Ice wine is a precious jewel among wines. If you are fortunate enough to hold a glass with ice wine in your hand, appreciate its brilliant golden color and savor its bouquet. Then honor this extraordinary desert wine by sipping it with your senses open to enjoy its taste – sweetness combined with a vibrant acidity.
Ice wine is rare. There are only small quantities available each year. It is produced from grapes that freeze over lightly while they are still on the vine, leaving a small amount of unfrozen, sweet grape juice at the center of each grape. These concentrated frozen grapes are then pressed and subsequently transformed into the golden ice wine through fermentation.
Only the best grapes keep in good shape long enough for an opportunity for an ice wine harvest, and only a few regions in the world have climate conditions that allow for the delicate balance of light frost and good harvest conditions.
Ice wine production is risky. When the wine-grower waits and no frost comes, the grapes rot and are lost. When the harvest takes too long or the frost is too severe, the grapes are lost as well. It’s quite an adventure! On the first morning, when it is cold enough, the wine-grower has to act immediately and he needs a large enough labor force to pick the whole crop within a few hours.
Some of the finest people are like ice wine. When the last grapes are touched by light frost, they become sweeter and richer than before. When people are touched by severe hardship and loss, they can become wiser and more compassionate.
On the other hand, if the grapes get too much frost and freeze to the core, no sweet juice can be extracted from them anymore. If people suffer too much – without hope, without connecting to the light and love within themselves and around them – they too may freeze to the core and no longer share their compassion and sweetness.
However, if people experience hardship and overcome it, holding on to kindness, compassion, and integrity, they can become rare treasures.