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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival Celebrates Its 10th Year; Event Continues March 9 and 16

Ice Wine Fest 008Madison, Ohio – The 10th Annual Ice Wine Festival sponsored by the Wineries of the Grand River Valley is now underway with special events and delicious ice wine. The event continues Saturday, March 9, and  Saturday, March 16, from noon to 5:00 PM. The cost is $6 per person at each winery. In an effort to help the local food banks, the wineries are encouraging everyone to bring in canned food items for which they will receive $1 off at each location. For more information about the Ice Wine Festival call (440) 466-3485 or visit http://www.debonne.com for a list of details and a map.

Ten years ago a small group of wineries got together and decided to create a festival to showcase their ice wines, a wine that can only be made in certain parts of the world. What originally started as a one day festival drawing 250 people has grown to a three-day festival over the course of three weekends drawing close to 3,000 patrons. "Ice Wine Groupies" from all around the state and neighboring states come to the Grand River Valley wine region in Northeastern Ohio to taste this golden nectar of the gods called Ice Wine.

The festival consists of five area wineries all within a 10-minute drive of each other. Patrons begin at the winery of their choice for this fun, progressive Ice Wine tasting throughout the Grand River Valley wine region. Participating wineries include Debonne Vineyards, Ferrante Winery & Ristorante, Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant, Laurello Vineyards, and St. Joseph Vineyards.

Making this event a progressive tasting is one of the reasons the event is such a draw. Patrons will have a unique experience at every winery and will be able to see different sights around the area. Many wineries have added “extras” for people to enjoy. Some of the extras include special wine dinners, ice carving, dog sledding, food demonstrations and several artisans. Most of these “extras” are free but some will cost the patron a small additional charge. 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.

"It is wonderful for people to come and celebrate the harvest of this special wine", says Cindy Lindberg, event coordinator and president of Grand River Cellars Winery. "Coming to this festival truly engages the consumer in the celebration of ice wine with all the added extras this festival has to offer. Many wineries have the patrons downstairs in their private cellars, or roasting ice wine marshmallows, or relaxing and looking at juried crafts while sipping on their ice wine. It's an opportunity to get out and embrace the cold weather and have a great time doing it."

The wines featured at the Ice Wine Festival are ‘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. Once the grapes are truly frozen, and the temperature reaches 17 degrees or less, the grapes are picked and pressed immediately before they have a chance to thaw. This year's harvest was December 4th as we picked throughout the night and into the early morning.

Out of town guests will be sure to want to check the local visitors bureau's websites for places to stay the night. Since the Ice Wine Festival is in March, many of our hotels and restaurants are able to give top-notch service because it is a slower time of year and are able to offer wonderful amenities and are much less crowded.

Participants will need to determine a starting point at one of the participating wineries in the Grand River Valley. Each winery will provide a sample of their wines, an ice wine glass, and a complimentary appetizer. The event begins at noon and ends at 5 p.m.

Appetizer Menu & Special Events

DEBONNE’ VINEYARDS: Blueberry & Blue Cheese Spread. Featuring Ice Carving at 2:00 PM; Sled Dog Demonstration. Ice Wine Martini Bar (small additional fee). Winter Glow Progressive Dinner- each Friday evening. Call 440-466-3485 for more information on the dinner.

FERRANTE WINERY & RISTORANTE: Vidal Blanc Wine Peach Ravioli. Cooking Demonstration 1:00 PM; “A Touch of Glass” featuring Grape Jewelry. 3 Course Ice Wine Pairing Dinners March 1st, 8th, & 15th.

GRAND RIVER CELLARS WINERY & RESTAURANT: Blue Cheese Mousse topped with Crumbled Bacon. Featuring Ice Carving at 12:00 PM. Wine jelly samples and sales by Gathering Place. Ice Wine Marshmallow Roast All Day (small additional fee). Winter Glow Progressive Dinner- each Friday evening. Call 440-298-9838 for more information.

LAURELLO VINEYARDS: Savory Caramelized Onion & Bacon Crostini topped with Thyme Goat Cheese Mousse. Featuring Beach Glass Jewelry & Pottery.

ST. JOSEPH VINEYARDS: Golden Pound Cake drizzled with Warm Maple Syrup & Caramelized Nuts. Art Work featuring Jeff Suntala. Krzys Family Maple Syrup Demonstration.

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