Although the Czech Republic is not one of the world´s well known wine countries, wines from its two wine regions, Bohemia and South Moravia are considered to be of high quality and are successful at many of the world´s wine competitions. And the same applies with ICE WINE.
But what is Ice wine exactly? Where does it come from?
The first Icewine is believed to have been invented by accident in Germany in the late 18th century, even though the first account tells of the first ice wine – or Eiswein – being made there in the late 1700s. already, when freezing weather struck before the grape crop could be harvested.
The winemaker persisted, harvesting, and pressing the frozen grapes and fermenting the juice to a sweet wine.
Germany continues to make Eiswein, as does Austria. But their winters are not always cold enough to freeze the grapes sufficient to make the best ice wine.
Ice Wine in the Czech republic
The same issue is here in the Czech Republic, where the ice wine tradition is relatively new (since 1995 after a new wine law set rules for its making). Czech ice wine may only be produced once its residual-sugar level has been verified by an inspector from the State Agricultural & Food Inspectorate. Another condition which needs to be fulfilled, is that the grapes must be harvested at temperatures of -7°C or lower and pressed while still frozen; thanks to the frozen water content the juice is very concentrated and the wines sweet.
Due to the climate changes, the right conditions are becoming increasingly rare.
When drinking Ice Wine?
Ice wines is not intended for everyday drinking as it tends to be opulent, rich, very sweet and are comparatively rare and thus very expensive. So, it is drunk as an aperitif or consumed together with sweet desserts.
So, let´s pray for some cool winters again, so we can enjoy this sweet elixir!