Harvesting the ice wine – People empty full buckets of frozen wine grapes as temperatures show -12 degrees Celsius at Mikulov, near Brno, Czech on December 9, 2012.
Harvesting the ice wine – The ice wine which is produced out of the grapes, contains over 30 percent sugar and is an exceptional and expensive specialty.
Harvesting the ice wine – Ice wine made in the US, Canada and Germany (where this practice started) has to come from grapes—classically Riesling, but winemakers also use Vidal, Cabernet Franc, Seyval Blanc and others—that have frozen naturally on the vine.
Harvesting the ice wine – Since the sugars do not freeze but the water in the grapes does, crushing the grapes yields tiny amounts of highly concentrated juice.
Harvesting the ice wine – This accounts for the finished wine's sweet intensity, for the incredibly long time ice wine fermentation takes (months, as opposed to days); also, unfortunately, for its relatively high price.