Name for a special type of wine produced from frozen grapes. There must have been an "ice wine" already in ancient times, because the Roman poet Martial (40-102) reports of winegrowers who brought in frost-starved grapes in November. Also in the 1st century, the scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79) described certain grape varieties: "They are not harvested until it has frozen". This indicates that ice wine was produced quite deliberately and not just by chance. Later, however, this method of harvesting and vinification seemed to have been forgotten. It is said that the production of ice wine was then rediscovered in France towards the end of the 18th century. Similar to the Trockenbeerenauslese, the phenomenon was not planned specifically in the beginning, but most likely occurred by chance when a very early frost attack surprised the wineries during the actual main harvest.
The first ice wine harvests in Germany are said to have taken place in Franconia in 1794. The first documented ice wine was harvested on 11 February 1830 from grapes of the 1829 vintage in Dromersheim near Bingen in the Rheinhessen wine region. There was an extremely cold winter and some winegrowers had the idea to leave the grapes hanging to feed the animals. When it was discovered that the grapes contained very sweet must, they were pressed. In this regard, a monument to Eiswein was even erected in Dromersheim (see picture above right). For the 19th century, however, there are only six years documented in writing in Germany during which ice wine could be produced. That was the mentioned vintage 1829, as well as the vintages 1846,...
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Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien