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Ice Wine

Ice Wine
Icewine is a special type of sweet wine made from frozen grapes while still on the vine. The Icewine origins are going back to Germany around 200 years ago. It was accidentally discovered in Frankonia in 1774, but actually, it was not until the middle of the last century that the German winemakers have produced it in its true way. The father of the Icewine is Dr Hans Georg Ambrosi who has begun to experiment with it in 1955. Traditionally the Icewine was made from Riesling, but it can be made from a large variety of grapes such as Vidal, Chardonnay, Gewürtztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris from the white grapes and Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Gamay. The best Icewines are resulting from grapes that are left to freeze while still on the vine, although many producers are taking the shortcut through the cryoextraction. As they freeze much of the water in the grapes becomes ice and what is leftover are berries with super-concentrated grape juice, sugars and acidity. The Icewine grapes generally must be harvested by minus 7°Celsius or lower at night and pressed immediately. After that, it is left a very small amount of juice, which is then fermented into wine with a lot of the natural sugars remaining. At the end of the process, the result is a luscious beverage that is often slightly lower in alcohol than a dry wine, much sweeter with plentiful acidity which makes the wine feel refresh, light and balanced in the mouth. The production of Icewine is very limited and extremely expensive, thus the price of a small bottle often fetches thousands of dollars or euros. The best expressions are coming from Germany's regions Mosel, Rheingau, Nahe and Rheinhessen as well from Austria's Kamptal, Wachau and Kremstal wine regions. Not to be forgotten is the Okanagan Valley wine region of Canada with its exceptional Icewines from Vidal grape variety.

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