In 2005, Jamie Macfarlane, the winemaker and CEO of The Ice House Winery began crafting Northern Ice Premium Icewine. Today, this Wineries Niagara winery welcomes visitors from all over the world to view the vineyards and fermentation tanks where it all happens while sipping on this award winning Canadian Icewine.
The Ice House Winery holds a unique position in the wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is the only winery that exclusively makes Icewine. That’s right. This winery is totally dedicated to perfecting, “Canada’s liquid gold” and developing new ways to enjoy this unique, concentrated wine.
In April 2009, The Ice House Winery opened its retail store and began sharing their Icewine knowledge and the Grand Gold winning 2005 Northern Ice Vidal Premium Icewine. People loved the product and today in 2016, there are five varietals of Northern Ice Premium Canadian Icewine plus The Ice House Red and White Slushies available to taste and purchase.
"Throughout my wine making career, I have never seen another wine match the universal appeal of The Ice House Slushies. The refreshing complexity of this simple idea surprises our visitors and that makes them smile." Jamie Macfarlane, winemaker and The Wizard of Icewine at The Ice House Niagara Winery.
In 2010, The Ice House Winery’s Icewine was selected as Canada’s Premium Gift for the celebration at the Golden Globes Oh Canada event.
In 2011, Jim Treliving of the Dragon’s Den and CBC’s newest show; The Big Decision said he wanted to invest in this little winery in Wineries Niagara. Karen and Jamie chose to not expand with Treliving, but chose to focus on innovative tastings at the retail store to share their knowledge of Icewine. Today, The Ice House makes a limited supply of Northern Ice Premium Icewine and is the proud recipient of 3 International Monde Selection Grand Gold Medals. Jamie’s crisp “toasting style” of Icewine is making The Ice House Winery famous for their innovative food pairings and N’Ice Slushies. A visit to The Ice House Winery is never complete without The Ice House N’Ice Slushie. This refreshing, sweet and delicious chilled treat is a favourite way for bike riding guests to revive themselves. Like The Ice House Winery, the N’Ice Slushie is a must-do Icewine experience for any wine country tour in Niagara.
"My name is Polaris and I am a life-sized sculpture of the mighty Canadian polar bear, a symbol of The Ice House's proud Canadian heritage. Please hug me and take a photo when you visit The Ice House Winery...rumour has it that it will bring good luck". Polaris the Bear
Jamie Macfarlane and Karen King
Owners of The Ice House Winery in Wineries Niagara
Winemaker, Jamie Macfarlane, began his career in Côte D’Or, France. When he returned to Canada he joined the team to create the first Niagara commercial Icewine and now operates The Ice House Winery, Canadian Icewine specialists.
Coach, Sensory Expert, Foodie. Karen King, Jamie’s wife and business partner is passionate about the magic of Icewine. She applies her food and sensory expertise to The Ice House Winery to support Jamie’s expertise as a master winemaker.
Ice Wine Maker, Jamie Macfarlane, began his winemaking career in Côte D’Or, France. When he returned to Canada he joined the team to create the first Niagara commercial Icewine. Jamie produced countless award-winning wines during his 25 years as a senior Canadian winemaker. In 2005, he fulfilled his dream to establish The Ice House Winery and become the Ice wine maker of the highest quality product.
Jamie knew the Niagara region is the powerhouse of Icewine. Although Icewine was invented in Germany, Jamie has consecutively produced Icewine for 30 years and wanted to perfect it with the Canadian climate. A man of both passion and perseverance, Jamie has managed to make his dream a reality and is an international business consultant for winemaking.
Karen King has applied her business coaching and sensory expertise to The Ice House Winery to support Jamie’s expertise as a master winemaker. Karen’s unique Optimization Process for building valued products and business environments integrates the discipline of science along with the understanding of motivational insights. King is a McGill education and food science graduate as well a Coach U veteran.
As co-owners of The Ice House Winery, Karen and Jamie utilize their Product Optimization Process to create world class Icewine. Sensory Profiles are the first step to understanding the timing and complexity of a wine’s flavour complexity. Check out the Sensory Profile posted with each one of our Icewine Offerings!
2015 Gold Monde Selection Winner
2006 Grand Gold Monde Selection Winner
Cabernet Sauvignon Icewine
2005 Grand Gold Monde Selection Winner
Vintner's Reserve Vidal Blanc Icewine
2005 Grand Gold Monde Selection Winner
Northern Ice™ First Vintage
Vidal Blanc Icewine, 2005
[pullquote align="full" cite="Monde Selection Spokeswoman" link="" color="#511422" class="" size=""]“A Grand Gold is superior to Gold. It means that the product awarded was unanimously recognized by the jurors as exceptional and perfect (faultless).”[/pullquote]
Monde Selection, the international institute in Brussels, Belgium, is the world’s most prestigious quality selection institute and the official judge of all wines produced within the European Economic Union. The Grand Gold Monde Selection medal is the highest honour rarely accorded to a wine.
Jamie's mother, Betty Macfarlane (ne Goodyear), is a Newfoundlander. A proud Newfoundlander.
Jamie remembers; my mother's mother, my grandmother, Gladys Goodyear (ne Carnell ) was born in 1900 in Carmanville, a small village on the east coast. Gran’s father, Captain George Carnell, my great grandfather, was a fisherman and with his two sons owned and operated a schooner named the Goodwill. As kids we would visit our grandparents in Grand Falls and sooner or later visit the original family home in Carmanville. It was magical. The home had running water but no hot; coal oil lamps but no electricity. Wood burning stoves. It also had no indoor plumbing so we had to use an outhouse – my first but not my last. On the small property was what would pass today for a small garage but it was called a “store”. It was where you stored stuff - which made perfect sense to me. Lastly there was The Ice House.
It was a small building where, every winter it would be packed with enough ice for the ice box to last the approximate seven days of a Newfoundland summer. A painting of the ice house is hanging at the winery today.
I was fascinated by the simplicity of it all and it wasn’t till years later I understood why it had remained so rustic. In 1900, the year my grandmother was born, the Goodwill was lost at sea. My great grandfather and my two great uncles were lost with her. Over the ensuing years my great grandmother, a proud Newfoundlander, refused all help from friends and the community to upgrade or renovate the family home. It stayed as it was. It still is.
So when I opened a winery dedicated to making our Northern Ice Premium Icewine and we were all picking our brains for a name: I thought… what could represent the pride and tenacity of picking Icewine grapes knee deep in snow, wind chills of minus 25; longing to get home to a coal oil lamp, a fire and an outhouse. Then I remembered…The Ice House.