From cellar to vineyard

Not long ago, we were still picking; now, we're back to pruning, laying the foundation for vintage 2013...That's what makes our profession so interesting - diversity and nature, which sets the pace. As we ponder the fermenting musts and young wines of 2012, nature marches on. Pruning is THE basis for the coming vintage.

Pruning decisively sets the stage in terms of quality and quantity. Unfortunately, we've noticed that vineyards are being pruned earlier and earlier. Sometimes, right after the harvest. Naturally, the reasons for this are primarily economical. Immediately after the harvest there are still enough seasonal workers on hand to get started with this labor-intensive task. Fundamentally, though, this is not the right thing to do. Vines are pruned when they've lost all their leaves and there's been at least one good frost. The vine needs time for post-harvest recovery during which it can replenish and accumulate nutients and carbohydrates for future growth next year. In 2012, there was a brief frost on 27 October, after which leaves fell. That was far too early, though. At that time, we were just beginning to pick grapes in Rüdesheim - amidst light snowfall.


Although some musts are still fermenting, fermentation has ended for most of our 2012 wines. They are now lying in full tanks or casks, where they'll remain on the lees until spring. Some of the wines will undergo bâtonnage (lees stirring), which later adds a bit more complexity to the wines. The musts of the grapes picked very late are fermenting very slowly but steadily. Everything already smells and tastes very promising. The wines of vintage 2012 will definitely not be average or poor. In fact, there could actually be some extraordinary wines. We're practicing the art of patience. We'll simply have to wait and see.

Many of our wines are sold out; on the rise: stock depletions and market pressure. Actually, we should have bottled some young wines before year's end - we desperately need them, particularly, our most important wine, "Von Unserm," which is sold out. Yet, after careful consideration, we've decided not to bottle early. We'll wait until late February, as usual. It's simply better for the quality of the wine - and that's what counts!




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