Thanks to the frosty temperatures from January 19-22, numerous winemakers in nearly every German winegrowing region successfully harvested Eiswein (ice wine) grapes.
Eiswein-quality fruit can only be harvested at temperatures of -7°C and below. According to the German Wine Institute (DWI), temperatures fell to -10°C in many wine regions this season. The colder it is, the more intense the concentration is within the grapes, which is a great benefit in the very sweet berries like those of the ’18 vintage.
Two wineries in the Nahe brought in a Riesling Eiswein harvest on December 26 at temperatures of -8°C. Another winery in Erzingen, near Lake Constance in Southern Germany, harvested Spätburgunder on January 9. The earliest 2018 Eiswein harvest was an estate in the Saale-Unstrut region, which dipped to the necessary low temperatures on November 28.
Eiswein tends to have very high natural sugar levels and low alcohol levels. It beautifully complements fruity desserts, ice cream, and sorbet.