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Ice picking

See under ice wine.

Term for a special type of wine produced from frozen grapes. There must have already been an "ice wine" in ancient times, as the Roman poet Martial (40-102) reports on winegrowers who harvested frost-stiffened grapes in November. Also in the 1st century, the scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79) wrote about certain grape varieties: "They are not harvested until it has frozen". This points to the deliberate and not just accidental production of ice wine. Later, however, this type of harvesting and winemaking seemed to have been forgotten.

Eiswein - gefrorene Weintraube und Denkmal bei Dromersheim

First ice wine

It is said that the production of ice wine was rediscovered in France towards the end of the 18th century. As with Trockenbeerenauslese, the phenomenon was not initially planned, but most likely occurred by chance when a very early frost 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 from the 1829 vintage in Dromersheim near Bingen in the Rheinhessen wine-growing region. It was an extremely cold winter and some winegrowers had the idea of leaving the grapes hanging to feed the animals. When it was realised that the grapes contained very sweet must, they were pressed. An ice wine monument was even erected in Dromersheim for this purpose (see picture above right). However, only six years in total are documented in Germany in the 19th century in which ice wine could be produced. This was the 1829 vintage mentioned above, as well as the 1846, 1858 (at Schloss JohannisbergSchloss...

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Dr. Christa Hanten

For my many years of work as an editor with a wine and culinary focus, I always like to inform myself about special questions at Wine lexicon. Spontaneous reading and following links often leads to exciting discoveries in the wide world of wine.

Dr. Christa Hanten
Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien

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