Ziraldo and Equifera

This past Saturday afternoon I eagerly went to the Summerhill LCBO for a special sampling event.  Donald Ziraldo, a pioneer of Canadian icewine, was pouring his new creation labeled "Equifera".

I was excited to meet the famous Donald Ziraldo. He co-founded Inniskillin Winery in 1974 and has been so instrumental in putting Canada on the wine map. He was just as charismatic and friendly as people have described. I had fun just hanging out at the tasting table sampling, listening to him talk about icewine to all the eager tasters. Of course, the refills were also a bonus.

Equifera Estate Winery is located on the Niagara Escarpment. It's a 50 acre Estate which used to be the home of champion racehorses in the 50s and 60s. The name Equifera means "Wild Horse" and is derived from the Latin "Equus Ferus". This winery in unique because it only makes icewine. The grapes used to make icewine are hand picked when temperatures reach well below zero and cause the grapes to freeze. The Vidal, Riesling and Cabernet Franc wines of Equifera are the result of "extreme winemaking".

Aromas of lush, tropical fruit including lychee, mango and dried apricots. Secondary layers of grapefruit and pineapple notes. The rich viscosity of this Vidal leads to a long, rich finish in the mouth. - www.equiferaicewine.com

Sounds good doesn't it!

The secret to icewine, the real secret is the acidity from our cool climate region that balances off the sugar in your mouth...that's the secret to great icewine, that balance, that delicate balance between sugar and acid. - Donald Ziraldo

Below is a video by Donald taking you through wine country, describing not only his Equifera but icewine in general and what goes into making it.  I picked up a personally signed bottle of the 2008 Vidal as well as an autographed copy of "Icewine: Extreme Winemaking" written by Ziraldo himself and Karl Kaiser. I felt like such a wine groupie with all my autographed items! I'm a fan, what can I say. Thanks Donald! I love what's written on the front page of the book: "Luxury Begins At... -10 ÂșC".

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