19.01.12 | When frost is actually welcomeIcewine at last
Unlike 2010, this winter seemed to be passing without noticeable winter temperatures, snow or frost. And with the temperatures
coming no way near the necessary – 7 °C
(~ 19 ° F), time was already running out for the famous German Icewines.
Last night finally there was a significant temperature drop in many regions of Germany. The frost is crucial for the grapes, since they have to be frozen to develop the typical Icewine taste.
We are getting word from vintners that in the following regions Icewine harvest was possible last night:
- winery Gregor & Thomas Schätzle in Vogtsburg-Schelingen (Pinot Gris Icewine)
- winery Reiss in Würzburgs (vineyard Pfaffenberg)
- Regional Office for Wine- and Gardening Veitshöchheim (Himmelstadt)
- winery Karthäuserhof (Eitelsbach at Ruwer River)
- winery Steffen-Prüm in Maring (Bernkastel-Kues, vineyard "Sonnenuhr" (Riesling Icewine, 150 degree Oechsle)
- winery Peter König, Assmannshausen (162 degree Oechsle, vineyard Höllenberg
- winery Reiner Flick in Wicke (vineyard "Nonnberg")
- winery Bretz, Bechtolsheim, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay und Riesling, 135 und 140 degree Oechsle
- winery Fluhr, Biebelnheim, Silvaner + Riesling, 130° degree Oechsle
- winery Ralf Christ, Flonheim, Silvaner, Chardonnay und Scheurebe, zwischen 150 und 160° degree Oechsle
- winery Rudolf Fauth, Udenheim, Chardonnay, 140° degree Oechsle
- winery Manz, Weinolsheim, Silvaner, 145° degree Oechsle
- winery Pitthan, Zotzenheim, Silvaner, 150° degree Oechsle
- winery Langenwalter-Gauglitz in Freinsheim (rare grape variety Gewuerztraminer, Kerner and Pinot Gris)
- winery Hochdörffer in Landau-Nußdorf (grape variety Cabernet mitos and Riesling)
- winery Frey in Essingen (grape variety Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Scheurebe, Gewuerztraminer and Muskateller, 160 degree Oechsle)
- winery Herrenberg St. Martin - Schneider Family - in St. Martin (grape variety Riesling, 135 degree Oechsle, vineyard "St. Martiner Schloß Ludwigshöhe").
Weingärtnergenossenschaft Heuholz eG (vinter association) harvested frozen Riesling-grapes with some 20 helpers. The extracted juices smells of Jonagold-apples (136 degree Oechsle).
Due to the long time the grapes had to spend on the vine before they could finally be harvested, the yields are extremely low. Because very strict selection of the grapes is necessary, vintners can only collect a couple of hundred liters, so 2011 icewine will remain quite rare. The sugar levels are of course very high, reaching up to 160 degrees Oechsle (°Oe).
A small Icewine-vintage does not puzzle vintners, though. Since in 2010 the Icewine harvest took place in early November, there is a good amount of Icewine waiting in German Wine Cellars to meet the demand.