Warm Winter Ruins Ice Wine

Abnormally high temperatures have basically ruined this year's crop
Wikimedia/Dominic Rivard

Ice wine is made from grapes that freeze on the vine, but this year temperatures have been too high to freeze anything.

While parts of the U.S. are currently experiencing weather so cold that people have been amusing themselves by creating snow by throwing pots of boiling water in the air, some German vintners would kill for a bit of that cold temperature action, because the abnormally warm winter has all but ruined this year's ice wine crop.

Ice wine, or eiswein, is a sweet, specialty German dessert wine that is made from grapes that have literally frozen on the vine during the winter. But according to The Local, this year temperatures have not been low enough for the grapes to freeze, so the grapes are just sitting there, unfrozen and useless.

Last year's cold weather in Germany was perfect for ice wine, with several German producers taking a risk and leaving more grapes than usual to freeze. The cold snap came through, and last year's ice wine crop was huge. This year, however, the whole crop has basically been ruined.

A small cold snap came in at the end of November, so according to The Local a handful of producers might have some ice wine, but otherwise it has been a very bad year for winemakers.


“We can’t rule out that individual winemakers still have grapes on the vine," said a spokesperson for the German Wine Institute, "but they will be the absolute exception.”