‘Iconic’ ice wine exports will benefit from new standards: Canada


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Inniskillin Wines, Ontatio: Ice Wine Grapes (Picture Credit: Catherine Bilinski/Flickr)
Inniskillin Wines, Ontatio: Ice Wine Grapes (Picture Credit: Catherine Bilinski/Flickr)

Related tags Wine

The Government of Canada says that proposed national standards requiring that ‘ice wine’ only be made from grapes naturally frozen on the vine will benefit exports and help crack down on fraudulent sales.

Ice wine is a style of dessert wine produced using grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine – which must be picked at or below 18F (-8C), where the water in grapes freezes (but not sugars and other dissolved solids) allowing a more concentrated grape to be pressed to make very sweet wines.

Canada one of world leaders in ice wine

More than 75% of Canada’s ice wine comes from Ontario, with the balance coming from regions like Southern Quebec and Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.

Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz said Tuesday: “Canada is one of the largest producers of ice wine. These changes will harmonize Canada’s definition of ice wine within the World Wine Trade Group’s Agreement on Requirements for Wine Labelling.”

“The proposed regulatory amendments will also benefit exporters by allowing greater market access,”​ Ritz added, in a statement published by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Other proposed regulatory amendments to the Canada Agricultural Products and other legislation were published in Canada Gazette, Part 1 on June 15​; a comment period runs until August 29.

Greater market access for exporters

These include a change to Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, to allow mandatory labelling seen on wine bottles and boxes to be displayed in a single field of vision, without having to turn the container.

“It is expected that the proposed regulatory amendments will allow wine exporters to have greater market access without having to redesign their labels for each individual country’s requirements,”​ the CFIA said in its statement.

“The proposed national standard is also expected to help prevent the sale of fraudulent ice wine,”​ it added.

But the proposed regulation amendments will not change mandatory labelling information on the container – including common name, net quantity, country of origin and alcohol content by volume, the body noted.

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