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Producers throughout Germany's 13 wine-
"An abundance of Eiswein caps off another remarkable vintage," said Armin Göring, director of the German Wine Institute. "Though lack of botrytis in 2002 limited production of other dessert wines, the clean, healthy condition of the grapes, coupled with the very early frost provided perfect circumstances for Eiswein production."
According to the German Wine Growers' Association in Bonn, Germany, the total harvest is estimated to be 10.8 million hectoliters, some 7 percent greater than the ten-
The Growing Season
Weather conditions during 2002 were quite contrary. In most regions, the winter months passed without incident or problems, with the exception of some frost damage in low-
After a damp start in May, the grapes developed very quickly. Day-
The first half of the harvest took place at a good pace and under good weather conditions with warm days, cool nights and steady, easterly winds that helped alleviate potential fungus problems. The "Indian Summer" did not last, however, and from mid-
Following the main harvest, many growers left select portions of the vineyards unpicked in hopes of producing Eiswein. Regulations for Eiswein production in Germany are strict, requiring grapes to freeze on the vine and be picked and crushed while frozen. Normally, the consistent freezing temperatures necessary do not occur in Germany until very late in December or even in early January. And, the longer the grapes are left hanging, the greater the losses to various forms of rot, birds or other foraging animals.
"Eiswein is always a gamble," said Carol Sullivan, executive director of the German Wine Information Bureau, "but in 2002 the payoff is greater and more wide-
In early December, a hard frost enabled Eiswein production throughout Germany's 13 wine-
This news about the quality and quantity of the 2002 vintage is welcomed by German wine importers in this country. U. S. consumer demand and recognition for high quality German Riesling wines has increased significantly in the past few years; a fact that was confirmed by 2002 research conducted by the German Wine Institute and the French trade group CFCE. The research revealed that Riesling was second only to Chardonnay amongst U.S. consumers most recent white wine consumption. The already heightened awareness and interest in Riesling has been even further enhanced by the crescendo of acclaim received by the 2001 vintage wines currently on the market and selling quickly.
"In light of the ongoing renaissance for high-