October harvest update – satisfying Silvaner

It’s been our 5th harvest since we got started and it was by far the trickiest one. Well, 2014 was a bit of a disaster but this year we had even more rot to deal with plus a LOT more wine compared to 2014. As I wrote 2 weeks ago pretty much everything we picked within the first weeks was disappointing. The whole harvest took us twice as long as it did last year with Müller-Thurgau, Bacchus and Schwarzriesling bringing less than half of the yield they normally do. Due to the enormous investment in picking hands we were still able to get healthy grapes in. And besides a few small experimental batches everything went well in the tanks. So far so … well.

But let’s stop wining and look at the bright side. And the bright side’s name is Silvaner. Out of the 6 plots we picked this year (plus 2 batches of grapes we bought) only 2 vineyards had to be pre-harvested and only one had some spectacular rot like this.

Everything Heimat was very satisfying and the crew had become so good at deselecting rot that we got in many boxes of beautiful bunches.

Filling gaps in the cellar we also got a new barrel which was standing in a corner during harvest but we got it down just in time to let it feel a proper Silvaner fermentation happening.

What did go pretty well this year were the fermentations. Weather they took place in a box outside, a tank or a barrel in the dungeon – the average fermentation speed was just about a week with the first malos being finished already. It’s an exciting time to taste.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without this wonderful team I had.

There was Marianna, a talented sommelière from Budapest (2nd from left) who only missed out one of the 25 harvest days. Demian, a student & sommelier (formerly o boufés) from Vienna (right), the glue bringing the core crew together and a reliable supervisor in the vineyard. Tony (left), a designer & winemaker from Australia, did a great job helping to prepare the cellar the first week before harvest.

Dave, sommelier at Chez Nous / Paris was around for a tough week of deselecting rot.

Tobias (2nd from left), sommelier at De Nieuwe Winkel / Netherlands, arrived just in time for the pretty Silvaners. And last but not least there was Bastard’s sommelier Joshua (back) and his lovely girlfriend My from Sweden. It was amazing watching all of you learning everything from scratch and seeing the permanently changing crew running like a well oiled machine. You all impressed me a lot and it was really sad seeing each of you go. It’s become very quiet since then.

We also had a couple of students helping many days, Selma, Peter, Johanna, Luisa and Lea. There were Imke / Heinrich sein Enkel and Rebecca from Bielefeld helping for a few days and of course our legendary Mr. Karimi.

Guys – thank you. You made it not only work the best way the circumstances allowed for, you also made it fun.

But amongst all there was one guy standing out. The hardest worker, the toughest guy, the king of the yard (steeling your quote & pic Tobi): our ex-intern and now apprentice & oenology student Nick. Thank you.

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