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ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 100% Gewürztraminer
• pH: 3.17
• TA: 8.4g /L
• ALCOHOL: 7.46%
• BRIX AT HARVEST: 45.2 ºB
• RESIDUAL SUGAR: 31.5%
• BOTTLED: May 5, 2011
• PRODUCTION: 77 – 6 packs


Vintage

Unlike our other wines, the vintage for Ice Wine hinges on one singular event, which the Eastern Washington climate reliably provides: A hard freeze is required while the grapes are still hanging on the vine. That is, it is not enough for the temperature to hit 32°F. Production of a true Ice Wine requires the grapes to freeze on the vine at 17°F or colder for a minimum of 3 hours before harvest. Once the temperature dips below 17°F, at no time should the temperature of the grapes rise back above 17°F. On the morning of November 24th, 2010 we had cold and then some. In less than 24 hours the temperature plummeted to a morning low of -5 degrees, giving us frozen little grapes and very cold hands.


Winemaking

At temperatures of -5 F the grapes turn into rock solid chunks of ice. Pressing the grapes at this cold temperature causes the water (ice) to stay trapped in the skins and only the concentrated syrupy sugar is coaxed from the fruit. Thus, shortly after arrival, on the bitter cold morning of November 24th, we transferred the Ice Wine grapes into the press, beginning the slow, methodical drip, drip, drip of the golden nectar. Our total pressing time for the 2010 Ice Wine was three days. During this time period the mercury never climbed above the low teens. Despite our 3 day press cycle we yielded a meager 59 gallons of juice, just enough for one barrel. After 2 month fermentation the wine was settled and filtered in preparation for bottling on the 5th of May.


Winemaker Comments

Aromas of orange blossom; cinnamon and peach reach out of the glass and tantalize the nose. This wine has a rich luxurious mouth feel with a lingering stone fruit and honey finish. Integrated acidity leaves the palate refreshed and ready for another sip. A molten chocolate cake would make an amazing companion.