Is there anybody in the wine-making community that knows a way that a homebrewer can make an authentic ice wine? It is very rare and expensive because a lot of unlikely occurrences must all coincide at once to make brewing a batch possible. I am wondering if I can use a freezer on the grapes and imitate the proper conditions needed to make a real ice wine. If I need to actually grow the grapes myself and pray for the weather during the harvest season to be exactly right, I am willing to take that route.
So tell me, is there any way to execute this, or is it a lost cause?
I have never done it myself, but I know it has been done. Be a pioneer, give it a try, and let us know how it turns out!
How “authentic” do you want it to be? There is an official organization in Canada that sets rules for what can be called “Ice Wine”, and that does involve the grapes being frozen by naturally cold weather while still on the vine.
Of course, if you are making it for home use, there is no reason you couldn’t put the grapes in a freezer and then press them. That will give you something that no one will be able to tell is different, provided you use good quality grapes of the right varieties.
Not sure how gung-ho you are about the authentic process etc. There are “ice wine” kits out there (winexpert has one.)
No idea how they are made, but they would definately not be considdered real ice wine. The product itself is actually not bad. So if you are buying a lot of ice wine and want to cut back the cost, this is an option.
Thank you all so much for the good advice. I think I am going to try to make some ice wine by freezing the grapes. Now, does anybody know if there is a specific temperature at which they need to be frozen for this to work? Or is a standard household freezer going to be good enough?
I’ve never actually tried ice wine myself, but I’m very fascinated by the idea of making it.
Household freezer is typically around -20C, but can be adjusted somewhat. Ideal temp for freezing grape, according to the site below, is -10 to -12C.
Read up on it some. I doubt many home wine-makers have done this, so some research might get you further than just asking questions on a forum.
Thank you for the site link and for giving the target freezing temperature. Once I do a little more research I’m confident I’ll have enough info to actually attempt a batch of ice wine. Unfortunately, I cannot start the project for at least one year from now, but I decided I’m definitely going to embark on it.
Thanks for all the help. Later on when I can actually make this happen I’ll share my results if anyone is interested. The fact that home winemakers rarely if ever do this makes the prospect even more appealing.