What is Ice Wine?

What is Ice Wine?

Traditional way of making wine is quite known – harvests end in early autumn and wine is made of fresh grapes, but if you see grapes hanging from the vine during winter don’t be confused – it’s part of the process of making ice wine. These grapes are left to wait for the first frosts in order to freeze naturally. After being harvested, frozen grapes are immediately pressed to extract their sweet juice. Since most of the water is crystalized, the juice gets to keep concentrated sweetness, acidity and a specific fruity flavor.  Here is a video on how ice wine is made.

The Taste of Ice Wine

Ice wine has appetizing, appealing and luxurious taste, rich with tropical fruit flavors. The relation between its sweetness and acidity is perfectly balanced which makes this wine an excellent dessert wine. You just have to serve it chilled and consume it with a dessert or as a dessert. Ice wine is often used by professional cocktail bartenders due to its distinct and fresh taste.

Where Ice Wine is Produced

Ice wine brands are pretty expensive because their production depends on unpredictable weather and vineyard pests. Some of the most popular and quality brands are produced in Canada, Germany, Austria, Oregon and Michigan. Of course, each country or region has its specificity, but the best climate for stable production of ice wine requires sunny days during summer and cold, but not snappy, winters.

Some of the best ice wine brands are:

1. Weingut Markus Huber 2012 Berg Riesling Eiswein

This Austrian ice wine tastes like honey with a shred of fruity, fresh flavor. It can be left to age for a couple of years.

2. 2007 Hunt County Vineyards Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

This wine has higher levels of acidity and sugar and can also age well.

3. Casa Larga 2008 Cabernet Franc Ice Wine

This is extremely fruity wine with taste that mixes sweet and dry red fruit flavors

4. Dr. Loosen 2012 Riesling Eiswein

This ice wine of honey and apple taste is produced in Germany and it has exceptionally fresh taste.

There are also wines produced by using cryogenic methods of freezing. Although this method enables the production of cleaner and less expensive product, since it allows more control over the sensitive process of making, these wines cannot be considered as ice wine. They carry different names such as “iced wine” or icebox wine”, but a true lover appreciates the value of the original and natural process of making sweet ice wine.

If you haven’t tried ice wine yet you’ve missed an exclusive and unique hedonistic experience.

A Brief History of Winemaking

A Brief History of Winemaking

Wine is one of mankind’s oldest beverages. In fact, you could even argue that wine is one of our oldest inventions over all. It has a storied past, stretching from our modern vineyards all the way back to before recorded history. Read on to see how winemaking has changed since its beginning…


It’s extremely likely that humanity’s first instance of winemaking was completely accidental. While there are conflicting ideas, some archaeologists believe that ancient humans may have stored berries and come back a few days later to discover they had fermented. The first hard evidence for deliberate wine production started showing up around 6000 to 4100 BC: archaeologists discovered pots, crushed grapes, and other evidence at several sites dating to around that time period. At an Armenian site (dated at just about 4100 BC) they discovered a press, fermentation vats, jars, and other instruments – many archaeologists believe this is the earliest known example of a full-blown winery.

Ancient History

By the time written history began, winemaking was already playing a big role in several human cultures. In ancient Greece, for example, wine was a major export thanks to several species of grape that are unique to that area. Later the Roman empire would build upon the Greek’s success and perfect the art of winemaking – with many of their innovations still in practice to this day. It wasn’t just the Mediterranean having all the fun, however – Egyptian hieroglyphics shows that they too had a thriving wine export, mainly doing business with the civilizations of the ancient middle east.

The Middle Ages

Medieval times saw the rise of winemaking in Europe. It more southern regions where grapes grew more abundantly, it was a common beverage that all social classes took part in. Unfortunately this didn’t necessarily hold true for the North, where wine had to be imported at great expense more often than not. However, thanks to certain Catholic rites requiring its use, no region in Medieval Europe was ever completely devoid of wine.


It was this relationship with Catholicism that allowed for winemaking to travel across the Atlantic to the New World. Missionaries, conquistadors, and other explorers would bring wine to the Americas with them to perform the Mass and other rituals. New World wine production began in earnest in the warmer middle America region (in what is now Mexico) and slowly spread from there in to the thriving industry we know it as today.

These are just a few brief highlights – the history of winemaking is deep and sophisticated, much like wine itself. I encourage all who are interested to dive deeper in to wine’s story on your own – you’ll quickly discover that its history is irrevocably tied to our own in more ways than you can imagine.