Peller Family Estateswww.pellericewine.com
When Hungarian-born Andrew Peller arrived in Canada in 1927, his dream was to persuade his new country to learn to love and appreciate fine wine as much as his fellow Europeans. After numerous setbacks and involvements in the brewing and newspaper industries – and with the financial help of his son Joe, by now a doctor – Peller Family Estates was finally born in 1969.
The Pellers are Icewine pioneers, being among the first families to explore the possibilities of this unique Canadian style of wine. But they went further, planting their Niagara Peninsula vineyards closer to Lake Ontario in an effort to make their Icewine fresher and more food-friendly.
Producing Icewine is an extraordinarily laborious process, involving the thawing and freezing of grapes on numerous occasions, picking them at the perfect moment and, in the winery, a long, slow pressing during which the winery workers have been known to stage a few games of hockey to pass the time.
The wines that result – uniquely unctuous but with a piercing streak of lip-smacking freshness – are delicious on their own, but acquire new dimensions alongside food. A trait best showcased by Peller’s in-house chef, Jason Parsons, aka ‘the Willy Wonka of Icewine.’
Eye-widening dishes include suckling pig marinated in Icewine, candy floss jelly made with Icewine – and a ‘blue ice dessert’ which involves soaking a wheel of Québec blue cheese in six litres of Icewine for two weeks before serving. Wow.
Other wines by this producer
Very fine bubbles spiral upwards, through this brilliant yellow straw coloured wine. The bouquet of apricot, yeast and ripe apple, with hints of honey, are followed by tropical fruits on the palate and a refreshing sweet grapefruit finish.
A medium-bodied, refreshing sparkler that is slightly off-dry, yet finishes dry as a result of the delicate tannins from the Cabernet Franc. On the nose there are wonderful aromas of strawberry, peach juice, watermelon and currant. On the palate this wine is bursting with red berries and currants which linger through on the finish with an added note of spice.
A gold yellow colour with an aromatic bouquet of lemon marmalade, carmelized oranges, golden pineapple and a touch of honey. A rich, medium to full-bodied wine with explosive flavours of honey, golden pineapple, star anise and brown sugar. Sweet citrus and star fruit linger on the finish.
Peller Riesling has a delicate straw yellow colour with an intriguing aroma of lemon drops, quince, Bartlett pear and golden raspberries, with a touch of floral honey. On the palate this Icewine displays a luscious yet elegant mouth-feel with fruit flavours of lemon, melon, papaya, mango and orange. It has a refreshing acidity and a long length.
Deep salmon pink colour with an aromatic bouquet of rhubarb, raspberry, blackberry a touch of spice and herbal notes. A rich mouth-feel with wonderful fruit flavours of red berries and rhubarb. Red currants, spice and pomegranate on a long lingering finish. Soft delicate tannins and the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity provide great mouth-feel.