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Enchant your palate at the Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival

Ice wine grapes on the Vine
Ice wine grapes on the Vine
Dominic Rivard

Wine lovers won't want to miss an upcoming event on three Saturdays in March (1, 8, 15) as winegrowers of the Grand River Valley host their 11th annual Ice Wine Festival featuring a progressive tasting of Ohio-made ice wines.

Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival Participating in the event will be six area wineries, all within 10 minutes of each other. The wineries are Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant, Debonne Vineyards, Ferrante Winery and Ristorante, St. Joseph Vineyards, Laurello Vineyards and South River Vineyards.

Guests will visit each winery (between noon and 5 p.m.) and sample their ice wine in addition to a complimentary appetizer. Some appetizer selections include ice wine infused chocolate fudge, roasted butternut squash soup with a nutmeg spice ice wine marshmallow, a pear, walnut and caramel tart. pepper & peanut biscotti and Ohio apple & maple strudel.

There will also be special events at most of the wineries including ice carving, sled dog demonstrations, jewelry shows (featuring beach glass items, pottery and grape jewelry), a maple syrup demonstration and an art show. There will also be a booth where you can purchase wine jelly and enjoy a free sample (Grand River Cellars).

Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant will feature an ice wine marshmallow roast all day (small additional fee) and South River Vineyards will be giving a free imprinted specialty glass to the first 5000 guests. In addition, Red Eagle Distillery will have ice wine cocktails in a mini-martini glass.

Cost of the event is $6 per person at each winery and the admission includes an ice wine glass, wine samples, the appetizer and the special events. If you bring a canned food item (which will support local food banks), you will receive a $1 off per person.

A Bit About Ice Wines Ice wines are made from frozen grapes that have been left on the vine as autumn goes into winter. The grapes must reach a temperature of below 17 degrees before they can be picked at which point they are then pressed immediately before the grapes can thaw. All the picking of the fruit is done at night and the pressing is done in the early morning the next day.

For more information about the Grand River Valley Ice Wine Festival call 440-466-3485 or get online at

All the participating wineries are located in the Grand River Valley near Madison, Ohio and Geneva, Ohio, approximately 45 minutes to and hour east of Cleveland.

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