Lease your own vine with Balthasar Ress

Lease your own vine in the vineyards of Balthasar Ress located in the Rheingau or in Keitum / Sylt!

Lease a vine right here.

14.12.2011

Vintage report 2011



by Dirk Würtz

It’s really nothing new: every growing season has a distinctive “personality.” Vintage 2011 was no exception; it was a very special and unusual year. January and February were unusually mild; March, truly a spring month; April, more like summer; and May, also warm. This all added up to a spring with above-average temperatures: nearly 3°C (5.4°F) higher than the long-term average. Not only were temperatures remarkable, but also the lack of precipitation: it was the driest spring in more than 120 years, topped only by the dry spring of 1893. By the time blossoming began in May, growth was more than three weeks ahead of schedule. There was a sudden change in the weather at the end of May. Rain set in, June was extremely wet, and August was really a rainout.


The end of July marked the earliest veraison ever. This early onset of ripening, with nearly subtropical weather and a plague of wasps, led to some severe, early rot in the vineyards. Grapes continued to ripen rapidly. The result: one of the earliest harvests in the history of our estate. By 7 September we had harvested the first grapes in Oestrich, with Oechsle readings of nearly 80 degrees. We certainly numbered among the very first to have begun harvesting in the Rheingau. By mid-September, it seemed as though the harvest might be as complicated as that of 2006 – yet another change in the weather saved the day. A beautiful Indian summer set in. Remaining pockets of rot dried out and we were able to harvest grapes with fantastic levels of ripeness until well into October. After nearly eight weeks, we were able to end our harvest of completely healthy and ripe grapes in the Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen site. The 2011 harvest was not only the earliest in our history, but also one of the longest. We were literally the last estate to still have had grapes hanging on the vine. In the end, we were even able to leave a few grapes on the vine in the Nussbrunnen site for a potential ice wine harvest.


We took very high risks during last year’s difficult vintage; even more in 2011. We made decisions on a day-by-day basis; scrutinized our strategy; and continually tried to define the optimal time to harvest in each vineyard. In the end, we relied on the actual taste of the grapes rather than Oechsle readings. We harvested more selectively than ever before. Grapes were removed in up to five stages (!) in some vineyards before the actual harvest began. The results are fabulous: young wines and fermenting musts that show a completely new spectrum of aromas.


Vintage 2011 is truly a good vintage. Time will tell whether it will develop into a great vintage. But even at this stage, we can say that all of our new wines have a distinctive character and clearly reflect their origin. And that’s precisely what we’re aiming for!

Winery webcam

Our webcam sends live pictures from the Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen vineyard, our press house, and our bottling hall. Webcam transmissions end when there is longer sufficient light, and the final pictures of the day are sent at night.
Next event
26. April 2014
Balthasar Ress Jahrgangspräsentation 2014 in Hattenheim
Wir freuen uns, am Samstag den 26.04.2014 für Sie unsere Tore zu öffnen! Verkosten Sie den neuen, herausragenden 2013er Jahrgang. Genießen Sie einen schönen Tag mit und bei uns.

27. April 2014
Besichtigung Gutshaus & wineBANK
Wir freuen uns, Sie am Sonntag, den 27.04.2014 zu einer Besichtigung unseres Gutshauses und der wineBANK einzuladen.

» All articles

Latest media mentions
09. April 2014
falstaff
Gerolsteiner adelt zwölf WeinPlaces - Der Mineralbrunnen Gerolsteiner zeichnet erstmals außergewöhnlich gastliche und weinkompetente Orte aus, die man jedem Weinliebhaber von ganzem Herzen empfehlen kann.

07. April 2014
Wine Spectator
The BEST of BOTH WORLDS - despite a tricky 2012 vintage in Germany, both sweet and dry styles excel

» All articles

Latest news
02. April 2014
News from the wineBANK April 2014
The second wineBANKers’ table of the year was dedicated to up-and-coming vintners.

01. April 2014
Message from Christian Ress April 2014
There’s no doubt about it: spring has arrived and it’s living up to its name. If you’ve always wanted to know where the grapes for our wines grow, then join us for one of our tailor-made wine hikes.

» All articles