Due to the different choices available in terms of the making of wines, a person should know that winemaking isn’t a straightforward process. Grapes tend to be picked in a number of ways and each particular winery has their own trade secrets which they use in the preparation of their aging wines in order to make certain individual flavors. Regardless of all these secrets and methods, one which is still unusual involves the use of frozen grapes to make wine. As such this wine is called ice wine and though it is not commonly made, it is quite popular.
Ice wine is called Eiswein in Germany as the Germans were the first to make the wine as they still do today. A number of other countries also make a huge amount of Ice wine and this includes countries of North America a number of countries in Eastern Europe. Ice wines are also made in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand. Of the entire lot, Canadians and the Germans are the most proficient in the making of such wines and it is usually reflected in the prices people are ready to pay for Canadian and German ice wines. The largest ice winery in the world is even in Ontario in Canada.
Ice wine is classified as a desert wine which is made from frozen grapes. The grapes are frozen while still growing on the vine. In the periods of frost the grape may freeze to some extent but for perfect wine, a strong freeze must occur after the grapes have sufficiently ripened. What this means in Canada is a temperature of 17F while in Germany, the recommended temperature is 19F. The bad thing about all this is that the grapes are required to remain much longer than normal on the vines. A bad winter or frost could easily ruin the crop. If the process is too lengthy then the grapes may fall rotten from the vines or get devoured by foraging animals. What this usually means is that the grapes from a winter harvest are substantially lesser than those from a regular crop.
As soon as frost sets in, pickers must harvest the entire crop of grape by hand. The grapes also have to be processed quickly so that they remain frozen during the winemaking process. What this means is that the grapes have to be picked late at night or in the early hours of the morning in order to be pressed.
Certain winemakers feel that too much is left to chance in such methods; hence these winemakers freeze the grapes in an artificial condition which bears certain similarities to frost. It has all the advantages of the process while eliminating the disadvantages. It also tends to increase the amount of grapes that can be yielded during harvest.
The taste and aroma from Ice wines are both fruity and sweet. The acid content is high but the alcohol content lower than what you have with most wines. Canadian Ice wine is more alcoholic and can have up to 13% alcohol. Germany has wine with a lesser alcohol content with 6% being the average range.