Thursday, March 3, 2011

Northeast Ohio's 8th Annual Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival Begins March 5

Bookmark and Share   The 8th annual Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival begins Saturday, March 5, and
Photo of ice wine grapes, frozen on the vine. ...Image via Wikipedia
continues for the next two Saturdays (March 12 and 19. Proceeds from the event will help local food banks.The festival will include ice wine tasting, special dinners and more.

Five wineries in the Grand River Valley wine region of Northeast Ohio, each within a 10-minute drive of the next, will participate:
-- Debonne Vineyards
-- Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
-- Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant
-- Laurello Vineyards
-- St. Joseph Vineyards

"Each of the five wineries are very different," says Kim Laurello, of Laurello Vineyards. "Because of this, participants will have a unique experience at each of them, and different activities are offered at each location."

Options include special wine dinners, ice carving, dog sledding, cooking demonstrations, and the work of several artisans. In addition, many of the winemakers will be on hand for people to talk to and other wines will be available for people to taste."

Participants will need to determine a starting point at one of the participating wineries. Each winery will provide a sample of its wines, along with a complimentary appetizer.

The event begins at noon and ends at 5 p.m. The cost is $5 per person at each winery. In an effort to help the local food banks, the wineries are encouraging everyone to donate canned food items, for which they will receive $1 off at each location.

Ice wine is a labor of love in the wine industry, and one that the Grand River Valley Wineries believe is worth celebrating.

"This year the ice wine harvest saw the harshest conditions," says Tony Debevc, of Debonne Vineyards. "A blizzard blew into the region, temperatures dropped, and the picking crews were called in."

Debevc described the wines featured at the Ice Wine Festival as "true" ice wines.

"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," he said. "Once the grapes are truly frozen, reaching temperatures below 17 degrees, the grapes are picked and pressed immediately before they have a chance to thaw."

A list of lodging packages is available on the winegrowers' website, http://www.wggrv.com/. For more information about the Ice Wine Festival call (440) 466-3485 or visit http://www.wggrv.com/ for a list of details and a map. 
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