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Solid lineup Some highlights of the Niagara Icewine Festival schedule

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 sales@niagaraairbus.com.

*Many elaborate winemaker dinners will be held throughout the festival. Book directly with the winery; see Web site or brochure for details.

-- Janice Okun

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