Hopkins Vineyards in Warren has announced its 2013 Estate Bottled Ice Wine has earned four awards, including double gold medal at the 2015 Tasters Guild international wine competition, double gold medal and Best Connecticut Wine at the 2015 Big E Wine Competition, gold medal at the 2015 Finger Lakes international wine competition and first place at the Connecticut specialty food product awards.

The ice wine is made from estate grown Vidal Blanc grapes hand harvested Jan. 8, 2014, at 9 a.m. in 4 degrees Fahrenheit, during the frigid polar vortex.

Once harvested, the grapes, which are like frozen marbles, were slowly pressed for five straight days, producing a highly concentrated and flavorful juice.

Harvesting ice wine in the traditional, age-old manner presents many difficulties, including preventing birds and animals from eating the grapes through the fall and early winter months as well as the painstaking process of hand picking and pressing the grapes in freezing temperatures.

Led by vintner Jim Baker, the Hopkins family has been producing ice wine since 2002 and, in 2013, yielded 81 cases.

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