Dr. Loosen, thank you for your presence here and your time during your busy Asian tour. I am the resident sweet wine fanatic, and having fallen in love with German and Austrian Pradikats, TBAs and icewine, I can’t help but notice that over here in North America, French Sauternes and Ontario icewine are always considered the gold standards in dessert wines. The public here seems to completely ignore German dessert wines despite equal and oft-times far superior quality. A wine lover hasn’t lived until they’ve tried a gold capsule Auslese, fully botrytised German Riesling TBA or Scheurebe eiswein.
My question is: how popular are these dessert wines over in Europe and Asia? Are they considered on equal par with Sauternes and Canadian icewine? Or is the situation the same as in North America where they constantly and unfairly always seem to be below everyone’s radar when it comes to dessert wine?
I think the real issue is not one of popularity, but one of supply. In Canada they focus on Icewine production and can count on getting frozen grapes every year. The same with Sauternes, this is the focus of the region and the climatic factors are favorable to botrytis, plus there are several producers so retailers, bottle shops and restaurants can always find a wine to list from these regions. If Germany had as much Eiswein and TBA every year as Canada and Sauternes have of their wines you would see a much stronger competition from Germany. As it is now we have to pick and choose our customers as there is not enough wine, and for TBA I remember filling a 1,500L press with TBA grapes and the end result was 80L, this is hardly something to build a business on.
Ersnt, that ratio is pretty amazing. No wonder that TBA can be so expensive and rare.
Wow. I just did the math and that is an unbelievable 5.3% yield! What an incredible rarity indeed are the high-end German sweet wines. For some reason, I just assumed the yield was roughly equivalent to ours here in Ontario. Much more respect on my part now for producers who labor to produce these amazing wines.