The earliest version of "Frosty the Snowman" alludes to the cause of eponymous hero's jolly demeanour with the line “there must have been some wine left in that old bottle they found, for when he placed it to his lips, he began to dance around." Get into the holiday spirit with today's Groupon to The Ice House Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Ice House crafts Grand Gold award-winning Northern Ice icewines in a cozy 19th-century peach-packing barn that has been refurbished for atmospheric tasting and scenic savouring. Winemaker Jamie Macfarlane welcomes guests like old friends and barrel brethren with chilly concoctions that the Niagara wine region is known for worldwide. Today's Groupon includes a tour of the winery where visitors learn how frost-bitten grapes, rather than fermented cubes of frozen Icy Hot, are used to craft these luscious libations. Post-tour, visitors can sample an icewine slushee, a Northern Ice Vidal Blanc icewine served with a spicy snack, and the rare (and difficult to capture) Northern Ice Cabernet Sauvignon icewine, served with chocolate. Visit Ice House's Northern Ice page to learn more about their snowy sippables.
- Ice wine is something rather unique and this particular winery specializes in only ice wine. They are friendly and knowledgeable about their products. You can taste the wines and then make your selection. – meggy1017, TripAdvisor
- Amazing ice wine! We sampled the ice wine and ice wine slushies. Yum! – LakeHighlandsMom, TripAdvisor
The Ice House Winery
Though most people may picture winemakers among sunny coastal knolls, Jamie Macfarlane can often be found staying up late each December, waiting for the thermometer to hit -8 degrees Celsius. It's at that point—frigid, quiet, dark—that Jamie knows his Vidal grapes are ready for harvest. Left to freeze, thaw, and freeze again, the grapes have already matured throughout the season, allowing the robust notes of pear, peach, cherry, plum, fig, and honey to develop under the outer layer of stone-cold skin.
Once the mercury hits -8 degrees, Jamie and his team head out to the vines to handpick the grapes while they're still frozen. They rush them to the winery, press them through the night, and transfer the concentrated must to the fermenting tanks before the sun rises and demands its keg of morning coffee. The Ice House Winery grows Vidal, Cabernet, and Riesling varietals. In the tasting bar at The Ice House Winery, visitors can peer at these batches-in-progress as they lean on a rough-cut support beam or barrel table, listening to Jamie spin yarns about the days when his grapes were still young and in diapers.
14778 Niagara Parkway
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0Get Directions