Friday, January 19, 2007

Fake Icewine warning......!!!

(click to enlarge pictures) Fake icewine label and Victoria, Vancouver Island's largest selection of Icewines at The Wine Barrel.
British Columbia had an outstanding Icewine crop for the 2006 vintage. (see my December 3 entry in archives) Other areas in the eastern states and Ontario have not had the required Icewine temperatures and most icewine makers have all but given up hope of picking grapes for this vintage. Some have picked the grapes set aside for icewine production and are turning it into late harvest dessert wines. Ontario did get a cold snap this past week and some Icewine harvesting is happening there. With an increasing interest in and popularity of Icewine there will be a shortage of Icewines next year. China will be making icewines but they won't be the real thing. Natural frosts with the grapes allowed to stay on the vine and picking the grapes in the summer and then using a deep freeze are just not the same. Because of the potential shortage watch for the imitation and fake icewines to come on the market in increased numbers. If it is a true Canadian Icewine look for the VQA designation on the label. Often fake icewine labels have some grammatical errors as well as spelling mistakes as in the above label. They dance around the word "icewine" carefully and use confusing language. One final note. With all that has been written these past weeks on Icewines there is one point that needs correction if you run across it. There are temperature and minimum brix requirements but there are no date restrictions. The grapes can be picked any time when the temperature drops to -8 degrees Centigrade and not November 15 as I have seen in some publications. I know, because I have discussed this with the world's expert on Icewine, John Schreiner. I hope you will get the opportunity to enjoy a "real "Icewine sometime soon.

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