Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

The last method of sweet wine production is also a German invention. Ice wine is made by harvesting and pressing frozen grapes so that much of the water they contain remains in the press as ice. This results in juice too syrupy for the yeast to ferment to dryness. It took two centuries from the first recorded chance production of such wines until widespread systematic production of Eiswein began in Germany with the 1961 vintage. Ice wines can be as rich as BA and TBA, but they lack the honey and spice character of those wines (which come from noble rot). However, they are even higher in acidity, and this characteristic, combined with their high sweetness and tropical fruit aromas, makes them spectacular or extreme wines, depending upon your viewpoint.