Vinho de Sobremesa
Ice wine is a highly valuable dessert wine, best served chilled. It is very sweet with high acidity, making it a very refreshing drink and giving off a lovely tropical fruit smell.
To make ice wine, the grapes are left on the vine after the normal season. They are then repeatedly exposed to freezing temperatures and picked during the night when temperatures reach between -8°C and -10°C. The frozen grapes must be pressed immediately or they are ruined.
By allowing the grapes to be frozen and thawed on the vine repeatedly before picking, more complex flavours are released giving a superior finished product. The water content in the grape freezes and when the grapes are pressed a highly concentrated juice is extracted. It is then slowly fermented over months with special strains of yeast.
Making ice wine requires warm summers and cold winters, so can only be produced in particular areas of the world. Some years, the winters are either too harsh or too mild and the crop can be lost. Germany has a long tradition of making eiswein and is still one of the world's main producers; Canada remains the world's largest.