We are bringing back iYellow's 2 Bottles & 2 Questions to our newsletters - Yippee! Aren't you pumped! I (ange) recently saw Donald twice this past weekend, once at the Icewine Gala and the other at the Icewine Festival - Aren't I the lucky one! Donald is always a great promoter of iYellow and has been a fantastic mentor for me as well. I personally like to call him the "Godfather" of Canadian Icewine, because, well, he is! He also just launched his own Riesling Icewine and although I haven't tried it (I'm waiting for that perfect moment) I can't wait to crack it open - I know it won't dissapoint.
So it the spirit of Icewine - here is 2 bottles and 2 Questions with Mr. Donald Ziraldo, the Godfather and Founder of the Canadian Icewine Industry.

Ziraldo founded
Inniskillin winery with his wine maker partner Karl Kaiser in 1975, obtaining the first wine license issued since 1929.

He has accomplished much in the wine industry and was awarded the Order of Canada in 1998 for his numerous contributions. A story that seems to always be told about Donald is his relentless marketing of Canadian wine and specifically Icewine. An avid skier, Donald would pass out his business cards on the tops of mountains while enjoying the slopes, promoting himself, Inniskillin and Canadian wine.

Ziraldo is quite the business man as well. He was chosen as one of the top 25 Canadian CEOs of the Century, National Post Business Magazine, 199
9. And is the Past Director of Vincor International Inc., 1993 - 2004.

He has a great passion for local wine and local food and helps to bring awareness to it at every corner he can!

Donald's book called "Icewine - Extreme Wine Making" (which we will be giving way on our SOLD OUT I heart Icewine Tour), is co-written with Karl Kaiser (another founding father of the Canadian Wine Industry). It's a beautiful white covered book, with lots of great information on all the different components of making Icewine, including a good sized section on cooking with Icewine. It's a must have book for your Wine Library! For more info on his book please click here.

So without further adieu, here's 2 Bottles & 2 Questions with "The" Donald...and make sure to watch the short Icewine Video from Inniskillin and the Le Gourmet TV Interview

2 Questions

1. Do you think Icewine gets the credit it deserves locally and internationally?

Yes. Actually it receiv
es far more credit internationally than it does locally.

2. As a visionary and founder of the Canadian wine industry what impresses you the most of how the industry has unfolded so far? And similarly, what's the potential of the Canadian wine industry over the next 20 years?

The manner in which the industry has adapted to the many changes since the mid eighties as a result of the Free Trade Agreement and the changing demographics of the wine professionals and education facilities in the industry

The next twenty ye
ars is unlimited only by our imagination and commitment to quality, particularly in the vineyard. Global warming will impact us negatively in Icewine production and positively in red table wine production.

There will be greater specialty by wineries and we need to continuously focus on quality through innovation and research.
We need a better system to reward growers for the quality of grapes and eliminate any grapes that do not meet the most stringent of quality standards. I look to, and challenge, the young generation of vintners and consumers to help us achieve those goals.

2 Bottles

1) Le Grand Clos Chardonnay....Clos Jordanne; I am a great lover of burgundy and Thomas Bachelder has done a great job of emulating the elegance and style of a burgundy with fruit intensity, citrus notes and finesse.

2) Creekside Broken Press Shiraz;
shows we can vinify reds in Niagara with a well balanced bouquet of plum and cherry - Juicy up front fruit with integrated tannins.

Extra Icewine Tidbits

To see my Interview with Donald Ziraldo on Le Gourmet TV Click here>>

Gary Vaynerchuck
from Wine Library.TV proves Icewine rocks in Episode #90 called "Canadian Ice Wine and Dessert Wine...OH CANADA!"
. This video is one of his best in my opinion (esp. since he features Icewine!), and it's a great education too! Check out Gary's video here.

* this article has been slightly edited to the original and was previously featured in 2008 and was originally written by Paxton Allewell