• BC VQA Okanagan Valley

What is Icewine

Our region is blessed with ideal conditions for producing award winning Icewines.  Icewine is traditionaly a unique sweet wine produced from the juice of naturally frozen grapes that are grown and picked in our British Columbia winter conditions. Icewine orginated in Germany as Eiswein, with commercial production beginning there in the 1960’s.  And, although the production of Icewine in Canada began a century later, the country and British Columbia is now the largest producer in the world!

Look and Taste
  • Icewines have very intense flavors, a sweet rich bouquet, with smoothness and aromas uncomparable to other wines. Tastes vary from a mixture of tropical fruits, honey, mango, nuts, spices and floral aromas.
  • All varietals are sweet, but with a firm backbone of acidity, making them perfectly balanced.
How is Icewine produced

Our season starts with netting the grape vines in the autumn, to protect the grapes from being devoured by birds. Grapes are left on the vine until a sustained temperature of -8°C or lower is reached (sometime between December and February). During the time between the end of the growing season and harvest, the grapes dehydrate, concentrating the juices and creating the characteristic complexities of Icewine.


Our team carefully watch the weather, looking for an optimum stretch of temperatures between -10°C and -12°C. This range will produce very sweet juice in the range of 35°Bx to 39°Bx (degrees Brix, a measurement of sugar). Typically, a period of at least six hours is needed to harvest and press the grapes—usually during the night. Our red Icewine grapes are all harvested by hand.


While still frozen, the harvested grapes are pressed, leaving most of the water behind as crystalized ice. Only a small amount of concentrated juice is extracted. Juice yields for Icewine grapes are much lower than for table wines—in fact,  it takes 30-35 pounds of grapes for one bottle of white Icewine and 50-65 pounds for our red Icewine. The juice is very sweet and can be difficult to ferment. High sugars can create a hostile environment for the yeast, and fermentation stops early, leaving relatively low alcohol and high sugar levels in the finished wine.


Icewine production is highly regulated in British Columbia under the VQA Act. Strict standards are always monitored from our vineyards-to-the- bottle including adhereAt Grizzli Winery, we take pride in producing premium quality wines that go through the most intricate procedures. Few regions around the world are able to match the perfect conditions of the mountains, lakes, fresh air and intense sunlight of the Okanagan Valley to produce quality Icewine vintages. As the grapes naturally freeze on the vines during the winter, we patiently wait until the coldest frost -8oC to -14oC to hand-harvest our Icewine grapes. The perplexing flavours of lychee, mango and melon and in sync with the overpowering aromas of honey and ripe peach. Our Gewürztraminer finishes with mild notes of vanilla. Pairs beautifully with strong cheeses or drizzled over a rich cheesecake.nce to grape varieties, harvest procedures, winemaking and testing the wines prior to being released.


How is Icewine best served?

Though traditionally a dessert wine, our ‘dessert in a glass’  can also be served as a starter, with fresh fruit like kiwi, soft creamy cheeses, or enjoyed on their own.  Our signature red Icewine is deliciously served with dark chocolate.


How long will an open bottle of Icewine last? Are there any other uses for Icewine?
  • Due to the high sugar content, an open bottle of Icewine will last 10 days after opening if re-corked and stored in the frige.
  • Icewines can be very versatile.  They have been used as ingredients in several cocktails and there are numerous recipes that incorporate Icewine.


o Varietals

• Each grape variety has its own distinctive character.  These differences are just as evident in Icewines as they are in our table wines.  As an example,  Riesling Chardonnay is a classic Icewine which boasts intense honey flavor as well as flavours of lychee and green apples.