First preview on the vintage 2016
The uniform weather in late summer as well as the cool nights of the previous weeks have been quite perfect for the final ripeness of the grapes. The natural concentration of sugar in the grapes is increasing while their freshness is preserved.
We are expecting very thrilling wines with a lot of fruit and intense flavour. The excitement to see the final results lingers until the end.
The only sad point about the vintage 2016 is an extremely small harvest. Some unusual weather events resulted in a rather low yield.
On several days during the last week of April, temperatures dropped to minus three centigrade. This had a devastating effect on the sprouting vines and all plants.
Not even the eldest vintners can recall spring frosts of this degree. The most protected areas suffered from losses in yield.
Historic documentation shows similar eents in the spring of 1919 so - hopefully - this was a once-in-a-century disaster.
Although the vines started sprouting again, there were hardly any grapes on the plants.
All summer, strong rainfall accurred repeatedly, accompanied by hazy, sultry days. Due to the high air moisture, all the downy mildew diseases highly feared by vintners set in. These fungi attack leaves and grapes. They destroy the important chlorophyll of the leaves, which makes the grapes dry out.
As soft pest control for organic farming is not really effective and long lasting, there were new infections several times a week. This resulted in even bigger losses in sensitive vines.
This year has shown the limits of organic farming and new, more resistant kinds of grapes are going to gain importance.
In the first seven months of the year, there was already more rainfall than in an average year. As a consequence, vines and herbs were sprouting strongly which led to additional work dealing with vines, pest control and soil preparation. All in all, we have had more work and a smaller output.
Cool morning temperatures typical for our region set in at the beginning of August. It cooled down quite suddenly to temperatures a little over six centigrade.
Only in the last week of August the weather calmed down and a wonderful late summer gives us hope for high quality grapes.