Guest commentary by Magdalena
Icewine is a special sweet and fruity wine which is best suited to desserts. That is a common fact. But how is this special wine made?
I asked myself this question while enjoying the wine. As a traditional Austrian I love to drink wine. Whether it is white wine or red wine, whether it is dry, half-dry or sweet – the wine should taste good. And the most important thing for me is that the winemaker loves his or her work. That is the reason why I get my wines from Arnold Holzer, and recently I tried his 1995 Icewine.
I love to bake and treat my guests with fine food. Therefore I made a chocolate tart to go with this delicious Icewine. While sipping one question come to mind, “How is the ice getting into the wine?”
Icewine has a special quality, and the highest quality level in wine. The clue is in the cold: the water in the grape is turned to ice, so you get a high concentration of sugar and acid. The grapes are only allowed to be harvested at a temperature of -7 degrees or below. Another important aspect is the soil. Arnold’s village – Großriedenthal – is also known as the “Icewine Village”.
The loess soils are important and in the nineties the local icewine emerged as “liquid gold” because of the power of the soil. Yet 1995 was the last time icewine was made at Eschenhof Holzer. Until this year the wine was bottled and stored at the old wine cellar. Now the bottles are dust-free and with a new appearance. Arnold’s father remembers, “The grapes have been harvested exactly on Arnold´s birthday, the 25th of November. In that year coldness was coming very early. It was about -9 degrees. The grapes grew in our oldest wineyard, the Altweingarten”.
The wine is characterized by a high level of sweetness and an inspiring acidity. The “Grüner Veltliner” grape is perfect for the icewine. Grüner Veltiner is very expressive and palatable. Last but not least I got a first-hand information for you: if the weather conditions are fine, there will be a new icewine in years to come!