Stroll among the vineyards of the Ice Wine Festival for tastes, appetizers and entertainment throughout March – News-Herald

Walk into spring with the 2022 Icewine Festival, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. daily with some exceptions throughout March.

Six wineries and one distillery collaborate on this year’s festival, offering flavors of their own creations accompanied by appetizers.

The cost is $7 at each winery and all stops are within a few minutes drive of each other. Go on weekdays for a gentle experience or celebrate longer hours on Saturdays with experiences such as a winter picnic, self-guided hike or wagon rides through the vineyards.

With up to 4,000 visitors expected for the festival, organizers have spread it out rather than bringing everyone in over the weekend.

A progressive dinner between three wineries takes place every Friday in March and a dinner with a winemaker is planned for one. They will sell out quickly, so make your reservations early.

Each cave will have maps on hand to show the way from one to the other.

Participating wineries are Debonne Vineyards, Ferrante Winery & Ristorante, Grand River Cellars, Laurello Vineyards, Cask 307 and South River Vineyards, with Red Eagle Distillery also participating.

This ice sculptor showed off his skills at one of the recent Icewine Festivals. Each winery will be hosting special Saturday events this year, but will be pouring their icewines to visitors throughout March. (Courtesy of Ferrante Winery & Ristorante)

Here’s what you’ll find:

Debonne Vineyards, 7840 Doty Road, Madison, will serve a bacon-wrapped water chestnut appetizer with peach-spiced glaze and pour their 2021 Vidal Blanc Icewine. An icewine cocktail will also be available and live music will serve as a backdrop on Friday and Saturday evenings. An icewine sangria and cocktail making class is scheduled for March 13. Info: 440 466-3485.

Ferrante Winery & Ristorante, 5585 State Route 307, will serve chicken sausage topped with icewine bacon jam and gorgonzola and pour their 2019 Vidal Blanc Icewine, a top winner in national and international wine competitions. Tractor rides through the vineyards will be offered at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. every Saturday, and visitors can pose for selfies in an ice wine igloo. On March 4 and 11, winemaker Nick Ferrante will host a five-course ice wine dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. Info: 440 466-8466.

Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant, 5750 S. Madison Road (Route 528), will serve a fig, pecan and cinnamon cheese ball and pour both their 2019 Vidal Blanc Icewine and Maple Icewine. Visitors can roast icewine marshmallows every Saturday and enjoy an icewine martini. Cotton candy with ice wine, candied apples with ice wine and other delicacies will be on sale. Info: 440-298-9838.

Laurello Vineyards, 4573 Route 30.7 will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but on other days for the Icewine Festival, it will serve tiramisu or chocolate ice cream and pour its Mad Habanero 2020 and Double Gold Sweet Genevieve Vidal Ice Wine. While you’re there, try his Blizzard Cocktail with Ice Wine Juice and his Ice Wine Martini. Info: 440-415-0661.

Cask 307 Winery, 7259 Warner Road (Route 307) is closed on Wednesdays, but on other days in March it will serve its Mango Passionfruit Bavarian Cream Cake and pour its 2021 Rose´ of Vidal Blanc Ice Wine. Check out the entries for his art and photo contest (bit.ly/nh-iceartcontest). Info: 440-307-9586

South River Vineyards, 6062 S. River Road, will be serving its Red Eagle Riesling brandy glazed brownies and pouring its 2017 Concord Icewine and 2019 Blush Icewine. Bring your own picnic basket to picnic on its expansive 80 acres of land and take a self-guided vineyard hike. Info: 440-466-6676.

The Red Eagle Distillery, 6202 S. River Road, will serve a selection of appetizers from the nearby Black Door Tavern and pour a Planter’s Punch Icewine Cocktail with 2021 Vidal Blanc Icewine and Rum Maple Red Eagle. Info: 440-466-6604.

Ice wine flavors are poured into small glasses as the wine is very sweet. (Courtesy of Ferrante Winery & Ristorante)

Recipe

This Icewine Bacon Jam, which will be served with chicken sausages at the Icewine Festival, is the perfect complement to a charcuterie board, with sirloin burgers and with pork. It is also served with scallops at the winemaker’s dinner in Ferrante.

Bacon Jam with Icewine

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, diced

1 pound bacon, diced

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

⅔ cup brown sugar

¼ cup brewed coffee

¼ cup Vidal Blanc Icewine

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

Reduce heat to low.

Add the bacon and thyme and cook for 12 minutes.

Drain the fat.

Return bacon mixture to medium-low heat and add brown sugar, coffee and icewine.

Cook and stir 25 minutes until it reaches a thick consistency.

Add the apple cider vinegar at the end of cooking.

Store well covered in the refrigerator.

— Courtesy of Ferrante Winery & Ristorante

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