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January 29, 2010


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Thanks, man - I'd been waiting to read the 2nd part of this... I've got a serious sweet tooth and (unsurprisingly) love icewine.

Great series!

Very nice summary on the making if eiswein. One my favorites is Eos Tears of Dew from Paso Robles. Give it a shot if you get a chance. Cheers!

Tom, Thanks for the article. First I have heard of botrytis in ice wine but it makes some sense that it would be there.

I always wonderrd about trying to make ice wine with rotten grapes. My question is if you were seeing botryis in the vineyard why would you not pick as soon as possible to make a botrytised wine. The time from the onset to the mycellial invasion and conversion/reduction of the juice would happen I would think long before it got cold enough for ice wine and that if not picked sooner you would end up with Grey Rot/Botryis Bunch rot. Perhaps Dave Breeden can chime in on this point.


We generally do try to keep the grapes for icewine fairly clean, but haven't found that a little botrytis has been a problem. By the time we harvest, usually in January, the botrytis itself has gone through freezing, etc, and general dehydration, and is "dried out." It may leave some of the botrytis character (a honey character is there anyway, and an apricot character fits in nicely), but I don't object to that.

I guess the hypothesis that I'm presenting here is that ice wine berries get damaged while they're out there, whether there is botrytis or not. So it's possible that some botrytis-like aromas can arrive without botrytis itself.

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