“Dear Karen, you’ve written that, "The vintage date always refers to the year the grapes were grown and harvested." But what if a winery is making an ice wine or eiswein and harvests the grapes in January of the following year?” —Roger C. (Cheshire, Connecticut)
Roger—great question. You are right, ice wine or eiswein (made from grapes frozen naturally on the vine) is sometimes harvested in January. But when it is, the wine’s vintage date will nonetheless be the preceding year. According to my friend Johannes Selbach, proprietor of Selbach-Oster in the Mosel region of Germany, the “growing year counts, not the actual harvest date.” Eiswein from a great producer, by the way, just might be the most ravishing sweet wine in existence.