all parts of the world. The process of harvesting frozen grapes in cold weather conditions is a large part of the mystique of Icewine.”

Since it began producing Icewines in 1991, Magnotta has earned wide public and critical praise for its family of Icewine products. The company’s flagship Vidal Icewine, released in 1991, has become one of the world’s best selling Icewines.
Vidal Icewine is made from the hardy Vidal grape, a hybrid between European and North American white grape varieties. The grape’s thick skin enables the grape clusters to resist the cold and inclement weather. Vidal Icewine has a deep golden amber hue, with fresh aromas of apricot, pear, pineapple and passion fruit. The wine’s smooth, luscious taste presents a pleasant combination of sweetness and acidity.

Cabernet Franc (Red) Icewine is produced from a varietal grape that has a thinner skin than Vidal and Riesling grapes. The vulnerability of this grape makes harvesting it a riskier process and adds to the product’s growing appeal. Magnotta’s Cabernet Franc Icewine includes rosé and salmon tints of colour that blend well to produce a vivacious red accent. The intense flavours of tropical fruit, combined with hints of spice and Cabernet, create a taste sensation that is both elegant on the nose and aggressive on the palate. This unique product is the first red Icewine to win a gold medal at VinExpo (1999) in Bordeaux, France. It has also earned the gold medal and the coveted Chairman’s Award, at the 1999 Riverside International Wine Competition in the US.

Riesling Icewine is restrained and elegant. This Icewine contains citric Riesling nuances, as well as a subtle blend of honey and apricot, to achieve a delightful balance of sweetness and acidity. The subtle complexity of this Riesling Icewine makes it ideal as an apéritif, but it can be equally enjoyed served with strong blue cheeses or foie gras; or as a dessert with fresh fruit.

Sparkling Vidal Icewine – which is sometimes also referred to as ‘the Champagne of Icewine’ – is a delightful blend of tropical fruit flavours, including apricot, peach and mango. Tiny bubbles burst to the surface to give the wine a lively effervescence. The golden aroma of fruit, laced with lychees, presents a citrus bouquet. "This is a sensuous drink which can be enjoyed at parties, special events or in the privacy of your own home", says Rossana Magnotta. "Whatever the event, Sparkling Vidal Icewine is the perfect dessert wine to celebrate the moment". Sparkling Vidal Icewine has earned over 50 medals including gold at the InterVin World Wine Competition (1998) and gold at the prestigious VinItaly World Wine Competition (1997).

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