Find 2022 icewine producers in Germany
Last night, at -8 degrees, the team around Ahr winemaker Peter Kriechel, wrapped up thickly, cut iced grapes with headlamps in the "Bachemer Wingert" site. All preparations were made when the breathing air was frozen. "The feeling is fantastic. After more than 20 years, we finally had the conditions again this year to harvest frozen grapes for our ice wine. We are very happy," says Kriechel.
Frozen grapes for noble sweet ice wine were also harvested in Franken at temperatures of minus eleven degrees (dec 13th). Christian Reiss from Würzburg is hoping for 80 liters of the wine specialty, which will be available from April or May. According to the winemaker, the Silvaner grapes had a high value of 205 degrees Oechsle. The minimum value for the must weight of ice wine is 110 - 128 degrees Oechsle, depending on the growing area. The Göbel winery in Randersacker, which was able to harvest the frozen Pinot Noir grapes on duty, was also happy about the freezing after-frost. According to the Winegrowers Association in Franken, only a few winegrowers left grapes for ice wine in Franconia this year.
In Germany's wine growing region "Hessische Bergstraße", cold air flowing out of the Odenwald penetrates into the flat plots in the "Heppenheimer Stemmler" site and ensures freezing temperatures. At -10 degrees Celsius, deep-frozen grapes of the Souvignier Gris variety were harvested by Bergsträsser Winzer (December 13). First measurements showed a must weight of 179 °Oechsle.
Wine producers in the Nahe wine-growing region have not registered any vineyards for ice wine production this year. In Germany, this is a pre-condition by law in order to produce icewine.
The Weinkontor Edenkoben could in the night to december 13th successfully harvest icewine from the Cabernet Mitos grape variety at -9.2 degrees Celsius. The fructose sugar level of the grapes was measured at 152 degrees Oechsle - around half more than at the start of the harvest at the end of August..
During the night of December 16, ice wine was successfully harvested in four companies in the Rheingau, including the Weingut Meine Freiheit. In the Rheingau, the weather service predicts cold temperatures of up to -12 degrees Celsius until Saturday.
The Wein- und Sektgut Kost in 55576 Welgesheim was able to harvest Silvaner Eiswein on the night of Tuesday, December 13th, 2022. In the largest wine-growing region in Germany, only ten Rhine-Hessian winegrowers have registered this year that they will harvest ice wine. This week the nights are so cold that the harvest has started.
SACHSEN + SAALE-UNSTRUT
Surprisingly and very early in the year, numerous winegrowers in the two north-eastern wine-growing regions of Saale-Unstrut and Saxony - Elisabeth Born being one of them - were able to crown the 2022 vintage with a successful ice vintage on the night of November 20th (German langugage report). At minus seven to nine degrees Celsius, the conditions were perfect. The grape variety spectrum of the harvested ice wine grapes ranged from Riesling and Traminer to Cabernet Blanc and Blauer Zweigelt.
In Württemberg, the Fellbacher Weingärtner eG team went to the vineyard in the early hours of December 12 to harvest the berries for the sweet specialty for the third time in a row. The perfectly healthy and frozen Pinot Noir grapes, which according to Thomas Seibold - CEO of Weingärtner eG - "hung more vitally than ever on the vine", brought a must weight of 179 degrees Oechsle on the scales. In total, the Fellbachers are expected to fill almost 1,000 bottles of ice wine.
In the Remstal, deep-frozen Lemberger and Riesling grapes were harvested at the Beurer winery in Kernen-Stetten, while frozen Kerner grapes were harvested at the Jürgen Ellwanger winery: "150 liters of Kerner Eiswein with 180 degrees Oechsle come from the cold Winterbacher Hungerberg ," summarizes Felix Ellwanger.
Achim Stilz from Weingut im Hagenbüchle in Weinstadt-Schnait reports that the grapes of the fungus-resistant Johanniter grape variety brought 144 degrees Oechsle to the Oechsle scale. “That could be the very first Johanniter ice wine!” says Achim Stilz. Sven Ellwanger from the Großheppacher Weingut Bernhard Ellwanger also reports very healthy grapes, where Syrah grapes in Großheppach and Cabernet Cubin grapes in Geradstetten were on the harvest plan.
Background: Expectation on Icewine - a risk always remains
In the south-west of Germany, only comparatively few companies left grapes for ice wine production this year. In Rhineland-Pfalz (Palatinate) there were only 35 producers who registered vineyards for the ice wine harvest, in 2021 there were still 152. Often the grapes were no longer in the state of health that is required for this noble sweet specialty.