11th Annual New York Ice Wine & Culinary Festival Celebrates Winter & Wine on February 16

Sip, sample and savor at the ice wine event in Fairport.

The 11th annual New York Ice Wine & Culinary Festival returns to Casa Larga Vineyards on Saturday, February 16. Tickets are on sale at the Casa Larga Vineyards wine shop, online at www.casalarga.com and at Wegmans.

This annual festival celebrates and showcases award-winning ice wines that are made in the traditional German eiswein method in New York State. In order to qualify as a true ice wine, the wines must be produced from grapes that have been frozen on the vine, not picked and then artificially frozen. Because harvesting is dictated by Mother Nature, the harvest often occurs on short notice in late December or early January. The frozen grapes must be picked and pressed within hours of the first sustained freeze. Because of this labor-intensive and weather-dependent process, very few wineries even attempt to make ice wine. On Saturday, February 16, 2019, some of these wineries will converge at Casa Larga Vineyards to sample and sell their authentic ice wines.

Thus far, five wineries and one distillery are joining in the festivities for the 2018 festival: Casa Larga Vineyards, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Hunt Country Vineyards, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, Schulze Vineyards & Winery, Embark Craft Ciderworks, and Black Button Distilling. The wineries will be tasting and selling traditional red and white wines along with their ice wines.

A highlight of the festival is its culinary experience. Guests will sample cuisine made with ice wine in a menu developed by RIT Catering. The 2019 menu includes:

My Heart Beets for You Salad with micro arugula and beets topped with butternut squash, pecans, pomegranate seeds, and goat cheese, finished with a pomegranate Casa Larga Vidal Ice Wine vinaigrette.

Awesome Sauce Sicilian Pasta with crushed tomatoes, banana peppers, garlic, onions, fresh herbs, and Casa Larga Vidal Ice Wine over local Bozza pasta with shaved parmesan cheese.

Dream Big Brisket with a seared polenta cake topped with smoked beef brisket and black cherry and Casa Larga Vidal Ice Wine BBQ sauce and served with slaw

Ice Baby Ice Scallops with chilled Bay Scallops poached in Casa Larga Vidal Ice Wine.

Dessert provided by Sweet Sammy Jane's

A host of indoor and outdoor activities round out the festival: ice wine and food pairings, the outdoor Luv Shack, an ice luge where guests catch an ice wine cocktail, winery tours, horse-drawn wagon rides through the vineyards, live entertainment, vendors and seminars. Seminars include: 

  • Merrymaking Concoctions, on mixing cocktails with ice wine

  • Take the Challenge, on traditional versus artificial ice wine

  • Weird and Wonderful, on foods to pair with ice wine

Attendees will also receive a commemorative glass with admission.

The 2019 festival is sponsored by  Renewal by Andersen, Eastview Mall, the Del Monte Hotel Group, Crush Beer & Wine Tours, Cabot Creamery and Jack Greco Custom Furniture.

Tickets are available for 2 for $120 or $65 each through February 15 at the Wine Shop on Turk Hill Road in Fairport and online at www.casalarga.com. If available, tickets are $75 at the door. For group sales, call Cathy Fabretti at 585-223-4210 x121. For event updates and more information, visit http://www.casalarga.com/Events/NYIWCF or follow NY State Ice Wines on Facebook.