Harvest is close

We’re back! After a marvelous trip to Norway and Denmark. We’ve had a great time visiting our local importers (Frederik from Non Dos in Oslo and Lasse from Krone Vin in Copenhagen), spending time in some serious cities and the northern countryside.

First thing after coming back? Checking all the vineyards. Two additional vineyards had to be watered while we were away. Over 100 vines had lost pretty much all their leaves but now they actually look ok-ish! In more bushy vineyards some leaves were removed here and there plus grapes which won’t become ripe anymore.

Removing green grapes in September

After an incredibly dry summer we’ve had enough rain in August and the beginning of September. No more thirsty vines. The last two weeks had a couple of warm & wet nights & days so there is a bit of rot visible, not a lot though. It’s a pleasure to visit our Regent these days which has never looked so good (the price was cutting off a lot of grapes during the dessert summer, so lower yields). No rot, big aromatic berries.

Regent, September 2015

The rain we had the last three weeks was also very helpful to let all the clover, vetches, etc. grow which we sowed just a few days before the water came.

Young vineyard greening

Similar picture over at the Domina vineyard, it’s almost there. The yields are lower there though, a few vines are only carrying three or four grapes, some are completely naked due to the dry summer. But thank god a lot of the vines look like this.

Domina 2015 - almost there

All fine with the Silvaner site – the berries are big and really don’t need more water at this point. See how they squeeze their neighbor berries?

Eselsberg Silvaner, September 2015

Again there are a lot of low-yield-vines in that vineyard, but also quite a few high-performers this year – the yield for this vineyard should be better than the one we had last year. Nice!

Eselsberg Silvaner, September 2015

Both of my Müller-Thurgaus are a little bit behind in development, have I mentioned the summer-heat yet …? It’s a tricky timing for that variety. A tiny bit of rot is visible here and there and with good botrytis conditions the outcome could be awful. But it’s a lot colder now and this fungus doesn’t like the cold. So if the acid levels don’t drop too quickly we can still wait a little bit and let it ripen. Health status: stable.

Eselsberg Müller-Thurgau, September 2015

Way more time is left for the Schwarzriesling / Pinot Meunier which is just looking great. I’m really looking forward to this one.

Schwarzriesling, September 2015

For one parcel I cut half of the grapes of to achieve something heavier.

Schwarzriesling, September 2015

And we even found time for a family picture before the big rush begins 🙂

Family picture, September 2015

Now I’m checking the basic values (acid, sugar, ph) on a weekly basis – if it’s necessary more often.

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The little parcel of the problematic variety Perle (early rot problems!) has been harvested already and as the values look ok I’ll try to make wine out of it again (last year it became wonderful nail polish remover!). A good test run for our refurbished basket-press!

Test run for our basket-press

So how will this vintage be? The warm nights we had the last weeks will be responsible for generally lower acid levels. The yields won’t be spectacular but – at least for us – better than last year. And if the weather forecast sticks to it’s prediction cold nights and sunny days will allow for some extra time to ripen. Would be particularly fortunate for vineyards which have suffered under the dryness. I think it’s going to be good.

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