Someone Help the Ice Wine!

Okay, call out the emergency crews - Ice Wine is in danger.  Of course, this has to happen just when I have discovered some of the sweetest, most delicious wines created by man.  My boss shared a bottle at our office Christmas party and I plan to get some to share at my New Years Party (and I am taking suggestions on which brand to buy).

A local Pittsburgh TV station reports that the “state’s ice wine makers are in dire straits because of this winter’s mild weather, and some fear there will be no product at all if January doesn’t bring colder temperatures.”  

For those of you unfamiliar with it, is a sweet dessert wine.  Federal regulations state that the drink can’t be called ice wine unless the grapes used to make it are both harvested and pressed while frozen. Canada is even tougher on ice wine producers - the temperature must be below below 17 degrees Fahrenheit to call it ice wine. 

“No one that I know of in the whole eastern United States and Canada has harvested any ice wine,” said Tony Debevc, owner of Debonne Vineyards, in Madison, Ohio. “We’re looking at probably a smaller crop than usual no matter what.”

The article also reveals that ”ice wine can be traced back to the late 1700s in Franconia, Germany, where ‘eiswein’ was discovered after an early freeze. Only several drops come from a single frozen grape, but they are rich, sugary and, according to ice wine loyalists, unmatched for winemaking.”  I second that.  Let’s hope the rest of the ice wine harvest is safe and sound.

[Image from Wikipedia]

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Other Posts
Food Blog Awards - Drinks Section
Wine at the Ahwahnee

Reader Comments

Some years, you can’t make ice wine - harvest the grapes and make late harvest wines instead.

We like ice wines, but we drink more late harvest wines, as an ice wine can sometimes be too sweet for the occasion.

Canada is actually the only country that can consistently produce icewine; temperatures, even where I am in the south, usually more than comply with regulations.

This year though, I think growers are starting to panic, with temperatures actually expected to rise for the next little while. If they can’t get the grapes off under the proper conditions, it can’t legally be called icewine in Canada, and so it woul dhave to become late harvest, which is MUCH less profitable for both the grower and the wineries and a downer for the local economy.