The grapes must freeze on the vine in their natural state. To ensure only the best quality grape is harvested, our crew will hand pick all the fruit to produce ice wine.
Because Canada is recognized as the world’s largest and highest quality producer of ice wine , the DDW vineyard and winemaking team base our standards from our neighbors to the north. The Canadian criteria require production to occur in the same geographical location as the grapes are harvested. These grapes are immediately processed in their natural state. The berries are still frozen when pressed, so the process takes three to four times as long as a standard press cycle. The volume of juice captured is about one half the normal amount because much of the water is frozen and stays in the press.
At this time, our winemaking team monitors sweetness levels, measured in brix (grams per liter). Our finished juice will have a much higher degree of brix, or % of natural grape sugar than a traditional table wine. Delicate handling of the juice during fermentation is necessary, and fermentation will take up to a month to complete. This is three to four times longer than fermentation of a table wine.
When DDW ice wine is ready to bottle, the resulting residual sugar and alcohol levels are exclusively derived from the natural sugars from the grapes.
The 2017 vintage of our ice wine Hula is currently available for purchase in our tasting room. More information will come as we prepare the new vintage of ice wine at Dancing Dragonfly Winery.