Ice Wine or Eiswein is a type of dessert wine. It is made from the grapes that have been frozen while they were still on the vine. While the sugar in the grapes does not freeze, the water does. As a result, after harvesting, people can make a more concentrated must from the frozen fruits. Ice Wine is made only from healthy grapes; they must be kept in good shape until a harvest can take place. Usually the harvest will occur after New Year. This particular type of wine is a perfect blend between refreshing sweetness and high acidity.
It is believed that frozen grapes were used for wine in Roman times. However, the method used to make these wines was lost and we have no way of knowing whether this fact is true or not. The first post-Roman Ice Wine was made in Germany in 1794. The later Ice Wines, made in 1830, are considered among the best wines of the 19th century. Even though it is now considered a popular wine, the Eiswein was hard to make and harvests were rare. It became more popular starting with 1961, due to advances in technology. Unfortunately, climate changes are responsible for a second decline in harvest. Nowadays, it has become difficult to make top quality Ice Wine in Germany.
The grapes used for this type of wine are usually Riesling. The German winemakers consider them to be the most noble variety. In Canada, winemakers use the Vidal variety and sometimes the Cabernet Franc. In the New World experiments are made with a large variety of grape types such as: Seyval blanc, Chardonnay, Kerner, Gewürztraminer, Chenin blanc, Pinot blanc, and Ehrenfelser. Some also experiment with types of red grapes. The Ice Wine made from white grapes is pale yellow. The one made from red grapes is usually pink. Would you like to try such a wine?
( Source: wikipedia )
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