The last harvest days: Silvaner, Schwarzriesling and a first conclusion

Harvest is over. We picked our Silvaner on Monday early in the morning, a beautiful day actually. The leaves had started withering, the berries were perfectly ripe although the sugar levels remained pretty low this year.

Ripe Silvaner grape

There was some rot here and there which we cut out but thank god we didn’t have to throw away too much – the yield was a catastrophe anyway. Only about 20hl/ha – due to frost and hungry owlet moth caterpillars. Here is an example of an average vine:


You can imagine that it was a pretty quick harvest. My friend Felix and I were carrying the grapes down the hill and we didn’t have to walk that often …

Felix emptying his "Butte"

The grapes were destemmed right afterwards and put in a tank to ferment on the skins for a couple of days. We’ll have some pressing action going on next week with the Große Wanderlust remaining on the skins for another week.

What I have pressed already is the Dornfelder. It was enough to fill at least one barrique and I think it will become something awesome. Malolactic fermentation is underway, this baby is safe. The Kleine Wanderlust has been pressed as well, about 500l which I put into two small steel tanks. The good 100l of Perle are in a little steel tank too and quite frankly I still don’t know what to do with it. I’ll probably put it in a couple of carboys and see how it develops.

Last but not least there was a small parcel of Schwarzriesling to harvest yesterday. We put it into a box and crushed it with our feet two ours before throwing it in the press.

Schwarzriesling grapes in a box

With a whopping yield of 8hl/ha (!!!) that’s about 70l. Oh my. So this is going to be Pet-Nat – a good quantity to play with. It was a difficult year in the end. The massive amounts of rain we got in the second half of August and the beginning of September led to bursting grapes and this led to rot. Also the grapes stopped producing more sugar at some point. And the acid levels remained constant. It was like the vines had decided to be done for this year. Very weird. Talking to many growers in our area I didn’t get any explanation. What I heard several times though was that this hadn’t happened before. Nature is a crazy fellow … So: the result is going to be small quantities of low alcohol wines. Time to rest now.



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