July vineyard update

When I visited all vineyards one last time before our summer trip to the U.S. and Canada I tasted the first Bacchus berry tasting like Bacchus. That was yesterday. Harvest is getting closer and it looks like it’s going to kick in a bit sooner than usual. It’s hard to imagine a better growing weather than we had the last weeks: tons of rain always followed by warm/hot days. We only mulched once this year and didn’t plow anything which I’m very glad about looking back. There is a strong vegetation growing in the rows preventing erosion and absorbing some of the water (should slow down growth at least a little bit).

The Regent started turning red/blue already, it’s been growing strongly but the yield will be low due to the frost damage. Talking about frost: while the Regent is just 3-4 grapes per vine constantly two Müller-Thurgau vineyards go from extreme to extreme.

While some vines are beautifully green carrying no fruit at all there are also vines being almost overloaded.

What is a bit concerning currently is the high potential for Botrytis trouble I can already see out there. The vine moths (lobesia botrana and eupoecilia ambiguella) have been celebrating a big party this year. The first generation of worms was not really a problem but now the second generation is out. It’s still just few berries (in many grapes though) and a dry August could turn the damaged berries into raisins. But humidity would turn those few berries into epicenters of rot. It was recommended to the organic growers to spray Bt which we didn’t – now fingers crossed.

Even more important to get enough air floating around the grapes which is why we have spent a lot of time over the last months keeping the vines airy and now do remove all leaves in the grape zone at least for the reds (Schwarzriesling in the picture below).

Every year it’s a strange feeling leaving the vineyards behind but we have to get out a little bit before a likely crazy harvest will start early September.

We’ll be traveling to NYC and Montréal the next weeks and of course it can’t happen without a few tastings. In case you’re around here are a few options if you’d like to have a glass with us:

See you on the other side!

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