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Experience Winter’s Magic in Every Glass of Ohio’s Ice Wine

2 glasses of wine frosted with snow and ice and a decanter behind them all set in a snowy scene alongside a cluster of frozen grapes.

Welcome to the Sweet World of Ice Wine

Imagine sipping a sweet and unique wine born from grapes frozen under the winter sky, where each glass tells a story of frost and flavor. Let’s journey together into the heart of this extraordinary wine and discover how Ohio is celebrating this limited sensation.  

What’s Ice Wine, Anyway?

Ice wine, or ‘Eiswein,’ is a dessert wine known for being sweet and flavorful. The cool part? The grapes are left hanging on the vine until they freeze, usually when it’s cold outside in autumn or winter. This freezing process concentrates the sugars and acids in the grapes, leading to a super sweet juice.

A cluster of purple grapes left on the vine in winter and covered with snow

Making Ice Wine

Making the wine is tricky. The timing must be correct, and you need the perfect cold weather. Farmers wait until about -7 °C (19°F) to pick the grapes, usually at night or early morning. Then, they press these frozen grapes. Because they’re solid, the ice stays behind, and you get this rich, sweet juice. Fermenting this juice takes longer than usual because of all the sugar.

Ohio’s Cool Ice Wine Scene

While places like Canada and Germany are famous for ice wine, Ohio is starting to get noticed, too. Ohio is great for naturally freezing grapes and producing a quality-tasting wine due to its cold winters. 

Celebrating in Ohio: The Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival

Prepare for a delightful journey at the Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival in Ohio every March. This event is a cherished winter tradition, uniting local wineries to celebrate the unique and exquisite flavor.

Celebrating Ice Wine in Ohio: The Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival

Prepare for a delightful journey at the Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival in Ohio every March. This event is a cherished winter tradition, uniting local wineries to celebrate the unique and exquisite ice wine.

Wineries Participating:

  • Debonné Vineyards
  • Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
  • Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant
  • Laurello Vineyards
  • Cask 307 Winery
  • South River Vineyards

Join us for an exquisite afternoon exploring the celebrated wineries of the Grand River Valley. This event offers patrons the opportunity to visit each of the listed wineries in any order they prefer. 

The experience includes tasting the renowned ice wines and savoring delicious appetizers. Plus, each guest will receive a souvenir cordial glass as a memento of this delightful journey. Red Eagle Distillery is also a part of this event, adding a unique twist to the wine-centric festivities.

The festival Saturdays are extra special, featuring vendors, demonstrations, live music, and more. Whether you come on a Saturday for all the excitement or visit during the week for a more intimate experience, it’s an event not to be missed. Area maps are provided at all wineries to help patrons plan their trail, with a pay-as-you-go option at each location.

Enjoying Ice Wine

A glass of this sweet nectar goes well with desserts like fruit pies or rich cheesecakes. It can also contrast to savory foods like rich pâté or strong cheeses. To enjoy its taste, serve it cold in small glasses.

Ice wine is not just a drink; it results from hard work and battling the cold to make something unique. Ohio’s ice wines add an exceptional twist, offering something new for those who love a glass of vino. Whether you’re already into wine or just curious, trying a glass is a memorable experience.

Visiting Ohio’s Vineyards

Where to Eat and Stay

After a day of wine tasting, head to Crosswinds Grille for a fantastic meal that complements your wine experience. With a fresh and in-season local menu, you can enjoy savory dishes, charcuterie and cheese boards, and more. During the festival weekends, remember to make reservations as it gets busy.

And for a perfect end to your day, consider staying at The Lakehouse Inn. Book a cozy room like The Lake Erie Suite and enjoy top-notch amenities, including farm-to-table breakfasts, dinner at Crosswinds Grille, and luxurious spa treatments.

Don’t miss out on this unique Ohio experience. The Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival blends delicious wine, great food, and beautiful scenery – a true celebration of Ohio’s winter wonderland.

Ohio’s Commitment to the Art of Ice Wines

Ohio’s expertise in creating each bottle, a product of winter’s embrace, showcases its commitment to exceptional winemaking. The Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival is more than an annual event; it’s a tribute to the resilience and beauty inherent in nature’s coldest months.

A hand is holding out a glass of white ice wine against a backdrop of a  barren vineyard in the winter.

Each sip of Ohio’s ice wine offers a glimpse into the splendor of winter, inviting both connoisseurs and newcomers to discover its unique charm. Ohio’s ice wines are a celebration of winter’s unexpected gifts, combining the art of winemaking with the magic of the season.

Visit the Winter Edition of Compass Ohio for stories and information on the exciting growth the wineries and craft beer industry are experiencing across the state and beyond.

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