Tickets are on sale at the Casa Larga Vineyards wine shop, online at casalarga.com and at Wegmans for the prestigious New York Ice Wine & Culinary Festival, hosted again this year by Casa Larga Vineyards in Fairport, New York. In its sixth year, the festival will again be featuring a culinary experience with foods that are inspired by or infused with ice wine.
This annual festival celebrates and showcases award-winning ice wines that are made in the traditional German eisweinmethod. In order to qualify as a true ice wine, the wines must be created 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. In fact, fewer than 30 of the 379 wineries in New York State qualify as true ice wine producers. On Saturday, February 15, 2014, many of these wineries will converge at Casa Larga Vineyards to sample and sell their ice wines.
This year the festival continues its expanded culinary experience. Included in the ticket price will be samples of ice wine-inspired cuisine made by RIT's Brick City Catering. The self-owned and operated catering company is part of RIT's larger Dining Services. Attendees will have a chance to sample each of the Brick City creations, along with other gourmet foods and products at the festival. Aspiring chefs can attempt the Brick City Catering Festival dishes at home, using the recipes developed by the Brick City chefs and by learning more at the Festival's ice wine and culinary seminars.
A host of indoor and outdoor activities round out the festival: ice wine and food pairings, ice sculpting, barrel toasting, winery tours, seminars, winter walks in the vineyards and blackjack. Attendees will also receive a complimentary gift bag and commemorative glass with admission and a complimentary package valet service will be available to help with purchases.
Tickets are available in time for the holidays for $55 each at Wegmans, the Wine Shop at Casa Larga and online at casalarga.com through February 14, 2014. Tickets will be sold at the door on February 15, 2014 for $65 each. For group sales, call Cathy Fabretti at 585-223-4210 x121. For event updates and more information, go to www.NYIceWineFestival.com or follow NY State Ice Wines on Facebook.