Wollersheim’s Earliest Ever Ice Wine Harvest
Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin wrapped up the 2012 growing season with its earliest ever harvest of ice wine grapes. The weather conditions this year have ranged from drought, to a rainy October and then a warm November. However, at the end of November, cold weather brought excellent conditions to freeze the grapes on the vine. According to winemaker Philippe Coquard, in the winery’s media release, ‘it ended up being perfect.”
‘We really only had a couple of hours that the temperatures would be low enough to keep the grapes frozen,” Coquard explained. ‘It was nine degrees when we started at 8 a.m., by 10 a.m. it was 15 degrees, and by 11 a.m. it was 22 degrees, so that window of time for the temperature was very, very narrow and needed to be exact.”
This year, Wollersheim harvested 5,100 pounds of frozen St. Pepin grapes measuring 35.1% Brix. The grapes were pressed into 340 gallons of juice or nearly 3,000 half-bottles of Ice Wine. The juice will go through a long, slow and cool fermentation to become a thick and golden wine full of rich, sweet nuances of stone fruit, orange zest and honey.
‘This will be one of the best — and biggest — ice wine harvests we’ve ever had in the nine years we’ve been doing this,” Coquard reflected. ‘The fruit was beautiful, the weather wasn’t too cold or too warm, and the juice is just so flavorful. It’s always a true taste of a Wisconsin experience.” He added philosophically.
The 2012 vintage of Wollersheim’s Ice Wine will be released in October of 2013.