Icewine in Germany: Deep frost brings forth vintage 2021
Harvesting icewine in early morning hours
Overall, the early ice wine harvest in 2021 compared to previous years promises high-quality ice wine specialties with very healthy grapes. A precondition is mostly work in very early morning hours, when temperatures fell down to -10 degree Celsius (e.g. Württemberg).
Growing region of 'Nahe' and 'Hessische Bergstrasse'
The Korrell Johanneshof winery in Bad Kreuznach-Bosenheim (Nahe region) was the first to be able to harvest ice wine this winter 2021. In the "Bad Kreuznacher Paradies" location, Riesling grapes could be harvested at temperatures of minus eight degrees. Korrell thus fulfills the legal requirement, which requires temperatures of below -7 degrees Celsius for the harvest of the rarity. In the early hours of december 21st around 20 harvest workers collected the frozen grapes with a must weight of 142 degrees Oechsle.
The Emrich-Schönleber winery on the Nahe was also happy about the frosty temperatures, where the helpers brought in perfectly healthy Riesling grapes with 172 degrees Oechsle at the end of the season at minus 10 degrees. There was also an early Christmas present for the Bergstrasse winemakers who harvested the coveted ice wine grapes of the Souvignier gris grape variety with 140 degrees Oechsle in the Heppenheimer Stemmler. "In the end it should be around 110 to 120 liters," estimates Reinhard Antes, CEO of Bergstrasse Winzer e.G.
Mosel vintners brought in highly aromatic frozen grapes
In the Mosel region, among others in Erden (zip code 54492), employees of the Dr. Hermann estate (photo) harvested icewine (sites: Erdener Herrenberg and Lösnicher Försterlay). Frozen grapes could also be brought in in Leiwen (Alexander Loersch winery and Werner winery) and Longuich (Christopher Jung hiliday winery). In addition, vintners in the Mosel-towns Selbach-Oster and Zeltingen as well as Würtzberg/Serrig are so fortunate to process frozen, highly aromatic grapes.
Winemaker in Franken also pleased about successful icewine harvest
Furhtermore, the Meintzinger winery in Frickenhausen as well as the Sommeracher Winzerkeller in the wine-growing region of Franken was also pleased about a successful harvest of the frozen ice wine grapes: At -8 degrees Celsius, ice wine grapes with a must weight of 148 degrees Oechsle - a total of approx. 200 liters - "That is a very rare thing for us," says Philipp Meintzinger. The winery was able to bring in the last ice wine in 2016.
Pfalz, Rheingau and Württemberg scored as well
In addition to a few other estates, the Fitz-Ritter winery and the Hahnmühle winery in the growing region of "Pfalz" brought in frozen grapes for the production of ice wine. The Allendorf winery scored in the Rheingau region. Furhtermore, the Fellbacher Weingärtner in Württemberg could harvest ice wine on the early morning of December 22nd, 2021. Around 20 vintners moved out at -10 degrees Celsius. The result: 137 degrees Oechsle. see also: "Weinheimat"-Blog (German language)
152 estates in Rhineland-Palatinate signed up for ice wine harvest
For this winter, some 152 estates in Rhineland-Palatinate have registered a total area of around 107 hectares for a possible ice wine harvest, as the Chamber of Agriculture announced. In the previous year there were only 93 farms with a total of 72 hectares.
Background: For vintners, icewine harvest is always associated with risk and high physical effort during freezing cold temperatures. In the 2019 vintage, vintners in Rhineland-Palatinate waited in vain for frost. If it is not cold enough, it means a total loss for the winemaker due to the law. For an icewine harvest, the grapes must be frozen through. This requires at least minus seven degrees Celsius for several hours. The overripe grapes are picked and pressed while frozen. Ice wine is particularly sweet because a large part of the water remains in the frozen fruit and the sugar content is very high.