The other day I was sitting at the Montreal, Canada airport lounge situated opposite the Duty Free shop and was astounded at what I was noticing in front of me. I was observing crowds of people cueing at the tills to be able to pay for their numerous bottles of wine before they get on their flights to destinations all over the world. The wine of choice and what was by far being purchased the most was fruit icewine locally made in the province.
This style of fruit wine is literally flying off the shelves!
Fruit icewine is one of the most interesting phenomenons occurring in the commercial fruit winemaking industry today.
The emergence of ice fruit wines made through cryo-extraction or the freeze fractioning method is being noticed on a worldwide basis with premium wines such as apple icewine now being available at duty free shops in most international airports and in fine wine shops throughout Asia.
These wines are on par with their grape based icewine cousins in terms of sweetness, complexity, intensity of flavour as well as price and I would even venture to say a more interesting alternative to other dessert wines available.
Canada is the leader in grape icewine production in terms of volume and quality reputation. It is also keeping this title as a leader of fruit icewine making. Excellent fruit ice wines are being made at many Canadian wineries for both domestic and export markets.
A few excellent fruit ice wines that I am particularly fond of are the Norfolk Estate Ice Apple and the Qanuk Estate Winery Apple Icewine from Ontario, Canada as well as the highly awarded “Iced Apple” made from the Fuji variety at Forbidden Fruit Winery in BC which is also an apple Icewine.
In Quebec, fruit ice wines (or Ice Ciders as they are called there) have become the flagship wine for the area and many different varieties are available in most local wine stores.
Fruit ice wines are being produced in the USA and now even in China so you will be sure to some day have the chance to try this amazing elixir!