We harvested our first Eiswein at Ratzenberger Winery from select grapes frozen on the vine in 1983. This marked the start of a wonderful tradition in our family; from 1985 to 2009 we were able to harvest Eiswein every year. However, this was and will remain a rarity, especially in view of climate change. After a long period of waiting we were last able to make Eiswein in 2018. The unique geography and topography of a designated plot in the Kloster Fürstental vineyard, three hectares (ca. seven acres) in size, make it ideal for Eiswein. With a gradient of 35 to 40 degrees, this slightly higher-lying vineyard is not too steep and faces south towards the River Rhine. The wind can easily blow through the rows of vines, providing perfect conditions for a long ripening on the vine.
It gives us great pleasure to harvest Eiswein with our team of grape-pickers at temperatures of at least -8°C – often in the dead of night. This is something a vintner has to wait a long time for with much trepidation – but the effort is worth it, for Eiswein is a rare delicacy.