Grand River Valley’s Ice Wine Festival Turns into Ice Wine Trail to Follow at Your Own Pace

Photo by Faisal Akron/CC

Through April 30

While the vineyards of the Grand River Valley Wine Region passed on holding their 18th Annual Ice Wine Festival this year, which usually takes place in March, they’re not shutting our ice wine lovers entirely.

If you’re a fan of this limited-quantity drink made from grapes that have frozen, they’re offering the month long Ice Wine Trail, providing more days and hours to visit the participating wineries: Debonné Vineyards, Ferrante Winery & Ristorante, Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant, Laurello Vineyards, Cask 307 Winery and South River Vineyards. Most will be open Sunday-Friday @ noon-5pm and Saturdays @ 11am-5pm all month for the event (although not all are open seven days, so check their websites).

By pushing the event back to April, the wineries were hoping for more nice weather for outdoor seating and more people vaccinated. While there won’t be any special events, such as ice carving and dog sled demonstrations, this year,  each winery will be offering two wine samples, at least one of them an ice wine, paired with an appropriate appetizer. Each will also have its own souvenir wine glass and some will have ice wine specialty items such as Grand River Cellars’ ice wine marshmallows or Ferrante Wintery’s ice wine kettle corn.

In case you’re not familiar with ice wine, they explain, “True ice wine can only be made when the grapes are left on the vines at the end of the traditional harvest season and await Mother Nature to shift seasons from fall to winter.  Once the grapes are truly frozen, with temperatures below 17 degrees, the grapes are picked and pressed immediately before they have a chance to thaw.”

Each winery will provide a sample of their wines, an ice wine glass, and a complimentary appetizer for $6 per person. For more information go here.


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