Icewine, also known as Ice Wine or Eiswein, is a very special, very sweet wine. Do you know how Icewine is made?
is made from special late harvest grapes that are left on the vine to freeze
into the winter months. The grapes are harvested when frozen.
Freezing concentrates the flavors, acids and sugars in the grapes as
much of the water component in the grape freezes into ice crystals.
When the grapes are pressed most of the frozen water crystals stay behind in
the press, resulting in a small quantity of
highly concentrated juice for which to make the Icewine.
many other late harvest wines, such as Sauternes and Tokaji, that are
affected by noble rot, Icewine grapes should be completely healthy and free of
any botrytis, even the noble version, so to preserve the delicate and fresh
fruit aromas of the grapes.
grapes for Icewine generate so little juice, these wines are made in very small
quantities and are expensive.
Key Icewine Producing Countries
we immediately associate Icewine production with Canada,
and especially around the area of Lake Ontario, it was actually first
made (and still is) in Germany. Germany and Canada are the world's largest
producers of Icewine. However, it is also made in parts of Austria, Luxembourg
and the colder North American states such as the Fingerlakes area of New York
countries like Canada, Germany and Austria, there are specific regulations
regarding the production of Icewine such as how low the temperatures must drop
before harvest for Icewine can begin, minimum grape ripeness levels, and minimum
residual sugar levels in the final wine.
Canadian wine producer Iniskillen is the world’s most well known and largest
producer of Icewine.
Cryoextraction – A Modern, Artificial, Technological Method
for Making Icewine
is another method for making Icewine. With this method the grapes do not
actually freeze on the vine, but rather are harvested at the appropriate
ripeness and then artificially frozen to concentrate the grapes.
Artificial freezing is prohibited in Canada, Germany and other regulated old world
Icewine producing countries.
Previous Wine Word: Barrique
(Image: Underlying image by Sadovnikova Olga/Shutterstock)