WXXI AM News

Ice Wine festival returns for a 12th year

Feb 14, 2020

The largest ice wine tasting festival and celebration in the state comes back to Casa Larga Vineyards this weekend, with the 12th annual New York Ice Wine and Culinary Festival.

The winery was started in the 1970s by Andrea O'Neill's parents, and she's been involved in the ice wine festival since it started.

Credit casalarga.com

She said making ice wine is not an easy process.

"Not every winery wants to do it,” she said.  "We love hosting this event. The whole idea was to educate consumers about ice wine, and the fact that even though it's very cold here, we fortunately get two harvests -- the winter harvest and the fall harvest.

"Ice wine is not something you can have everywhere in the world," she added. "You know, it has to be very cold, in order for it to be produced.  So there's a lot to learn, and there are so many different styles."

O’Neill says to produce ice wine, it needs to be 17 degrees or below for 24 to 48 hours.

The frozen grapes are then picked and pressed, producing a juice with a high sugar content.

People can learn about the ice wine making process, take part in wine tastings, try ice wine-infused food and more at the festival.

The event continues to grow, and O'Neill said they're hosting two different sessions to accommodate the increasing number of visitors.

The festival is Saturday at Casa Larga Vineyards and Winery in Fairport.