The ice wine harvest has failed for the first time in Germany because of the unusually warm winter.
Temperatures failed to drop to the -7C required before the frozen grapes used to produce this year’s vintage could be picked and pressed.
Experts now fear that the German ice wine – which already accounted for less than 0.1 per cent of the harvest – will become even more of a rarity.
Scientists have repeatedly warned about the potential effects of climate change on wine production, with up to 85 per cent of vineyards at risk.
Last year was the Earth’s second hottest on record, according to the EU’s climate monitoring service, and only slightly below the peak set in 2016.
Ice wine is also produced in the US, Canada and Japan but Germany prides itself on its international reputation for “eiswein”.
“The 2019 vintage will go down in history here in Germany as the first vintage in which the ice harvest has failed nationwide,” the German Wine Institute (DWI) said in a statement.
Production has also suffered because grapes tend to ripen earlier and have to survive until the optimum harvest period, which has in turn shifted more into February, according to the DWI.
Ernst Büscher, a spokesman for the institute, said: “Due to the mild winter, the minimum temperature of minus seven degrees Celsius required for an ice harvest was not reached in any German wine region.
“If the warm winters accumulate in the next few years, ice wines from the German wine regions will soon become an even more rare rarity than they already are.”