All the wineries associated with the festival (see map) will offer complimentary tastings during the festival, but several special events are also planned. Here's a small sampling. Some of these are included with the Discovery Pass, which costs $30 per person; others charge admission (all prices given are in Canadian funds). For further information and a complete brochure, call the winery involved, visit www.niagarawinefestival.com or call (905) 688-0212.
*8 to 11 p.m. next Friday, Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, Niagara Falls, Ont.: Images of Winter Icewine Evening ushers in the festival, bringing together more than 30 Ontario wineries and cuisine from outstanding chefs. It costs $150 per person.
*Noon to 5 p.m., Jan. 20 and 21, Main Street, Jordan Village, Ont.: The Twenty Valley Icewine Bar will feature several blocks of ice carved with scenes of Canadiana, ice-carving demos and Poulain Chocolates. Admission is free. Those with a Discovery Pass receive complimentary icewine samples and etched wine-tasting glass.
*7 to 10 p.m., Jan. 20, Market Square, downtown St. Catharines, Ont.: Winterfest in the Square is an indoor event featuring cuisine, tastings and entertainment. Admission is free.
*Noon to 6 p.m., Jan. 20 through Jan. 28, Shaw Festival Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.: Gordon Halloran "Paintings Below Zero" exhibit. Admission is $5.
*Noon to 5 p.m., Jan. 27 and Jan. 28, Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.: This Icewine Lounge will feature carvings and icewine samples (samples are free with Discovery Pass).
*10:30 a.m. Jan. 27, Coyote's Run Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.: Tour and seminar start outside for guests to help with the pressing, followed by tastings with blue cheese and white chocolate Tiramisu. The program costs $45 per person. Many other wineries will offer similar experiences on this day. At Strewn Estate Winery, for example, you will actually pick the fruit (warm hat and gloves recommended).
*11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 19 to 21 and Jan. 26 to 28, East Dell Estates, Beamsville: Sample Icewine Truffles. Free to Discovery Pass holders; $5 without a pass.
*11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Jan. 20 to 28, Hillebrand Winery, Niagara-on the-Lake, Ont.: The winery will present three different Icewine Martinis. $15 per person; $10 for Discovery Pass holders.
*Noon to 4 p.m., Jan. 20 and 21, and Jan. 27 and 28, Creekside Estate Winery, Jordan Station: Open fires and fresh roasted chestnuts with icewine or mulled wine.
*Bus tours visiting several wineries are also available Jan. 20 and 21 in West Niagara and Jan. 27 and 28 in Niagara-on-the Lake. The price of $67 per person includes a Discovery Pass. For bookings, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Many elaborate winemaker dinners will be held throughout the festival. Book directly with the winery; see Web site or brochure for details.
-- Janice Okun