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Pillitteri Estates Continues to be the Leader in Production of Rare Icewines

Pillitteri Estates Winery is recognized globally for being an innovative leader in the production of rare Icewines. The winery released the first Canadian Semillon Icewine this past weekend to a very receptive crowd during a local wine event, Winterglow.

The Semillon grape is native to warmer wine producing climates such as the Bordeaux region of France, making it somewhat of a challenging grape to grow in cooler climate regions. However, the grape traditionally has been used to create sweet wines such as Sauternes, making it a prime candidate in the production of Icewine. The Viticulture team at Pillitteri decided to plant 2 acres of Semillon a few years ago behind the winery as an experiment to see how the varietal fared on the home estate vineyard.

The grapes were hand picked last January 21st when the temperature dipped to -10 C, yielding a rich concentrated juice measuring 41.2° Brix (a measurement of the sugar level of a grape) and producing a mere 200 cases of the wine. Pillitteri Estates’ Aussie Winemaker, Dr. Marc Bradshaw admitted ”that on the one hand it was nerve-racking because I had no clue as to what direction to take the wine, but on the other hand I was pretty stoked because I knew it had great potential. The juice was so rich and lush with all these tropical fruit aromas. It was like an aromatic overload. During fermentation all these other citrussy attributes came onboard, which was brilliant. I found that these new fresh zesty lime flavors matched perfectly with the lush tropical notes of pawpaw and apricot.”

Pillitteri Estates has always embraced challenges, evident in the fact that they were one of the first wineries to produce a Chardonnay Icewine in 2001 and the first to commercially produce a Shiraz Icewine in 2004. The later receiving the only Canadian medal and winning Gold at the Syrah du Monde competition held last spring in France. Additionally, the win was made even sweeter as the Shiraz ranked among the ”Top Ten” in the world by scoring the top 6th best note of all 352 samples provided. The 2006 Semillon Icewine has only been entered into one competition to date and was honored with a Silver Medal at the Canadian Wine Awards. It will most certainly be a world competitor and winner in international competition.

Pillitteri Estates Winery is a family owned and operated business founded in 1993 situated on 53 acres of vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It has established itself as a leader in the industry and is internationally recognized as a premium producer of Icewine and one of the most innovative, using a wide range of varietals. It currently exports to 27 countries and is the largest estate producer of Icewine in the world. Pillitteri has won over 400 international and domestic awards, reflecting the winery’s commitment to producing premium VQA wines.

Pillitteri Estates Winery’s premier of Semillon Icewine is a sure delight. With a lovely deep golden color, the nose is filled with tropical fruit aromas of mango, peach and apricot with a touch of nutmeg and hazelnut that are balanced by a bracing acidity and honey finish. Try this one-of-a-kind Semillon Icewine currently available at the winery or by purchasing on-line at www.pillitteri.com

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