A warm winter means that for the first time in years Germany’s vineyards would produce no ice wine — a pricey, golden nectar made from grapes that have been left to freeze on the vine.
The German Wine Institute on Sunday said that none of the country’s wine regions saw the necessary low temperature of minus-7°C.
A succession of warm winters have cut into ice wine production, the institute said, adding that in 2017, only seven producers managed to make it, and only five managed it in 2013.
The institute, the wine industry’s marketing arm, did not say how far back records went.
“If warm winters become more frequent over the coming years, ice wines from Germany’s regions will soon became an even more expensive rarity than they already are,” wine institute spokesman Ernst Buescher said.
Freezing the grapes before they are crushed concentrates the sugar and leads to an intensely sweet, golden wine often served with dessert. It has always been a niche product, accounting for about 0.1 percent of German production, and expensive due to low volumes.
Making it is a tricky business that can enhance the winemaker’s reputation. Workers must race into the vineyards to bring the grapes in with only a few hours notice when the temperature falls, often at night or in the early morning.
Since the grapes must be pressed while still frozen, makers labor in unheated facilities. Vineyard owners also face the risk that grapes set aside for ice wine will rot on the vine before the hard freeze comes.
Canada’s Niagara Peninsula is one of several other places where ice wine is produced, thanks to its cold winters. It is also made in northern Michigan and Ashtabula County, Ohio near Lake Erie.
Major markets for German ice wine include Japan and China, as well as Scandinavia and the US, the institute said.
A CAUTIONARY TALE: Bookseller Lam Wing-kee speaks of the danger that his adopted home Taiwan now faces and the ordeal of his detention in China Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) leaned forward in his chair, answering quickly and sharply to issue a warning to the people of his new home, Taiwan. “Be ready now,” Lam said. “We should be more alert as citizens, we should get ready,” the 64-year-old Hong Konger said. “If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place, I feel, is Taiwan.” Late in Taipei at Causeway Bay Books Mark II, on the 10th floor of a nondescript building, Lam, a wiry, gray-haired bookseller, was sitting at his desk with a bemused gaze behind thin oval glasses. The desk was neat, but crowded with books and a
‘POLICE EVERYWHERE’: A law that would criminalize the publication of images of police officers was passed by the National Assembly and awaits Senate approval Violent clashes erupted in Paris on Saturday as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against new security legislation, with tensions intensified by the police beating and racial abuse of a black man that shocked France. Several fires were started in Paris, sending acrid smoke into the air, as protesters vented their anger against the security law, which would restrict the publication of police officers’ faces. About 46,000 people marched in Paris and 133,000 in total nationwide, the French Ministry of the Interior said. Protest organizers said about 500,000 joined nationwide, including 200,000 in the capital. French President Emmanuel Macron late
Not enough beds and not enough doctors: a skyrocketing COVID-19 caseload is pushing hospitals in the Balkans to the cusp of collapse, in chaotic scenes reminding some medics of the region’s 1990s wars. After nearly a year of keeping outbreaks more or less under control, the nightmare scenario that the Balkans feared from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is now starting to unfold. In hard-hit Bosnia-Herzegovina, one doctor described the distress of having to juggle the care of multiple patients whose lives were hanging by a thread. “The situation reminds me of the war, and I’m afraid it could get even worse
SIGNIFICANT RULING: That male prisoners are denied a choice as to their hair length suggests they are treated less favourably than female prisoners, the judges wrote Prison staff were wrong to cut the hair of a former Hong Kong legislator known for his long locks, the territory’s top court said yesterday, in the second significant ruling against authorities this month. The decision came as powerful establishment voices called for an overhaul of the judiciary — something opponents fear could muzzle the Hong Kong legal system’s vaunted independence as Beijing cracks down on its critics. The ruling by the Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal is the culmination of a long legal battle by former Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄), 64, who served a brief jail sentence in