Ontario winery Royal DeMaria has produced one of the world’s most expensive Icewines – eight times the price of any similar product.
The 10ha winery in Vineland, Ontario has produced the world’s first Meritage Icewine. Meritage, a term coined in California, is a New World wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
A 37.5cl bottle costs CAN$395 (€246). The average price for Ontario icewines in half bottles is about CAN$50. A half-bottle of 1982 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild – made incidentally from more or less the same grapes – should cost less. The best German Eisweins are a fraction of the price.
While most Ontario wineries make Icewine from Riesling and Vidal, and sometimes Gewurztraminer or Cabernet Franc, Joseph DeMaria makes this from twelve different varieties, including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Muscat Ottonel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Gamay and as well as the more conventional Riesling and Vidal.
DeMaria began making Icewine in 1998 and has won 89 medals in competitions around the world for his products, including five golds at the Concours Mondial in Brussels in January this year and a double gold at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester New York, in March. This is the fourth consecutive year that Royal DeMaria has won Double Gold in this competition.
Written by Tony Aspler