This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.



2012 Knapp Vineyards Vidal Ice Wine

2012 Boundary Breaks Vineyard Riesling No. 90 Late Harvest

2009 Höpler Pinot Noir Eiswein



The Event

I was invited to participate in an online #winechat about Ice wines or as it’s spelled in Germany and Austria, Eiswein.  Of course, since it is a more festive chat if you’re sipping Ice wine while chatting, three bottles were supplied to me to sip and discuss during the event.



About Ice wine (Eiswein)

Ice wine is a style of dessert wine that is produced from fully ripe grapes that were harvested while frozen on the vines.  This freezing process only affects the water in the grapes.  When the still frozen grapes are crushed, the frozen water stays behind, leaving just a couple drops of highly concentrated sugar and “dissolved solids”.


The production of Ice wine is a risky business.  Several things can go wrong and ruin the crop before it can even get picked.  If the grapes rot before they freeze the entire crop is ruined.  Likewise, a winery needs a large enough workforce to be able to pick and process all the grapes before they have a chance to thaw.


Since the process requires a good deal of labor in a short period of time and each frozen grape only yields a precious little juice, Ice wines are generally expensive.


As should be expected, most true Ice wine comes from countries that “enjoy” a cold and predictable winter.  About 75% of the world’s ice wine comes from Canada and Germany.


Some wineries “cheat” and make an ice wine style of wine by freezing their grapes after a normal harvest and processing them like they were harvested frozen.  Even though these wines are similar, they are not true Ice wines.






About Winechat

#winechat is a weekly, Twitter based discussion about something dealing with the world of wine.  Generally, each week’s chat deals with a specific theme and is lead by an “expert” in that area.  This is generally a nice way to learn about a region, winery, type of wine, etc.



What is #WineChat?  Click here to learn more.



How do you join #winechat? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winechat stream. Be sure to include #winechat at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!


Grab a glass and join in!


Click here for the current #winechat schedule.



#winechat is hosted by Protocol Wine Studio.  For more information on them, click here.


The line up for the event:

Ice Wine Lineup

Ice Wine Lineup



2012 Knapp Vineyards Vidal Ice Wine – SRP $24.95

Knapp Vineyards was started in 1984.  In 2000 the winery was sold to Gene Pierce and Scott Welliver, the current owners.  The winery produces Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, Lembergers, Chardonnays, Merlots, Sangioveses alongside French-American Hybrids such as Seyval, Baco Noirs, and more.


For this Ice Wine, the grapes were picked in the early morning hours of January 3rd.  Even though the grapes were grown in 2011, the vintage for a wine is the year the grapes were “picked” hence the 2012.


This is 100% Vidal Blanc.  There were only 24 cases of wine produced.  This has 12% alcohol and there is 14% residual sugar in the wine.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light golden straw color.  The rich nose has melons, white peaches, honey, orange zest and minerals.  This has a full body, moderate acidity and has a load of residual sugar.  On the palate the honey, ripe melons and super ripe peaches coat your mouth with syrupy sweetness with some minerals coming in on the back end with some orange zest.  The finish has good length and again is dominated with sweet, ripe fruit.   (90 pts)

2012 Knapp Vineyards Vidal Ice Wine

2012 Knapp Vineyards Vidal Ice Wine



2012 Boundary Breaks Vineyard Riesling No. 90 Late Harvest

Grapes were first planted at Boundary Breaks in 2008.  The winery only produces single vineyard, single clone Riesling.


This wine is a late harvest wine, not an ice wine.  This means the grapes were picked very late in the season when the grapes were ultra ripe, but the grapes were not frozen at harvest.


This wine is 100% Neustadt Clone #90 Riesling.  This has 14.2% alcohol and there is 12.7% residual sugar in the wine.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light yellow straw, almost colorless.  The fresh smelling nose has apples, honey, stony minerals, cantaloupe, vanilla, orange blossoms and a touch of white pepper.  This has a full body with decent acidity and is very sweet.  On the palate ripe apples and orange zest hit first with minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long but could use a jolt of acidity.  (88 pts)

2012 Boundary Breaks Vineyard Riesling No. 90 Late Harvest

2012 Boundary Breaks Vineyard Riesling No. 90 Late Harvest



2009 Höpler Pinot Noir Eiswein – SRP $69

The winery is in Breitenbrunn, South East of Vienna on the West bank of LakeNeusiedl.  The wine production is 50% white wine, 45% red wine and 5% sweet.


Every 10th bottle of Austrian wine imported into the United States is from Höpler.


This wine made from fully matured grapes which are left on the vine until they reached a temperature of at least -7°C (19.4°F). The water in the grapes forms ice crystals, and after gentle pressing the remaining concentrate is made into an exceptional wine with elegant sweetness balanced by refreshing acidity.  The wine has 11.5% alcohol by volume and the residual sugar is 236.3 g/l.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a light orange with pink highlights.  The rich nose has apricots, dusty minerals, caramel, wild flowers and cherries.  This has a full body with good acidity and nice residual sugar.  On the palate, ripe apricots and caramel jump out first with a touch of orange zest and minerals coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with honey and peaches.  The acidity leaves your mouth watering for another sip.  This tastes very nice today but I’d wager it will be much better with a few years in the cellar.  (93 pts)

2009 Höpler Pinot Noir Eiswein

2009 Höpler Pinot Noir Eiswein



Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.