By Melissa Dobson, Finger Lakes News Correspondent

IcewineMention ice wine and most everyone thinks of Canada and the Niagara Ice Wine Festival held each year in Niagara-On-The-Lake, now in its 14th year. Although Niagara On-the-Lake, Ontario may be the first region to come to mind, New York's producers are looking to show off their offerings and educate wine lovers on the distinctiveness of their ice wines during the first New York Ice Wine Festival being held at Casa Larga Vineyards in Fairport, NY just outside of Rochester.

Kicking off on February 8, 2009 and running through the month of February, the New York Ice Wine Festival provides an opportunity to taste and get-to-know some of the top ice wines in New York State, specifically those from Casa Larga, Hunt Country Vineyards and Sheldrake Point Vineyards.  Although best-known for riesling, cabernet franc and merlot, many in the industry have identified a real opportunity for the New York wine industry in their ice wines. 

As Lenn mentioned previously, recent accolades include Best Dessert Wine trophy for Casa Larga's 2005 Fiori Vidal Ice Wine at the 2008 International Wine & Spirits Competition in London and a score of 90-points by James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator for Standing Stone Vineyards 2007 Vidal Ice Wine.

Highlights of the festival include:

  • February 8th (12:00-5:00 PM)-Fire & Ice Festival at Casa Larga Vineyards
  • February 12th (6:30 PM)-An Evening with the New York Ice Wine Makers
  • February 16th (7:00 PM)-"It's an Ice Wine World" Seminar
  • February 27th (6:30 PM)-Fiori Gala Dinner

One last reason to attend — to support your local wineries and contribute to the economy of New York State.