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Icewine: a legend among sweet wines!

We are just before Christmas, and there has just been the cold weather in Germany that is necessary for the ice wine harvest.

Wineries harvested an abundance of frozen grapes under the legal requirements for ice wines in a few regions such as Mosel, Franconia, Nahe, Rhineland-Palatinate and Bergstrasse.

Well, it is time for a few basics on ice wine. What makes it a rarity?

❄️ The country of origin is probably Germany, where the first Eiswein was harvested in the winter of 1830 at the latest.

❄️ However, the largest producer today is Canada, where frozen berries were first pressed in 1972.

❄️ Ice wine only works in a continental climate: a hard winter is needed.

❄️ The berries must be harvested and pressed at a minimum of -7 degrees (in Canada -8 degrees).

❄️ This leaves the frozen water behind, and a highly concentrated, very sweet must runs off the press.

❄️ Important: Unlike with famous sweet wines such as Sauternes or Tokaji, botrytis, i.e. noble rot, plays no role in ice wines - for them, the grapes must be healthy.

❄️ And why don't you only freeze the grapes? Theoretically, this is possible and is called cryoextraction. However, these wines are then usually not allowed to be marketed as ice wine, and in Germany, the method is even completely banned.

❄️ How often ice wine can still be produced in the future is questionable - in Canada, the severe continental climate (especially in Ontario) ensures some reliability. In Germany, climate change makes hoping for ice wine a gamble.


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