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Ice Cold Means Ice Wine in Wisconsin

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Every year we get just a few photo opportunities here at Cold Country Vines & Wines, where the winter provides us with some spectacular images. Our cold weather starts in the late Fall with Ice Wine picking.  After that, the cold just keeps on coming.

Frosty Winery

A  Frosty Vineyard above shows what happens on a foggy morning below freezing.  Below is a very wet snowfall.

Snow Vin

Frosty u vine bldg

 

We aren’t the coldest Wisconsin winery but we have winters that make great Ice Wine.  This is something that we have here in Wisconsin.  If you haven’t tasted our Ice Wine or any of the other Wisconsin Ice Wines, you should.  It is something you aren’t going to get in California.  They have great Cabernet Sauvignon, but we have great Ice Wine!

Ice Wine

Ice Wine is made by leaving grapes on the vine long after they would be normally picked.  These grapes dry out and become somewhat like raisins.  Once the temperature gets down into the low teens or even single digit, you pick them and press them while they are still frozen.  Some of the water that had frozen inside the grape stays with the skins and seeds and the resulting pressed juice is similar in consistency to maple syrup. You then make wine pretty much like you would make any other wine after that.  The concentrating effect of the drying combined with the pressing while frozen makes this a very sweet and extremely intensely flavored wine of which you only get a small amount per acre compared to normal 600 gallons or so that you would get making table wine. Other problems with trying to make Ice Wine is the competition with the birds, raccoons and deer. Its a constant battle trying to keep the grapes on the vine before the first deep freeze.  That is why Ice Wine is so rare and so special.

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