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Wine producers harvest ice wine again!

01/11/2021

On the chilled night of Monday, January 11, 2021, when the thermometer dropped to minus seven degrees Celsius, winegrowers were able to harvest frozen grapes for the production of ice wine.


These include producers from the Fellbacher Weingärtner  in Württemberg and winemakers on the Mosel and the Hessischen Bergstrasse.

Before that, last year on a clear full moon night on November 30th, wine regions in the Nahe, Mosel, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Franken and Rheingau had successfully harvested frozen grapes in frosty temperatures for the production of ice wine.

As the German Wine Institute (DWI) reports, this comparatively early point in time for an ice wine harvest is very beneficial for the wine quality, since the grapes for ice wine production should be as healthy as possible. A list of this year's ice wine producers can be found at the end of the text.

Prerequisite: temperature of -7 degrees ° C or colder

This year’s exceptionally healthy grapes offer the best conditions for high-quality ice wines. Mostly Riesling grapes were harvested, which are particularly suitable for ice wine making due to their later ripeness. In recent years, winemakers often had to wait until January or even February of the following year for the required minimum temperature of minus seven degrees Celsius.

Of the 66 hectares of vineyards that were prepared for a possible ice harvest this year in Rhineland-Pfalz alone, according to the local Chamber of Agriculture, only a certain part may have been harvested so far as the low temperatures had not been reached in all areas.

In regards to the ice harvest: the colder it gets, the higher the concentration levels in the grape berries. In Franken, on the morning of November 30, 2020, the thermometer for harvesting the noble sweet specialty fell to minus twelve degrees Celsius!

Rich full flavour with little alcohol

Ice wines are the pinnacle of a good vintage. Their secret lies in the dense concentration of the berry ingredients. In the frosty temperatures, the water in the berries freezes and remains in the wine press. The juice then drips from the press as sweet as honey. It is only with great difficulty that yeasts can ferment musts with such a high sugar content into wine . Accordingly, ice wines usually have a very high natural residual sugar content of well over 100 grams per litre, but in contrast to southern sweet wines, only have a relatively low alcohol content - often only around seven percent by volume.

The special thing about these noble drops is that, thanks to the fresh fruit acid, their enormous residual sweetness is not overpowering. As a rarity and specialty, they enjoy great international recognition.

Ice wines are wonderful accompaniments on festive occasions and are ideal as an aperitif. As a menu pairing, they are recommended with fruity desserts, ice cream or sorbets.

 

Wine producers with a successful ice wine harvest 2020 (list does not claim to be complete):

Wine Region

Winery

Variety

Must Weight

Temperature

Nahe

Korell

Riesling

163 °Oe

-8,5 °C

Nahe

Dr. Crusius

Riesling

176° Oe

-8,5

Nahe

Dönnhoff

Riesling

170°Oe

 

Nahe

Staatsweingut Bad Kreuznach

Riesling

160°Oe

 

Nahe

Weingut Jakob Schneider

Riesling

154°Oe

 

Nahe

Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich

Riesling

 

 

Nahe

Weingut Peter Hexamer

Riesling

 

 

Franken

Wgt. Am Stein

Riesling

182° Oe

-12°C

Franken

Weingut Dahms

Traminer

140° Oe

-7°C

Franken

Weingut Horst Sauer

 

 

 

Franken

Divino Nordheim

Traminer

151° Oe

-7,5°C

 

Franken

GWF Franken

Traminer

 

-7,5°C

Franken

Weingut Knoll

Riesling

182°Oe

-9,5°C

Rheingau

Weingut Offenstein Erben

Riesling

128° Oe

-7°C

Rheinhessen

Weingut Schnorrenberger

 

 

 

Mosel

Weingut Molitor Rosenkreuz

Riesling

132° Oe

-7°C

Mosel

Weingut Blees-Ferber

Riesling

144°Oe

-8,8°C

Mosel

Weingut Petgen-Dahm

Riesling

135°Oe

-7°C

Pfalz

Forster Winzerverein

Riesling

 

 

Pfalz

Weingut Herr

 

 

 

Pfalz

WG Ungstein-Honigsäckel

 

 

 

 

More News

Video-Archive: Icewine Harvest (only available in German language)

 

Frozen grapes - Ice wine Harvest on the Mosel 2020.