The Associated Press December 15, 2010, 3:16AM ET

Winemakers introduce cheaper, artificial ice wines

If you've ever bought ice wine, you know how pricey it can be. A small bottle can cost $75 or more.

That's because the dessert beverage is made from grapes allowed to freeze on the vine. The process results in high-sugar juices, but it requires such precise weather conditions that slight variations can doom an entire crop.

Some winemakers are aiming to cut the cost by limiting the uncertainty caused by weather. They pick the grapes in autumn and age them in freezers. They say the technique leads to ice wines that are more consistent in flavor but about half the price.

Ice wines originated in Germany but are now made in Canada, New York, Michigan and Wisconsin -- places where it gets cold enough for the grapes to freeze.


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