This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© Donald Ziraldo the world authority of Ice-wines Part 1

Check out the radio show on The Trail 103.3FM and Fresh 104.5FM.  The live stream feed is online at where you can click on “Listen Live”.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© airs on both radio stations Sunday mornings at 10:00AM MST.

Social Media links;

Today’s Podcast  and full length conversation with the “Iceman” Donald Ziraldo

NBC Montana Today TV Segment with Christmas wines;

YouTube; My YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike™ or the actual URL link:

Facebook; WineGuyMike please “like”

Twitter; @WineGuyMike please follow me

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at

Sleep City Missoula

Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

Georges Distributing in Helena, Montana.

Ice-wine is a wine of extremes. Donald Ziraldo who produces Equifera Icewine is a man of extreme passion.  This week on the WineGuyMike radio show I had the pleasure and opportunity to with Donald and learn about him, his life’s body of work, and the Ice-wine he is so passionate about.

Ice wine is a form of extreme winemaking that takes the excruciating circumstances of Mother Nature to an entirely new level.  Ice-wine or “liquid gold” as it is referred to by wine aficionados is a dessert, or aperitif wine.

The practice of making Eiswein in Germany dates back to the early 1700’s.  But it is in Canada where it has become a modern day art.  Canada is now recognized as the finest Ice-wine producing area in the world.  This is mainly due to the Herculean efforts of one man, Donald Ziraldo.

Ziraldo is known as the “Godfather” of Ice-wine throughout the world.  He is also readily acknowledged as the world’s foremost authority on Ice-wine’s.  Ziraldo is the son of Italian immigrants who settled in the Canadian province of Ontario.  This is just across from Lake Ontario, one of the best known wine regions in the United States, the Finger Lakes region.

Ice-wine is a winemaking style wherein grapes are naturally frozen on the vine, harvested during the middle of the night and pressed in the extreme cold to separate the juice from the ice crystals. 

If the freeze does not come soon enough, the entire crop can be lost to rotting and if the freeze is too severe, it can prevent any juice from being extracted when the grapes are pressed.  The results produce very special wines that express aromatic flavors of white and tropical fruits such as mango, peach, and lychee.

Donald Ziraldo has a long and storied history of producing fine quality wines with winemaker Karl Kaiser.  Ziraldo and Kaiser are the forefathers of Canadian Ice-wine, together they founded Inniskillin Winery.  The Ice-wines of Inniskillin put Canadian Ice-wine of the map of the wine scene internationally.  Inniskillin produced many internationally renowned wines.

In 2006 Ziraldo and Kaiser left Inniskillin, although Kaiser remains as an emeritus consultant to Inniskillin.  Ziraldo has a new wine project in the Equifera Ice winery. 

The Equifera Ice Wines are grown and produced in Short Hills, a sub-appellation of the Niagara Peninsula.  The Equifera Estate Winery is the former home to champion race horses in the 1950’s and 60’s.

 Equifera produces Riesling, Vidal, and red Cabernet Franc Ice-wines. This week WineGuyMike had the opportunity to talk with Donald about the beautiful Equifera Ice-wines, we tasted them too.

The award winning Equifera Ice Wine is a special occasion in a glass.  When I taste great wine it occurs to me that you can taste the personality on the person behind the wine.  This is true of the Equifera Ice Wine, perhaps the best of Donald Ziraldo’s entire body of work in the world of wine.

The first wine that Donald and I tasted was the Riesling Ice-wine.  The Equifera Ice Wines strike the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.  The Riesling is lighter in body and texture than the Equifera Vidal Ice Wine that Donald and I will taste next week on the show.  The structure and complexity of this magnificent ice-wine go hand-in-hand.  You would be hard pressed to find more complex wines in the world than the Equifera Ice Wines.  You could think of the Equifera wines as having multiple personalities as there are some many layers to them, you must try them.

Visually this Riesling ice-wine has a deep golden straw color that dances in your glass.  You are then greeted with the aroma of tropical fruit and a wonderful essence of stone fruit, and the nectar of honey.  On the mid-palate combine a wonderful tug of war between sweetness and acidity. The complexity of this wine is so deep that of the finish your palate is cleansed from the perfect acidity of the wine, but it does not end there.  The finish is an eternity of joyful bliss, just like a world class Sauterne you are left with the flavor of tart raisin.  This is one of the premier dessert or aperitif wines you will ever taste.

You can listen to the show live on the Trail 103.3FM or U 104.5FM.  These shows are podcast for your convenience and available on my blog at;

Liquid Planet in the heart of Downtown Missoula features the wines I have tasted today.  Be sure to stop by the very best of beverage and see the Ice-wine I have selected for you.  Missoula’s premier wine shopping experience, Liquid Planet.

"from my table to yours"


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s