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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Initial icewine weekend is a wintry wonderland
Just about wherever you go in NOTL to hear live music, you’ll be impressed by the quality of the performances, says columnist Ross Robinson. FILE/DAVE VAN DE LAAR Dave Van de Laar

Whether you come to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival for the drinks, the food, the history or the sights, the festival’s first weekend had it all.

Guests had the opportunity to learn a bit about icewine, from its origins to how it can be used in recipes, or they could simply enjoy a sample in the scenic, snowy weather.

In her kickoff presentation Sundays about the history of icewine, Andrea Kaiser noted how lucky NOTL is to have “brought global attention with this unique product.”

“We’re very proud to have such an amazing product and we’re happy to share it with you today.”

Eighteen different NOTL wineries and 15 restaurants offered unique tastes of icewine and pairings for visitors to enjoy as they meandered along Queen Street.

Giulia Burattini, a wine consultant at Reif Estate Winery, offered a description of Reid’s Cabernet icewine, one of the few reds offered at the festival.

“Red icewines are a little more unique. Not every winery makes one but we were able to since we had a good crop that year,” she said.

Niagara residents Eva Jones and Scott Falk appreciated the variety of offerings.

“It’s always so fun,” said Falk. “The Konzelmann is my favourite.”

“The Cab Franc was really good,” added Jones, noting its uniqueness.

Coming to NOTL from Vaughan, Ann Grech appreciated the beautiful snowy weather, saying it made the day that much better.

 “It made everything very picturesque.”

Ryan Gilbert, a tasting server at Palatine Hills, was happy to be back at the festival again after its two-year hiatus from in-person festivities.

“It’s been great to be amongst the energy here on the street now that we can have the Icewine Festival again. We’re going to keep the dentist busy for sure,” he laughed.

Aside from tastings, visitors could take in “Icewine Cocktail Reimagined” and “Cooking With Icewine” presentations by Niagara College, as well as performances from George St. Kitts and Avenue Inn.

The festival concludes this Saturday and Sunday and features the Icewine Cocktail Competition on Saturday evening.

To buy packages for the festival or affiliated events, check out Niagara-on-the-Lake Tourism at niagaraonthelake.com. Tokens and festival packs can also be purchased on-site.

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