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Barrique casks Closeup view of vine blossoms Barrique storage Rows of grapevines in summer, about 1 month befor the harvest Sonnenmulde wine bottles Andreas and Kathrin Panoramic view of Gols in early summer View towards the illuminated winery at night View towards the winery Andras and Katrhin standing betwenn growing rows of grapevines

Icewine Harvest!

Monday, December 4, 2023

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Grapes on a vine. It is winter, there are no more leaves on the vines and there is some snow on the ground, although there is still more grass than snow visible. Some grapes are already affected by botrytis and have dried up, while others are still healthy and full of juice.
Harvester at the icewine harvest.

-10 degrees at 05:20 h, we’re ready to go! The grapes are thoroughly frozen at this temperature and look a bit like a slushi on the inside. They taste a bit like it too - cold and sweet. We are still waiting for the OK from the relevant authorities and for the harvesting machine.

An old thermometer between frozen grapes showing -10 Cesius
Thermometer between frozen grapes

The harvester is ready by 06:30 h (cover picture of the article). The temperatures are at their lowest at sunrise - Precision landing! After an official inspection of the grapes where sugar concentration and harvest quantity are recorded, the more strenuous work begins in the cellar.

Standing on the harvesting trailer, the grapes are manually lifted with a fork into a funnel. This leads into the press b
Use a fork to move the frozen grapes into the press

The grapes have to be pressed while frozen. This can only be done by hand with a fork and is quite strenuous. In any case, you’re not cold afterwards. Just 8 hours later, everything is clean again and the 2023 grape harvest is finally over - Christmas can come. Finally, one last harvest beer, because there is also a very good supply in Gols.

Selfie of two people holding beer bottles.
Harvest beer to conclude the the 2023 harvest.

After a dry spell of 5 years, we were finally able to harvest icewine again. Due to global warming, this is no longer a given. And even though the quantity is very small, we are looking forward to finally having fresh icewine in the cellar again. It is now slowly fermenting which can easily take until the beginning of next year. In fall 2024, we will then finally be able to offer the first tastings.

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