Posts Tagged ‘Festival’

Grape Harvest Festival in Mendoza, Argentina

Grape Harvest Festival in Mendoza, Argentina

A first look at vintage quality in South America, with eyewitness reports from growers and winemakers

Ready to taste the first wines of 2013? While vines are just flowering in Europe and North America, the Southern Hemisphere has picked, crushed and fermented this year’s crop. Argentina and Chile experienced a cool growing season, which left vintners waiting for grapes to fully ripen. That wasn’t a problem for big reds like Argentina’s Malbecs and Chile’s Cabernet Sauvignon, but it could be trouble for Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.

Here’s a sneak peek at the upcoming vintage. Check out Wednesday’s report on Australia and New Zealand and come back Friday for details on South Africa.

Argentina
The good news: A long, cool growing season produced what many winemakers are calling fresh wines

The bad news: Up and down temperatures tested winemakers’ patience and required long hang times for grapes to reach full maturation

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How to behave at a wine fest.

How to behave at a wine fest.

 

A bit of advice from Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain, Washington:

– Don’t tether your wine glass to your neck
– Don’t pinch your fingers and say, “Just a little.” Dump it if you don’t want to finish it, but I’m going to pour as much as I damn well please
– Don’t violently lift your glass mid-pour and say, “That’s enough.” Same deal as above.
– Don’t say, “Give me the biggest thing you have.” This isn’t NASCAR.
– Let “smooth” take the day off from your vocabulary… the whole day
– Don’t shove. I mean… really
– Don’t say you hate Merlot. We all saw Sideways. Guess what: Miles didn’t want to drink Merlot because it reminded him of his ex-wife. That bottle he drank in the end—his most precious bottle—had a ton of Merlot in it. 
– Don’t tell every winemaker about the winery that was down the street while you lived in Lodi
– Don’t ask how the wine scored… ever. 
– Do wear a “Wine’er, Dine’er, 69’er T-shirt
– If you are going to wear one of the those little food trays that has a cutout for your glass, you better be damn sure you are cool enough to wear it. Note: no one is that cool
– Over-buff late thirties guy: Don’t try to impress your date by contradicting me. You’re going to fail. Yeah, try me
– Don’t lick your glass… pig
– Don’t talk about your sulfite allergy. There is a good chance you have no idea what you’re talking about
– Don’t dump into the water pitcher. And always look before you drink out of it
– Practice spitting at home; it will come in handy
– Don’t talk about the legs after you swirl the glass. Here’s a tip: the legs don’t matter.
– Don’t take your heels off and puke in the lobby
– Don’t ask what the most expensive wine on the table is
– Keep the rim of your glass food free
– If you proclaim that you don’t like white or rose, we will make fun of you when you walk away
– NO Perfume! And go light on the lipstick, honey

Frozen Canadian grapes!

Frozen Canadian grapes!

 

In the Ontario town of Beamsville, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Niagara Falls, a small crowd of bundled-up figures crouched in a moonlit vineyard on a frigid January night, picking a crop of hard-frozen Gewurztraminer grapes.

With stars shining overhead and ice crystals glittering in the air, the temperature had dropped to minus 10 Celsius, or 14 Fahrenheit. Conditions were nearly perfect to harvest fruit for this year’s ice wine, a Canadian speciality.

Malivoire, one of the Niagara region’s boutique wineries, picks its ice wine grapes by hand. For this annual rite of winter it relies on a corps of more than a dozen volunteers, selected by a lottery, to get the grapes off the vine and crushed at just the right moment.

One of those chosen for this year’s harvest was Susan Smith, 64, a first-time picker who said she was attracted to the mystique of ice wine.

“This experience is something I’ve wanted to have for a long time,” she said. “Having those juicy, fragrant little bunches in your hands and being out under the stars.”

COMPLEX, FRUITY

Ice wine is almost a nectar that is rich with the flavours of apple, peach and apricot. Its hints of honey, nuts and, maybe, a dash of caramel provide a refreshing counterpoint to a blue cheese or fruit-based dessert.

“There is nothing else quite like ice wine … It’s a guilty pleasure,” said Eric Nixon, who works at Malivoire, adding that the wines – which sell for about double the price of most non-vintage Champagnes – are often associated with special occasions.
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"Icewine"

“Icewine”

 

Ontario winemakers have started to wait patiently for temperatures to reach a minimum of minus 8˚ Celsius; just right for the winter harvest of one of Canada’s most cherished products, Ontario Icewine. While the harvest date of Icewine changes every year, the time for its biggest celebration is always the same. Wine Country Ontario is home to Niagara’s annual Icewine Festival and every January, the region turns into a wintry wonderland of Icewine sensations and unforgettable Icewine-inspired experiences.
Unique in the wine world, the Icewine Festival is a time when consumers have the best opportunity to discover and enjoy the delicious and luscious sensations of Icewine.

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