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The work is far from done. A truckload of frozen grapes waits to be added to the presser. “Making ice wine is a double-edged sword. It’s incredibly labor intensive,” says Eaker. But at the end of the day, it produces a wine unlike any other. “Ice wine captures the essence of the grape in a refined, concentrated form,” Eaker says. “It’s refreshingly sweet with a high acidity.”
Longview’s 2008 ice wine was bottled and released as Sweet Winter Ice this spring. It tastes like honey with hints of cantaloupe, and earned a double gold medal at this year’s Michigan Wine and Spirits Competition. If Mother Nature
cooperates again, the winemakers will bring in the 2009 harvest this month.
To me, ice wine seems a remedy for the soul. The palatable rich taste presents a perfect ending to any meal. “It’s sweet, yet full of finesse. A dessert wine refined,” concludes Eaker. “This ice wine, this farm, it’s a legacy for my grandchildren.” T
Sharon Kegerreis is a freelance writer and photographer. She is co-author of From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries, a 2008 Michigan Notable Book. You may reach Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.michiganvine.com.