How Is Ice Wine Made? (Question)

  • To make ice wine, the winemaker leaves the grapes on the vine, long after traditional harvest season has ended, hoping neither rain nor hungry wildlife gets the grapes first. As soon as the temperature drops sufficiently and the grapes freeze, the grapes must be picked before dawn, and pressed before they thaw.


What is the difference between ice wine and regular wine?

Ice wine is traditionally made using grapes that are frozen while they’re still on the vine. Since the sugars and other dissolved solids don’t freeze, when the frozen grapes are pressed you’re left with a much more concentrated, sweeter wine.

Is ice wine only made in Canada?

Canada and Germany are the world’s largest producers of ice wines, and about 75% of the ice wine in Canada comes from Ontario. But ice wine is also made in European countries where frosts can be guaranteed.

Is ice wine a real thing?

True ice wine requires a cold climate where grapes are harvested frozen on the vine. Fortunately, in Canada, Germany, Austria, and the US, dessert wines are not allowed to be labeled as ice wine if grapes are commercially frozen.

Why is ice wine sweet?

As we mentioned above, Ice Wine is a very sweet wine. Since the water freezes in the grapes, but the sugars and other dissolved solids do not, it creates a wine that is even sweeter than most sugar filled sodas.

Why is ice wine so expensive?

Because of the lower yield of grape musts and the difficulty of processing, ice wines are significantly more expensive than table wines. They are often sold in half-bottle volume (375 ml) or the even smaller 200ml bottle.

How should you drink ice wine?

How to Drink Icewine | 5 Easy Steps

  1. When sipping, avoid icewine contact with the tip of your tongue.
  2. Take bigger sips.
  3. Incorporate air and swish the icewine around your mouth.
  4. Let the sip linger on your palate.
  5. Let your palate rest.

Does ice wine go bad?

Since ice wine is a fortified wine with high sugar content, ice wine will keep for many years if stored properly. This means storing it in a dark, cool location that doesn’t have high fluctuations in temperature. If you have opened a bottle of ice wine, it will last seven to ten days in the fridge with the top sealed.

Is ice wine sweet or dry?

When you hear ‘Ice Wine,’ or see the German spelling ‘Eiswein,’ think dessert wine. Most famously produced in Canada, Ice wine is just about as sweet as wine will get. That’s because it’s produced from grapes that were at one point naturally frozen while still on the grapevine.

Is Riesling a ice wine?

Riesling is a classic vinifera grape variety suitable for Icewine. It’s tropical and citrus aromas and flavours offer an elegance that are defined by its natural high acidity.

When should I drink ice wine?

Best Enjoyed: On its own after a meal (think of it as dessert in a glass). The rule is to serve this rich, sweet wine with a dessert that is a bit lighter and less sweet, or with something savoury and full-flavoured for balance. Serving it with a too-rich or too-sweet dessert doesn’t allow you to enjoy its merits.

What does ice wine taste like?

In case it wasn’t already clear, ice wine—like most dessert wines—is very sweet. The wine tends to be medium to full-bodied with a pronounced fruity taste. Depending on whether it’s a red or white version, expect to get aromas of peach, apricot, and other stone fruits.

Who makes ice wine?

Icewine – or ‘Eiswein’ – is a type of sweet wine, originally made in Germany and Austria, but also more recently in Canada and China. The grapes are left on the vine into the winter, and eventually the water in the grapes will freeze.

How much does a bottle of ice wine cost?

In other words, you can freeze grapes other than naturally on the vine but you can’t call the wine Ice Wine. Unfortunately, producers found ways to label the wine to confuse consumers. Such wines will not (or should not) cost near as much as a true Ice Wine, which can cost from $50 to $150 for 375 ml.

Is iced wine good?

Ice wine is the perfect special occasion glass. Thanks to its syrupy full-bodied consistency and rich liquid-gold hue, the dessert wine is thought of as being deeply indulgent, despite being lower in alcohol than most wines, at around 10% ABV.

Can you freeze ice wine?

The simple answer: wine can be frozen. It freezes at a lower temperature than water because of its alcohol content but will freeze at the temperature of most home freezers, at about 15 degrees F. It is safe to drink wine that has been frozen.

Everything you need to know about icewine

Bunches of riesling grapes for making ice wine. In fact, icewine is one of the most recently harvested of all the grapes, and while higher average annual temperatures in traditional production regions such as Germany and Canada have reduced yields, newer production regions such as China now have the opportunity to develop their own varieties and profit from a highly sought-after product. Due to the fact that one of the stars of this year’s Apprentice series will be launching her own icewine at the WineSpirits Show this week, we wanted to educate our readers on this specialized, but expensive, beverage.

It is during the winter months that these ice wine grapes are harvested and poured directly into this press to extract the juices.

An ice wine (also known as Eiswein in German) is a type of dessert wine that can only be made in cold climates.

This is because the sugars in the fruit, unlike water, do not freeze, so while the grapes themselves are frozen, it’s possible to concentrate their flavours when it’s time to harvest.

  1. is entirely reliant on the power of the elements.
  2. While frozen, the must (which I’ll use instead of grape juice given the fruit is partially frozen), is then pressed using a special machine (see video below for a run-down from Niagara College in Canada, resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine.
  3. It is possible that harvests will not take place until after the new year.
  4. It may take months to complete the fermentation because of the grapes’ high sugar levels, and the wines can age for many years.
  5. Although in theory you can make icewine from anything, typical grapes used include Riesling, considered to be the noblest variety by German winemakers; Vidal, which is popular in Ontario, Canada; and Cabernet Franc.
  6. Those made from white grapes are usually pale yellow or light gold in colour when they are young and deepen with age, or pink when made with red grapes.
  7. A combination of risk, labour-intensive winemaking and government regulations make it difficult to find a cheap icewine.

In fact, German producers are making less icewine now than they were in the 90s and 80s thanks to rising annual temperatures linked to climate change.

Freezing the grapes also creates a naturally lower yield, so there is less wine in circulation overall, making it rarer and more valuable.

Inniskillin Winery in Ontario is known around the world for it’s ice wine.

But ice wine is also made in European countries where frosts can be guaranteed.

Japanese icewine is also a sough-after product.

Chinese wineries, meanwhile, have started making icewines of their own.

Fruity desserts are a great match with Reisling-based ice wines.

It is luscious, intensely flavoured, with aromas and flavours of ripe tropical fruits like lychee and pineapple when made with white grapes, although wines made with red varieties can give more concentrated strawberry flavours.

Milder cheeses aren’t strong enough to stand up to the drink’s lusciousness, but cheese-based desserts — cheesecake, for example — are.

The high acidity also means you can opt for richer foods like patés.

Finally, similar to Riesling, Icewines go well with spicy foods, which are often hard to match with wine.

Curries and aromatic Thai dishes which are usually difficult to match would go well with an icewine with pronounced tropical flavours. Red icewines, made with Cabernet Franc, shine when paired with richer desserts made with chocolate, which bring out their red fruit flavours.

How Ice Wine Is Made

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Only until the ambient air temperature is about 18°F are the grapes really picked; they are always done by hand and most typically between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning (by 10:00 a.m., when the sun gets high enough the sky, it gets too warm out). All of this is closely monitored for the express purpose that, at this freezing temperature, the water crystals within the grapes become solid and are separated from the unctuous, delicious liquid juice that remains. This lower temperature is maintained throughout the whole winemaking process.

While the sugar levels are increased (typically in excess of 35 or 40 brix), the acid levels are also significantly raised.

Ice Wine the World Over

It is generally recognized that ice wine originated in the freezing environment of Northern Europe; yet, it was not until the 1970s that North America got a strong footing in the market. When Canada’s Inniskillin Vidal Icewine won the Grand Prix trophy at the 1991 Bordeaux Wine Competition in June, the country’s production of this highly sought-after wine soared to unprecedented heights. Canada currently produces more than 250,000 bottles each year, surpassing the previous record of 200,000. The Finger Lakes area of New York only entered the ice wine competition in the 1990s, but it has already earned a reputation for excellence.

Fake Ice Wine

There are a few states in the southern United States that produce ice wines that can only be described as “fake.” In part because the temperatures in California and Washington never get cold enough to properly freeze the grapes, there are a few well-known producers who pick the grapes early in the morning, freeze them, and then proceed with the winemaking process as if it were a natural occurrence in the vineyard.

Technically, they shouldn’t be referring to their wines as “ice wine,” and several nations have implemented legislation requiring that their production adhere to VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) standards.

These wines are sometimes referred to as “Vin de Glace.” Producing fake ice wines is a widespread practice that occurs all over the world, therefore it is advisable to purchase from reputable vendors.

Ice wine is often made from Riesling, Ehrenfelser, and Gewurztraminer in Europe, but Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Seyval Blanc, and Merlot are the most commonly utilized grapes in Canada’s ice wine manufacturing. Ice wines are also being produced in the form of sparkling ice wines.

Ice Wine Pairings

Because it is considered a dessert wine and because it is quite sweet, you would not want to drink ice wine with a dessert that is too sweet, such as crème brulée or chocolate cake. Dessert should be served in tiny liqueur glasses with a few nibbles of cheese (blue and goat cheeses are particularly good), but don’t rule out serving this exquisite wine alongside foie gras as an aperitif before the main meal. LoveToKnow Media was founded in the year 2022. All intellectual property rights are retained.

What is Ice Wine?

Merlot, Cabernet, Riesling, to name a few. Colors such as red, white, and glittering. When it comes to wine, there appears to be an infinite number of variations and styles to pick from, making it difficult for a person to know which is the best choice for them. Unfortunately, the quickest and most accurate method to ascertain this is to attend a tasting or to sample a variety of flavors to decide which ones you prefer. Once you’ve determined the sorts of wine you prefer, you may filter your search even further by focusing on certain brands or styles.

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When compared to other, more popular wines available today, ice wine is distinct in the method it is harvested and the way it is processed.

Wines that do not adhere to these requirements will not be branded as Ice Wine, but they may be referred to as such by other names.

Ice Wine Harvesting

First and foremost, what comes to mind when you hear the word “Ice Wine” is a frozen beverage. I’m hope you said “ice,” because you’d be absolutely correct. Ice plays a significant role in the reason that Ice Wine is referred to as ice wine, but the exact explanation for this may astound you. It is recommended that you serve this exceptionally sweet wine cold, but the name “Ice Wine” does not refer to the fact that the grapes used to make this wine must be gathered while they are still frozen to the vine.

Once the grapes have been picked, they are transported straight to the winery for processing and bottling.

A little percentage of the liquid in the frozen grapes is used to make excellent ice wine, and the liquid is extraordinarily sweet, perhaps even more so than the sugar content in a 12-ounce can of your favorite soda.

In other words, these grapes are cultivated in very cold climes, such as those found in Germany, Austria, Canada, and, occasionally, China.

It is not permitted to identify wine made from commercially frozen grapes as “Ice Wine.” Instead, it will be referred to as “iced wine” or “dessert wine” if the grapes are utilized to make wine. To summarize, if you’re seeking for authentic Ice Wine, make sure you read the labels carefully.

What Does Ice Wine Taste Like?

Ice Wine, as previously said, is a particularly sweet kind of wine. Because the water in the grapes freezes, but the sugars and other dissolved solids do not, the result is a wine that is even sweeter than most sugar-filled sodas because the sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze. Because of the sweetness of the wine, it is typically served as a dessert wine rather than something that would be served with a meal; nevertheless, if you are searching for a food combination, it may be paired with some softer cheeses.

There is considerable variation in the amount of alcohol in it, but it normally has approximately 10 percent alcohol, which is a bit less than standard table wine, while some sweeter wines can have alcohol levels as low as 6 percent.

Why is Ice Wine Expensive?

In average, Ice Wine is a little more expensive than a standard bottle of red wine. If you want to buy an average bottle of Ice Wine, it will cost you anywhere from $30 to $50 per bottle, depending on where you buy it and what region it comes from. Because the process of making the wine is difficult and requires harvesting at very specific times, it is more expensive to produce than most traditional wines, and the higher cost is passed on to the customer. It also produces less wine when compared to grapes that are picked unfrozen, which is in part due to the difficulties associated with harvesting frozen grapes.

And all of the grapes are hand selected to ensure that they are in the best possible condition to produce the best wine.Because the process is so rigorous and the market for Ice Wine is still relatively small, the wineries must charge a premium in order to make it worthwhile for them to invest the time and resources necessary to produce it.

What is Ice Wine? (Eiswein) – A Quick Guide • Winetraveler

This guide on Ice Wine (also known as Eiswein) is part of our wine resource series, which includes a number of other guides. Learn about the many types of wine and winemaking styles. Consider dessert wine when you hear the term ‘Ice Wine,’ or see the German spelling of ‘Eiswein.’ Ice wine, which is most notably produced in Canada, is about as sweet as it gets when it comes to wine. This is due to the fact that it is made from grapes that were naturally frozen while still on the grapevine at one point in time.

Image courtesy of

Why does freezing grapes on the vine make wine sweeter?

Grapes that have been allowed to freeze while still on the vine have been shown to freeze only the water that has accumulated within the grapes. A regular occurrence at the conclusion of the growing season is for the grapes to be frozen, thawed, and then frozen again. Every time this occurs, the grape’s taste profile and complexity grow as a result of the process.

Sugars and other polyphenol chemicals contained therein will not freeze, and their concentration increases considerably when the water is removed from the equation. Ice wine is notoriously sugary, and for good reason! Learn More About How Tannins Affect the Flavor of Wine in this Related Article

The Production of Ice Wine

When the grapes are ready for harvest, they are de-stemmed and pressed while still naturally frozen in the ground. Before the fermentation process begins, the extremely concentrated sweet grape juice is squeezed out and separated from the frozen water. As fermentation progresses, it’s normal for Ice Wine to have an alcohol concentration of no more than 12 percent, owing to the high sugar content, which prevents most of the sugar from being converted to alcohol, or the fermentation being stopped just before bottling.

Types of Grapes Used to Make Ice Wine

The grapes Vidal, Cabernet Franc,Riesling, and Gewurztraminer are the most typically utilized in the production of Ice Wine. They tend to be more acidic in nature, which serves to balance the wine and prevent it from becoming too syrupy after the winemaking process is complete. Other grape varietals, including as Seyval Blanc, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay, are being experimented with by New World winemakers these days as well.

Food Pairing Ice Wines

They should be served with sweets that are just as sweet as the wines and have a small amount of fat to balance off the sweetness. Some of our favorite dessert combinations are creme brulee, pecan pie, banana pudding, and french vanilla ice cream, to name a few. Ice wines can also be served with particularly fatty meals, such as foie gras, as an alternative match. To create a super-secret and fascinating match that defies conventional wisdom, consider mixing your favorite ice wine with sushi!

You’ll be pleasantly pleased.

Photo courtesy of

Notable Ice Wine Producing Countries

  • Canada, Germany, Austria, the Northwestern and Northeastern United States, and China are among the countries represented.

Because the grapes must be chosen and the harvest must be timed to coincide with the attainment of certain temperatures, yields for most Ice Wine winemakers are modest compared to other varieties. Many Ice Wines are often more expensive as a result of these qualities, and some of the greatest can cost more than $100 per bottle. It should be noted that Ice Wine is a dessert wine that is not produced by allowing botrytis (also known as “Noble Rot”) to take root. Many other dessert wines, such as French Sauternes and certain Rieslings, are produced by exploiting this rot, which is an assumption that is frequently made with respect to Ice Wine.

Ice Wine, You’re So Fine (A Detailed Guide)

Welcome to the delightful world of ice wine, which is considered to be one of the nicest blunders that Mother Nature has ever created. It’s difficult to imagine why someone would ever set out to brew this wine on purpose. True ice wine is one of the most difficult and depressing wines to make since it requires so much patience and perseverance.

Consider the following scenario: you’re outside in sub-zero temperatures, in the dark, on a slick slope, in the middle of a frozen winter, and you’re attempting to pick grapes. This is a glass of ice wine.

Ice Wine, You’re So Fine

It’s one of those wines that some of us despise but really don’t. After all, it has nearly twice the amount of sugar found in Coca-Cola. Even still, it’s difficult to dislike the great gift that grapes and a chilly environment combine to produce.

A Lil’ History

Some believe that during a particularly hard winter in Franken, Germany, around the year 1794, winemakers in the region were obliged to develop a product out of the grapes that were available for harvest. The wines produced from that vintage had an astonishingly high sugar level, as well as a rich and complex taste. As a result, the approach gained widespread acceptance in Germany. By the mid-1800s, the Rheingau area started producing a kind of wine known as eiswein in German. This offer expires on January 31!

Read on to find out more

Making Ice Wine

The key to making ice wine is to process frozen grapes at a temperature of roughly 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 degrees Celsius). Frozen grapes are harvested while still frozen on the vine and transported to the winery. Consider the impact of thousands of hard, ice pebbles crashing into a grape crusher and a grape press at the same time. Ouch! Many historic presses have been destroyed by the strain of squeezing frozen grapes! As a result, only around 10–20 percent of the liquid contained within these frozen grapes is utilized to make ice wine.

The fermentation process is long, sluggish, and picky!

220 g/L is twice as sweet as a Coke, which is a significant difference.

Grapes Used To Produce Ice Wine

The grapes that do well in cold areas are the ones that produce the greatest ice wines, and these are Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc, and Vidal Blanc, among others. Cabernet Franc is a stunning wine with a vivid orange-ruby colour, but it is difficult to locate outside of Canada’s province of Ontario. True ice wine can only be made from grapes that have been harvested frozen from the vine. Andrew McFarlane’s photographs of vineyards in Michigan

True Ice Wine

For true ice wine to be produced, a cold environment is required, and the grapes must be harvested while still frozen on the vine. Fortunately, in Canada, Germany, Austria, and the United States, dessert wines that contain grapes that have been professionally frozen are not permitted to be branded as ice wines.

When you see these items, they are most often branded as “iced wine” or simply “dessert wine.” To summarize, if you’re seeking for authentic ice wine, shop with caution and pay attention to the labels or check up manufacturing details.

Pairing Food With Ice Wine

Ice wine is a dessert wine with intense fruit notes and is on the sweeter end of the sweetness range. As a result, you’ll want to match it with sweets that are more delicate in flavor yet have enough fat to balance the flavor profile. A terrific matching choice with ice wine if you prefer savory late-night nibbles is soft cheeses, which are especially delicious with the chilled wine. Desserts that go well with ice wine include cheesecake, vanilla pound cake, ice cream, coconut ice cream, fresh fruit panna cotta, and white chocolate mousse, to name a few.

Expect To Spend Over $30

Ice wines are extremely expensive to produce. Ice wine necessitates the use of 4–5 times the amount of grapes as regular wine. Furthermore, they have all been hand-picked. Despite the fact that the market for these wines is modest, it is feasible to find excellent bargains around the $30 range in this category (for 375 ml bottle). A 375 ml bottle of several excellent Canadian ice wines costs more than $50, which is prohibitively expensive. In the case of ice wines that are significantly less expensive, they are almost certainly created using professionally frozen grapes (“iced wine” or “Riesling Ice”) or have been contaminated in some way.

Aging Ice Wine

The majority of people assume that ice wines have a shelf life of around 10 years, while specific kinds (Riesling and Grüner Veltliner) have a longer shelf life. Still, if you enjoy the tingling sensation of acidity in an ice wine, don’t intend on keeping it for an extended period of time. After some time has passed, the glitter has faded away, revealing a syrupy, rich, deep bronze-colored wine. In an ice wine that has been matured for a lengthy period of time, tastes of molasses, maple, and hazelnut can be expected.

Up Next: Dessert Wines

Learn more about the different classes of dessert wines and discover new favorites in this informative article. Refer to the Guide.

Making Icewine: Tips from the Pros

Karl Kaiser is one of the co-founders of Inniskillin Wines, which is based in Niagara, Ontario. Austria is where he was born and raised, and he went to a monastic school where winemaking and viticulture were traditions. The next year (1974), he graduated from Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Bio-Chemistry. While still in school, Karl began purchasing vines and creating his own wine, which led him to meet Donald Ziraldo, the man who would become his future business partner, at Ziraldo Nurseries.

  • The fact that Canada is endowed with frigid winters led me to believe it would be an ideal climate in which to manufacture icewine.
  • Icewine owes much of its distinctiveness to a high degree of acidity, which helps to maintain a healthy balance between the high concentration of sugar in the grapes and the acidity of the wine.
  • The climatic conditions of Canada’s Niagara Peninsula are ideal for the creation of icewine.
  • Our icewine is made from French hybrids, like as Vidal, and is served chilled.
  • Vitis vinifera fruits such as Riesling and Cabernet Franc are also suitable for making icewine, but any late-ripening grape with a high level of acidity will do.
  • When the grapes are repeatedly frozen and thawed, they get dehydrated, concentrating the sugars and acids in the juice and strengthening the flavor.
  • In contrast to other types of wine, which can be obtained in similar-sized half-bottles, icewine is virtually exclusively available in the tall, high-necked “Bellissima-style” bottle depicted in this photograph.
  • The harvest takes place between December and January at temperatures ranging from 22 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (–9 to –13 degrees Celsius).
  • Despite the use of protective netting, wind damage and devouring birds can further diminish the already poor yields, which can be as low as five to ten percent of the usual yield in some instances.
  • During the pressing process, the water in the juice remains frozen as ice crystals, and just a few drops of delicious concentrated juice are recovered from each grape.
  • During the aging process, the juice ferments at a very slow rate for several weeks, perhaps even months.

It spontaneously comes to a stop fermenting when it reaches roughly 10–12 percent alcohol by volume. According to VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) specifications, residual sugar must be a minimum of 125 grams per liter (g/L). The concentration of icewine in Inniskillin is between 150 and 250 g/L.

All You Need To Know About Ice Wine and Its Unique Facts

Although grape harvesting is often associated with the fall season, in some regions of the world, grapes are gathered after the typical harvest season has ended in order to produce a delicious nectar known as Ice wine. Due to the fact that ice wines can only be produced in locations with appropriate winter temperatures, it is unquestionably a wine gem. Continue reading to learn more about the product’s origins, manufacturing process, and other details.

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Ice wine? You mean the one that’s been frozen?

Image courtesy of Flickr It’s not truly true, but it might be misconstrued as such. Ice wine is a sort of late-harvest wine created from grapes that have been allowed to freeze naturally on the vine or that have been allowed to remain on the vine past the normal growing season. In order to avoid any mistakes during this delicate process, it is important to select the grapes at the exact moment when the appropriate temperatures are reached, which is normally in early December or late February.

Who are the legends of ice wine?

Going all the way back to 1794, German winemakers were forced to press frozen grapes that had been left on the vines due to an abnormally severe winter. The result was the first Eiswein with a very high sugar content and a fantastic taste, which was achieved. Production of such a wine began in Canada in the 1980s, and it has since become a treasured part of the province’s history. It was on the Niagara Peninsula that winemakers first began making ice wine in the province of Ontario. Germany and Canada are the world leaders in the manufacturing of ice wine, while it is now manufactured in countries all over the world, including Australia, Austria, Denmark, New York, and others.

Breaking it down- how is it made?

To begin, net the grape vines to keep hungry birds, wild boar, and other critters away from the ripening grapes, which they enjoy the taste of because of their sweetness. During the freezing procedure, the grapes are kept at a temperature of around -7 degree Celsius or 19 degree Fahrenheit. The harvested grapes are pressed while they are still frozen; the resultant liquid has high quantities of sugar and undiluted acid, with the majority of the water remaining in the form of ice. A sweeter and more concentrated wine is produced as a result of the rapid freezing of the water contained within the grapes while the sugar, acid, and other components remain stable.

If the procedure is carried out correctly and at the appropriate time, the outcome is the strongly flavorful, rich, and highly sought-after Ice wine, which achieves an excellent balance between acidity and sweetness that is often absent from dessert wines.

Image courtesy of Flickr The entire procedure, from harvest to pressing, takes around six hours or more and must be completed when the weather conditions are favorable.

Because of the uncertain nature of weather patterns, harvesting is done in the frigid hours of the night or very early in the morning.

It takes a big number of people to harvest a whole crop in a short period of time, which can take as little as a few hours. The climates in Ontario and British Columbia are the most favorable for dependable production.

What does it taste like?

Image courtesy of Flickr Ice wines are delicate and light, with concentrated tastes, and each varietal has its own personality. They are best served chilled. A robust backbone of acidity underpins all of the varietals, creating the right balance for your tongue. Ice wine derived from red grapes is light-burgundy in color and tends to be sweeter in flavor, with a taste that is comparable to that of sweets and berries in flavor. Ice wine, which is prepared from white grapes, has a pale gold hue and a flavor that is akin to peach.

What grapes are used in ice wine?

Traditionally, Riesling grapes were used to make this wine. Caberfranc and Merlot grapes are used to make the best red ice wines, while Vidal (a hybrid grape type) is the most common white grape varietal used to make Canadian Ice wine. Chardonnay, Malbec, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc are some of the other varieties that are employed.

Why so pricey?

Consider the following scenario: you’re standing in sub-zero temperatures, trying to harvest grapes off snow-covered vines. Isn’t it a little chilly? Pinterest is the source of this image. Since the process of creating frozen wine includes a mix of government rules, a huge workforce, and danger, finding inexpensive ice wine can be challenging. Years in which there is no frost at all, causing the grapes to rot or else being lost, can occur depending on the weather. Additionally, its manufacturing is confined to particular areas where the environment is cold and frosts are assured, as previously said.

Serving and Pairing ice wine with food

Image courtesy of Flickr Make sure to chill your ice wine first to 10-degree Celcius. Use a chilled tulip shaped ice wine glass which reflects the gold color of the wine. It is after all a dessert wine and should be served with dessert. Since it has dominating fruity flavors like pineapple, papaya enjoy drinking it with chocolate mousse, ice cream or cheesecake. Use the thumb rule of not pairing it with food that is sweeter than the ice wine itself. Being a super sweet wine, it can also be paired with foods having high-fat content like a platter of cheese, pork, beef, sausages, etc.

All About Ice Wine

Ice wine is one of the most underappreciated, but also one of the most unique, wines available. Ice wine is presented in those aesthetically pleasing (and pricey!) tall, thin, and elegant bottles, as if it were the tiny sister of the big guys. But what the hell is it, and where does it come from to make it? What is the flavor of the drink? Find out more about ice wine in the following guest article by a winemaker who specializes in it. When it comes to mixing Reisling ice wine with food, one Finger Lakes NY ice wine winery advocates going outside the box.

What is Ice Wine? Where is Ice Wine Produced? White Ice Wine vs Red Ice WineWhat Process is used to Make Ice Wine Made?How is Ice Wine Made in Canada?How should Ice Wine be Served?Tips for Serving Ice Wine CorrectlyWhat are the best foods to pair with ice wine?

It varies depending on where you are and who is telling the story, but tradition has it that a German winemaker made a grave error by allowing his vineyard to freeze in the winter.

In addition, that same winemaker suggested to himself, “Why not create wine from frozen grapes?” And that’s exactly what we got today: a major blunder that turned out to be the most delicious error ever (double the sweetness of Coca-Cola). However, it came to pass that ice wine is now a reality.

What is Ice Wine?

You know everything about Ice Wine – you’re a natural! Ice Wine is a type of wine that is prepared from grapes that have been allowed to naturally freeze on the vine before being picked. It has a pleasingly rich, sweet taste that is reminiscent of various ripe tropical fruits, including lychee, papaya, and pineapple, among others, as well as the fragrances and flavors of these fruits. Despite the fact that all varieties of ice wine are sweet, the correct amount of acid in them ensures that they are perfectly balanced.

Where is Ice Wine Produced?

Grapes for ice wine that have been frozen on the vine. The Niagara Peninsula is located in Canada. Photograph courtesy of Dominic Rivard of Bangkok, Thailand. An ancient German winemaker unintentionally let his vineyard to freeze over many hundred years ago, and he decided to produce wine out of the grapes that had accumulated on the ground. Whatever its origins, ice wine has now become a staple of the world’s viticultural repertoire. Having consistently freezing temperatures is essential for producing icewine, which is why it is made in Germany and Austria, as well as Canada, New York’s Finger Lakes area, and even Michigan.

White Ice Wine vs Red Ice Wine

Wine connoisseurs typically pick between a full-bodied white wine and an excessively sweet red wine, depending on their preferences. White ice wine is prepared from white grapes and has a light gold hue. It has flavors of citrus and peach and is often served chilled. Red ice wine, on the other hand, is prepared from red grapes and has a tint that is often pink and tastes like dried figs, candies, and berries. What is the process that is utilized to make Ice Wine? According to historical reports, the first ice wine was produced in Germany in the early nineteenth century.

Today, however, Eiswein is not created on a constant basis throughout the year, due to the fact that there are years when the temperatures do not drop sufficiently low enough, and German legislation prohibits the use of artificial freezing.

Some of the world’s finest ice wines are produced in Ontario, earning the province the title of “An Ontario Treasure.” Viola blanch, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc are the grape types that are most often planted and permitted for use in Ontario.

How is Ice Wine Made in Canada?

What is the process of making Ice Wine in Canada?

  • A netting operation is carried out on the grape vines in Ontario, Canada, during the fall months in order to keep birds and other animals from eating the grapes. Grapes are kept on the vine until a temperature of -8°C or below is maintained for an extended period of time. This occurs somewhere between the months of December and February
  • The grapes dehydrate at some point between the conclusion of the growing season and the time of harvest. These dried grapes concentrate the juices and provide the distinctively complex characteristics of ice wine, which is made from them. At wineries, weather forecasts are closely monitored for the most suitable temperature range, which is between -10°C and -12°C. Between the temperatures of 35°Bx and 39°Bx, this range yields highly delicious juice. It is customary to harvest and press the grapes over a period of at least six hours throughout the night. Bx is an abbreviation for Brix, and degrees Brix is a unit of sugar measurement
  • Harvesting and pressing the grapes usually takes place during the night. Many vineyards still pick grapes by hand
  • The grapes are pressed while still frozen, as is common in the wine industry. It is as a result of this process that only a tiny amount of concentrated juice is extracted, while the majority of the water is left behind as ice. In order to compensate for this, the juice yields of ice wine grapes are significantly lower than the projected yield of table wine grapes. It is undeniably true that ice wine is a pricey purchase, as evidenced by the fact that a 375mL or 500mL bottle may cost anywhere from $20 to several hundred dollars.

How should Ice Wine be Served?

Ice wine is produced by Coyote Moon Vineyards in upstate New York.

Photo courtesy of Coyote Moon Vineyards. Wine enthusiasts who want to get the most out of their ice wine experience by savoring every part of this one-of-a-kind beverage should learn how to serve it properly.

Tips for Serving Ice Wine Correctly

Icewine is sometimes referred to be a “dessert wine,” thus it is important to refrigerate this wine for a few hours before serving. Allow your wine glasses to chill for an hour before serving the wine to ensure that they are perfectly chilled. To serve the ice wine, big wine glasses should be used. A big bowl should be used for this, so that the tastes of the ice wine may be thoroughly exposed to the air and properly released. Refrigerate the wine glasses and serve the wine over ice. Afterwards, fill the wine glasses just half-full, allowing for ample of air to interact with the wine’s huge surface area, as described above.

What are the best foods to pair with ice wine?

Pair ice wine with chocolate for a decadent treat that will leave you wanting more. Image courtesy of Pixabay Despite the fact that ice wine is a dessert in and of itself, it may be served alongside other sweets. A creamy sweet dessert such as mousse or ice cream with a coconut flavoring are the most suited accompaniments for this dish. You may also pair white ice wine with fruit-based sweets for a refreshing treat. Dark chocolate and red ice wine go together like peanut butter and jelly. Icewine pairs nicely with a range of cheeses, including blue-veined, goat cheese, salty parmesan, and triple cream, to name a few examples.

When served with spicy Thai, Indian, or Mexican cuisine, it is at its finest.

Finally, but certainly not least, you may use ice wine as a mixer by adding a splash to sparkling wine or mixed drinks such as margaritas.

More tips for wine lovers:

Shutterstock When individuals first learn about wines, they begin to categorize them into two categories: reds and whites. Afterwards, we’ll discuss the many grape varietals found in each category, such as chardonnay, pinot grigio, Malbec, and so on. Dessert wines, on the other hand, are sometimes neglected as a category. According to Wine Folly, there are historically five varieties of dessert wines: sparkling, gently sweet, lavishly sweet, sweet red, and fortified. Sparkling is the most common form of dessert wine.

According to Wine Folly, ice wine, also known as eiswein in Germany and Austria, is a special type of dessert wine made from grapes harvested late in the winter in cold climates after they have frozen on the vine.

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According to The New York Times, in Canada, a product cannot be labeled as ice wine unless the grapes were plucked at a temperature of 17.6 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, and US manufacturers typically adhere to Canadian rules in their production.

How ice wine is processed

Shutterstock By the time ice wine grapes are plucked, they have shriveled to the point that they resemble raisins. Because the grapes have been on the vine for such a long period of time, most of the water contained within them has evaporated, increasing the concentration of sugar and acid in the small amount of liquid that remains (viaForbes). Because the sugars in the grapes do not freeze, only the water does, the cold temperatures cause the liquid to solidify into ice crystals instead of liquid.

Because the grapes are still frozen when they begin the process, when they are pressed, the crystals of frozen water remain behind and only the concentrated juice with a powerful sweetness and high acidity is extracted.

If the temperature of the processing area is too low, frozen grapes can be a problem for older wine presses, which, according to Wine Folly, can sometimes even break from the pressure of processing and crushing the rock hard grapes.

Chemistry is important in making ice wine

Shutterstock Winemakers must quantify the amount of sugar present in their grapes before they can call their product ice wine. A Brix is a unit of measurement used in this context. According to Forbes, one degree Brix equals one percent sugar, or one gram of sugar for every 100 grams of liquid. Distinct locations have different standards that producers must meet in order to be termed ice wine, however generally speaking, it is regarded to be between 35 and 39 degrees Brix (via35Brix). After the grapes are pressed, a process that takes around six hours, according to 35Brix, the juice is filtered to remove seeds before being progressively added to a mixture of yeast and water, which is then allowed to ferment in tanks until it becomes wine.

Bench 1775 Winery in British Columbia sent a press release in March following their ice wine harvest “We’ve moved on to the next step of our ice wine production, which involves monitoring and waiting for results.

As soon as they begin to shift, we begin to measure the amount of alcohol consumed.”

Fermenting and bottling ice wine

Getty Images/Bloomberg News When compared to the typical wine fermentation process, which might take several weeks to a few months, ice wines take three to six months, according to the Social Vignerons. Temperatures in fermentation tanks are likewise kept at a lower level during this period. Because of the high sugar concentration, the yeast stops fermenting more quickly than it would in regular wine, resulting in the sweet, typically lower alcohol content ice wine that we know and love. Upon completion of the fermenting process, the wine is bottled.

“You want to bottle the ice wine as soon as possible to avoid re-fermentation of the ice wine,” he explained.

Because of the high sugar content, ice wines may age well, darkening in color and altering the flavor profile from fresh citrus to more dried fruits and caramel as the wine ages.

Wine According to Folly, most ice wines should not be matured for more than 10 years, while others can be kept for up to 20 years. Nonetheless, the longer they are stored, the more they lose their brilliant, crisp flavor and become more syrupy in taste.

Originally from Germany, Canada is now the world’s leading producer

According to legend, ice wine was first created in Franken, Germany, in 1794, and has been around since (viaWine Folly). The grapes were frozen before they could be harvested because of an early and extremely cold winter, and the vintners were forced to pick the frozen grapes off the vine. The sweet wine grew in popularity, and eiswein was regularly produced in Germany and Austria during the nineteenth century. It has been reported that they do not always have cold enough winters to reliably produce good ice wine, according to Social Vignerons.

As a result, ice wine began to be produced in North America in the 1970s.

Inniskillin of Ontario has established itself as one of the world’s leading producers of ice wines, and their 2003 aged vidal ice wine was served by President Obama at the Nobel Peace Prize banquet in 2009, among other honors (viaTravel Awaits).

Different grapes change the flavor, as will what you eat with it

While ice wine is typically prepared from sweeter wine grapes such as Reisling, Viognier, or Vidal, practically any grape may be used to make ice wine, including red grapes like as Cabernet Franc, according to Wine Follynotes, including red varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon. The variety of grape used will undoubtedly influence the flavor profile of the ice wine, although the acidity of the wine typically serves to counteract its sweetness. According to The Drinks Business, while most ice wines have a citrus-forward flavor with notes of honey and stone fruits, others can include floral or berry notes, as well as tropical fruits such as lychee and pineapple, depending on the variety.

Desserts with a milder flavor profile, such as crème brûlée, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, or vanilla pound cake, are recommended for an after-dinner match by Wine Folly.

To make ice wine, they need considerably more grapes than they do to make a regular bottle of wine.

Most ice wines are acquired directly from wineries, over the internet, or from speciality wine stores around the country.

Ice Wine 101: Everything You Need To Know About Canada’s Sweetest Sip

Ice wines are a relatively new phenomenon in the world of viticulture — or, at least, they appear to be. Back in ancient Rome, a writer named Pliny the Elder recommended that some grape varietals should not be picked until the first frost had come. In addition, the poet Martial advocated that grapes be kept on the vine until November, or until they became stiff from cold, whichever came first.

However, whether or not the Romans were on to something remains a matter of debate, but one thing is certain: Canadian winemakers are following their lead and allowing their grapes to be exposed to the elements — and the results have been nothing short of remarkable.

What Is Ice Wine?

Ice wine is a highly sweet wine that’s typically given with dessert or at the conclusion of a meal to complement the sweetness of the dessert. It is prepared from grapes that have frozen on the vine, which occurs when the ambient temperature reaches 17.6 degrees Celsius (or below). Winemakers harvest and press the grapes while they are still frozen, in order to prevent the grapes from thawing and spoiling the finished product. Only the highly concentrated juice is extracted from the frozen berries, leaving behind the cold water crystals and resulting in a product with a strong taste.

However, it is the extent of the freedom available.

Because it is such a well controlled procedure, customers can be confidence in what they are purchasing.

Flavor And Pairings

Ice wine is very sweet – almost too sweet to drink. In fact, it has almost double the sweetness of a soda pop. A little goes a long way when it comes to beauty products! In order to accommodate this, ice wine is frequently packaged in smaller bottles than standard wine bottles. Bottles of ice wine are often available in half-size and gift sizes, with portions as little as 1.7 ounces. Ice wine’s highly sweet taste mixes nicely with sweet treats like fruit and chocolate. It can also be served on its own as a light dessert option in lieu of dessert.

KarepaStock / Shutterstock.comA cheese platter topped with figs, dark chocolate, honey, and a touch of pate would be the ideal set of appetizers to accompany an ice wine.KarepaStock / Shutterstock

How Is Ice Wine Made?

It would be an understatement to say that making ice wine is a difficult endeavor. After the grapes have reached maturity, a strong freeze is required to preserve the flavor of the wine. The ripening grapes remain on the vines for several months until the arrival of the winter months. During this period of inactivity, they are vulnerable to injury, decay, and invasions by birds and other creatures, among other things. Starlings, deer, and insects are all attracted to the grapes used to make ice wine, and they aren’t the only ones.

  • Other times, the frost is too severe, and the grapes become worthless as a result.
  • Grape preservation and climatic conditions are only a portion of the difficulty in growing grapes.
  • Almost all winemakers select their grapes by hand, in a matter of hours, before pressing them in unheated facilities – all of this in the dead of winter!
  • In many smaller vineyards, friends and relatives are recruited to help out, and in certain cases, urgent requests are made to the local community for aid.

A warm and delicious lunch, as well as wine gifts and a celebratory ambiance, are provided by the vineyard in exchange. Being a part of an ice wine harvest may be an immensely unforgettable experience if you aren’t frightened of hard work and have strong, warm boots and cold clothes.

Who Makes Ice Wine?

Canada is the world’s leading producer of ice wine, accounting for more than half of global production. In fact, Canada produces more ice wine than any of the other countries put together! Germany and Austria rank in second and third place, respectively, and there are little ice wine enterprises in a number of other nations, including the United States, Italy, and Japan, according to the International Ice Wine Association. Canada’s Okanagan Valley was the site of the country’s first ice wine production, which took place in 1972.

Since then, Ontario has established itself as the uncontested global leader in the manufacturing of ice wine.

It is estimated that the region of Niagara-on-the-Lake alone is responsible for 60 percent of all ice wine produced in Canada.

In all, 96 wineries in Canada are involved in the production of ice wine.

Notable Producers Of Ice Wine

Inniskillinis the most well-known brand of ice wine in the world. They were the first in the world to commercially produce ice wine, and if you’ve ever seen Canadian ice wine on the market outside of Canada, there’s a high chance it came from Inniskillin’s cellars. There are more than 70 nations where their products are sold. Inniskillin manufactures ice wines from a variety of varietals, including vidal, riesling, gewurztraminer, and cabernet Franc, as well as sparkling ice wine. Visitors are welcome to stop by their vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake for tours and tastings.

  1. Image courtesy of Alva Angelica / Join the Greatest Vineyard Tour atPeller Estates Winery, which culminates with ice wine tastings in the winery’s igloo-inspired ice wine bar, which is located in the winery.
  2. The company, which was conceived by Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky, also dabbles in the production of beer, spirits, and classic wines, among other things.
  3. In addition to its cabernet Franc and vidal ice wines, Between The Lines Winery now offers a wine tasting with cheese and charcuterie.
  4. Art tours, yoga tours, and starlit tours are just a few of the immersive experiences that they provide.
  5. Tours, tastings, and trips to their sensory garden are all available to guests.
  6. In a converted 1940s fruit cannery, Strawn Winery makes a range of wines, among them cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Vidal ice wine.
  7. Photograph courtesy of eskystudio / The Ice House Winery, as the name indicates, is a winery that specialized in ice wine.

Their ice wine products, as well as their ice wine slushie kits, are made from grapes such as merlot, vidal, riesling, cabernet Franc, and gewurztraminer, among others.

There’s a wood-fired pizza restaurant on the premises, and the dessert menu includes a list of ice wine alternatives, which is rather unique!

You may try them out on a winery tour, at the winery’s restaurant, or at one of the numerous culinary events the winery hosts throughout the year.

Jackson-Triggs claims to be Canada’s most awarded winery, and it’s likely that they’re correct in their claim.

Jackson-Triggs, one of the oldest and largest Niagara wineries, is a pioneer in the promotion of Canadian wines and devotes just as much time and effort to the production of ice wines.

One of Ontario’s premier concert venues, their estate amphitheater mixes together music and wine in a unique setting.

How Do You Know You’re Trying The Real Deal?

Among ice wine producers, Inniskillin is the most well-known. They were the first in the world to commercially produce ice wine, and if you’ve ever seen Canadian ice wine on the market outside of Canada, there’s a good chance it came from Inniskillin’s vineyards. There are more than 70 nations where they sell their products. With grapes such as Vidal, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, and other varietals, Inniskillin creates ice wines, as well as sparkling ice wines. For tours and tastings, guests are welcome to visit their winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Images courtesy of Alva Angelica /

It is not simply ice wines that are popular at Wayne Gretzky Estates.

Tours, tastings, and cocktail courses are all offered, and from December through March, customers may skate on the ice rink on the grounds of the brewery.

Among the many immersive experiences they provide are art tours, yoga tours, and starlit excursions.

Tours, tastings, and trips to the sensory garden are all available to guests at no additional charge!

The winery, which is located on the grounds of a refurbished 1940s fruit cannery, produces a range of wines, including cabernet sauvignon, cabernet Franc, and vidal ice wine, and it has three distinct tasting bars.

This business is housed in an 1890s peach packing plant that has been transformed.

Pillitteri, a well-known name in the Niagara wine industry, has received more than 800 accolades for their wine throughout the years.

Trius Winery has a Niagara estate where they produce cabernet Franc, riesling, and vidal ice wines.

In order to prevent visitors from relying on the color of the wine to discern what is in their glass, all wines are served in black glasses during the black glass dinner.

The most well-known of them all, without a doubt.

When it comes to marketing Canadian wines, Jackson-Triggs is a trailblazer. The winery is also a pioneer in the production of ice wines, which it does with equal zeal. One of Ontario’s premier performance venues, their estate amphitheater mixes together music and wine in a unique setting.

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