It’s the season for ice wine in the Grand Traverse region, but it’s truly precise cold-weather conditions that are key for the decadent dessert wine. In fact, northern Michigan is home to one of the rarest products in the wine industry when it comes to ice wine. In fact, the grapes need to be frozen in order for the wine process to start.
“It really has to be frozen on the vine which sets it apart from every other wine that we make because it has to be below 15 degrees with the sugar in it and it freezes in the lower temperatures. So, we are waiting for temperatures to be between 10 and 15 degrees which is a little bit cooler than other places,” says Chateau Chantal head winemaker, Brian Hosmer.
That’s why Chateau Chantal on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City which currently creates three types of ice wines, celebrates this northern wine with their Ice Wine Festival.
The family-friendly event is in its third year and includes everything from an outdoor tour through the snowy wine yards, inside ice wine productions, snowshoe hikes, ice sculptures, fire pits with s’more making for the kids and of course ice wine tasting. The Ice Wine Festival is Saturday, January 25th from 11 am to 5 p.m. and is free for people of all ages.
Once the festival wraps up at 5 p.m. people are also invited to attend the Fire & Ice Wine Dinner which starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are required for this event.
The 7-course wine dinner is prepared by Chateau Chantal’s in-house chef and their head winemaker.
For more information about the Third Annual Ice Wine Festival and tickets for the Fire & Ice Wine Dinner