If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know two things about me: I love Niagara Falls and I love wine. Although my weekends in Niagara Falls are usually filled with kid-friendly activities, I’ve carved out some time for a girls’ weekend escape to the 2017 Niagara Icewine Festival. Here’s why you should too.
The Icewine Festival
The Niagara region in Ontario is known for its wine. People flock to the vineyards all summer long to ride bikes and taste some of the best wine North America has to offer. In winter, the star of the show is the Icewine Festival. For 3 weeks in January, Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake fill with wine enthusiasts, foodies, and music lovers who gather to celebrate the icewine season. Outdoor street festivals and parties welcome wine drinkers from all over as they spend their days strolling and discovering all that the VQA wines have to offer.
Icewine, if you haven’t tried it yet, is a wine made from grapes that have been left to freeze naturally on the vine. The weather in Niagara is perfect as the warm summers ripen the grapes and the winter gets cold enough to freeze the grapes without getting too cold. Ontario is recognized as producing some of the best Icewine in the world.
The biggest party of the Icewine season is definitely the Icewine Gala. Taking place at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, the event is a showcase of some of the best Ontario has to offer. Icewine, Late Harvest, Sparkling wine and premium white and red wines are paired with dishes prepared by Fallsview’s top chefs. This year’s theme is Sugar & Spice….Everything Ice, so pull out your sweetest outfits as this is going to be party to remember. Tickets are $185 a person and available for purchase at NiagaraWineFestival.com.
Icewine Festival Weekend Events
The festival stretches over three weekends and there is plenty to do and try. Opening weekend (January 13-15th) offers up the Twenty Valley Winter WineFest where premium wines and food take over the quaint streets of the Jordan Village. A not- to-be -missed highlight of the event will be when celebrity chef and cookbook author David Rocco makes his Winter WineFest debut as headline chef of both a dinner and the well loved Icewine Brunch. Tickets for the dinner on January 14th and the brunch on Sunday January 15th at Inn on the Twenty are still available here.
The following weekend (January 21st and 22nd) the party moves to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a festival for events that include the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine village and the Sparkle and Ice Diamond Gala.
The final weekend of the festival brings wine lovers together at the Scotiabank Convention Centre for the Niagara Falls Icewine Festival from January 27th through the 30th. Over 20 Niagara wineries offer wines paired with dishes from 10 top Niagara chefs. There’s music and even an outdoor Icewine Winter Wonderland which ice sculptures and light displays.
Niagara Wine Festival Discovery Pass
Each weekend of the Icewine Festival offers the chance to use the Niagara Wine Festival Discovery Pass. The pass available here, gives you access to 8 winery experiences throughout the festival where a select wine is served with a unique food pairing at each stop.
2017 Niagara Icewine Festival
Stretching over three weeks, the Niagara Icewine Festival is perfect for a romantic escape, girl’s weekend and more. Now the only question is what are you going to wear to the gala?