From vineyard to cellar December/January 2015
Every vintage is unique. Recent years were always a challenge, but this year’s harvest was truly a battle. To some extent, the past few months were the warmest on record. There really was no winter. Spring was too warm and dry. Rain began in July and was incessant. Never-ending rain is the last thing wine-growers need in summer. In addition, it was far too warm. Grapes soaked up the water and began to burst relatively early. Circumstances were anything but good. Fortunately, we saw what was coming early on and called up our harvest crew more than two weeks before the harvest actually began. First, though, we started with a painstaking selection in every vineyard. On Saturday, 20 September, the temperature reached 27°C (81°F) and we were bombarded with nearly 50 liters of rain within a few hours. The time to harvest had come. We immediately doubled our harvest crew and on 25 September, we began our Riesling harvest.
Unfortunately, with the exception of a very few days, it was never really dry this autumn: if it wasn’t rain, then it was fog that set in (which is actually worse than rain). Thanks to the untiring efforts of our team we succeeded in picking nearly all that we had hoped to. In all, the harvest lasted more than four weeks.
The one or other wine will be missing in our 2014 collection, but we were able to pick enough grapes to produce a small quantity of Trockenbeerenauslese with 216 degrees Oechsle from the Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg site. We were also able to pick fantastic Spätburgunder grapes for our “Caviar de Pinot.” All the grapes were stemmed by hand – an absurdly laborious task, but the result merits the effort.
The majority of grape musts are still fermenting and will probably need well into next year to complete fermentation. That’s perfectly okay. We give each wine the time it needs. Preliminary samples already show a flavor profile: prevailing aromas reminiscent of citrus and yellow fruit; acidity that is ripe and round. In fact, the proportion of tartaric acid was already high at the start of the harvest. As such, vintage 2014 is clearly riper than 2013. Time will tell...