The grapes to produce Vidal Icewine Pelee Island were pressed before they were allowed to thaw. The resulting juice has a very high concentration of natural sugars and acidity. Once pressed, the juice was very slowly fermented, spending 10 to 14 weeks in stainless steel. When the Vidal Icewine Pelee Island (375ml) fermentation was complete, the wine was left in tank to mature for a further four months, retaining the purity of the Pelee Island fruit.
The vineyards are managed using sustainable principles. No insecticides are used in the vineyards and only a 100% island grown natural fertiliser, sorghum soudan grass, is applied. The soil is Toledo clay with a limestone base found two to ten feet from the
surface. The soils are well developed and highly calcareous indicative of very good fertility and intense biological activity.. The ideal vineyard sites are located at the centre of the island where deeper soils encourage and ensure properly set root systems, as much of the island is concave and below the surface of Lake Erie drainage pipes expel excessive rainfall. This excess water is carried into the island’s century old dyke system. Winds coming off the lake ensure consistent air flow through the vineyards, limiting humidity and possible disease. The Vidal grapes for the Icewine are harvested during the third week of December, once they have reached 40 degrees Brix and are picked while still thoroughly frozen.
Pelee Island is Canada’s largest independent winery and also the largest estate vineyard covering 600 acres. Nestled in the western basin of Lake Erie, Pelee Island is Canada’s Southern most inhabited tip of land. Home to over 10,000 indigenous species, Pelee Island is the environmental pride of Canada. Below the 41st parallel, it is as far south as Mendocino, California, Rome and Madrid and is Canada’s warmest region with a growing season over 50 days longer than mainland Canada.
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