Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Winter brings snow which I do no longer care for! But what it also brings is the perfect conditions for icewine. Grape growers in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario are jumping for joy.

Icewine is a rare gift from a magical Canadian winter. Picked at the coldest moment of a winter's night, each frozen grape creates just one drop of Icewine. One smooth rich, luxurious drop. Peller Estates

One of nature's most exquisite gifts one of the world's most luscious and celebrated wines. It is one of the most difficult and challenging processes for the winemaker. (1)

Canada is the world leader in producing amazing Ice Wines.

When harvesting, the grapes must be in their natural frozen state ideal temp -10 to -13 C  in Ontario with similar standards in all provinces.

I tasted my first icewine back in 1999 when an Ontario winery sent along a bottle of icewine to try. I did not care for it. It was thick like syrup. Perhaps damaged in shipping.

It was not until 2004 when visiting Inniskillin Winery in Ontario when I was asked to give icewine another try by Debra Pratt. This time it was sensational and I fell hard for this exotic beverage. Inniskillin co-founders Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser played a major role in making Icewine synonymous with Canada. The winery began producing icewine in 1983. In 1991, they won one of the world's most distinguished wine awards: Le Grand Prix d'Honneur Vinexpo, Bordeaux for their 1987 Icewine.

For additional information on Icewine visit

For information on Debra Pratt

Friday, February 8, 2019

Hester Creek Vineyards located on the Golden Mile in Oliver, British Columbia has a unique dining room.Terrafina is a gorgeous Tuscan style restaurant nestled amongst the vines of Hester Creek.

Hester Creek is properly best known for its icon red The Judge . Although the winery is among the Okanagan's oldest it has a new wine shop and tasting room for visitors to enjoy. There is a relaxing patio and a guest villa. Also a new 23,000 square foot state-of-the-art wine producing facility. The 35,000 case capacity winery for crush 2009 is partially buried in the hill to take advantage of the natural temperature control of the earth and thereby reduce the need for energy. The cellar room is completely underground and the site’s natural vegetation has been restored on the top of the building.

Terrafina is small a larger indoor seating area would be nice. On our last visit to the Okanagan the temperatures where in the low eighties so my dear wife and I dined on the patio. A most relaxing setting.

I had the  Cavatelli Bolognese, slow cooked, beef, veal and pork parmesan Evoo. I enjoyed this dish with their Pinot Gris. Barbara chose a Naples style thin crust pizza along with a Cab Franc.

The hospitality and service was five star. The cuisine was delicious! The wines amazing!

We went home with a bottle of Trebbiano. To me its a must try wine.