By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Correspondent
The more I get out and see what some other wine regions sell as dessert wine, and specifically how much they charge, the more I realize just how precious the climate of the Niagara USA wine region really is. While they do get a lot of local press, it's great to see national recognition of these small wineries' icewines. Schulze Vineyards & Winery just received a gold medal for their 2008 Vidal Icewine at the Riverside Wine Competition in California. Ann and Martin Schulze were thrilled when they read the news on the New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s website.
Last time I visited the winery, Ann greeted me with a “Did you hear? We got our gold!"
As recent as last April, Wine Enthusiast included a photo and review of Niagara Landing’s
2007 Vidal Icewine with a score of 86 points. Last year the same wine
was awarded a gold at the New York Food & Wine Classic. Arrowhead Spring Vineyards & Winery also got rave reviews
from Wine Spectator recently for their 2005 Vidal Icewine with a 90
point score, a rare achievement for a New York State winery.
With 2009 bringing the addition of some interesting varieties other than Vidal for ice wines, I hope the momentum keeps moving in this direction as the world outside of this small community realizes they don’t need to shell out the big bucks to drink Ontario dessert wine.
They may just find comparable quality from Niagara USA’s wineries at half the price.