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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Icewine Gone Wild: $26,000 for a Half Bottle

Icewine is a sweet dessert wine and it appears one Canadian producer wants his cake and eat it, too.

Ontario's Royal DeMaria 2000 Chardonnay Icewine is being marketed at $26,000 per 375 ml bottle. That makes the wine one of the most expensive bottles ever sold. Winery owner Joseph DeMaria said he has already sold one bottle to a buyer in Japan and is in the process of making other deals. Only 60 bottles of the wine exist and DeMaria says he will increase the asking price for the wine as the supply dwindles.

Ontario, Germany and New York's Finger Lakes are the world's best icewine making regions. While the product requires just the right growing and climate conditions to freeze grapes for harvesting, it may soon be a little less rare. Vineyards in China, British Columbia and the Midwest U.S. have begun to produce icewine. Most icewines are either riesling or vidal, so the chardonnay icewine is not common. A very good icewine will typically set you back $50-$150 per half bottle and is a real treat at the end of a special dinner.

DeMaria's wines have won a number of internation awards and he has sold bottles from several vintages from his Niagara winery for thousands of dollars. The asking price for this wine sets a new standard for his winery.

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