Harvest Report 2006
"Even in the last week of September we assumed that we would probably have a large crop. At the very end of September and in early October, though, torrential rains and unseasonably warm temperatures reversed this prognosis," summarized Stefan Ress, senior proprietor of the Rheingau wine esate Balthasar Ress. Due to the wet, relatively warm weather, rot set in early and made it necessary to harvest quickly and very selectively. This greatly reduced the anticipated yield.
Stefan Ress took advantage of the "golden October" that followed to let the remaining bunches continue to ripen. According to Ress: "We had a significant increase in quality. All the grapes brought in toward the end of the harvest had at least 100 degrees Oechsle or more." The overall average must weight for the estate's Rieslings was 85 degrees Oechsle; for Spätburgunder/Pinot Noir, 87 degrees Oechsle. Stefan Ress is quite satisfied with the quality of the harvest: "We expect mineral-rich white wines with a harmonious and fresh, fruity acidity. The red grapes ripened well and thanks to this, the wines will be full-bodied and rich in color." Approximately 40% of the vintage will be vinified dry (from QbA to the premium wines designated Erstes Gewächs). This year's harvest also yielded grapes ripe enough to produce Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese from top sites. Junior proprietor Christian Ress sums up the prospects as follows: "Our customers can look forward to a very good collection - from vintage 2006 we'll be able to offer Gutsweine (house wines), wines from classified sites, as well as Erste Gewächse - `first growth' - wines."