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Wine Diary 2015

Autumn

After the extremes of the summer we were very pleased when the weather turned cooler, and rain eventually arrived. The cooler nights are very relaxing and important for the final ripening of the grapes.

The weather caused high levels of stress in both people and plants. Not all the vines came through the situation unscathed. Particularly young plants on lighter soils suffered. Where this occured we removed most of the grapes early, to give the plants sufficient strength to build up reserves to enable them to survive the coming winter, and so produce a harvest in the following year.

In general the numbers of grapes on all vines were reduced to moderate the stress caused by drought conditions. We must therefore expect a reduced harvest.
Our grapes are, without exception, harvested by hand. The harvesters carefully remove damaged or diseased berries. After speedy delivery into the cellar, further optical sorting takes place before pressing and filling into fermentation tanks. Through this healthy and evenly ripened grape production is guarranteed, the best foundation for good wines.

Provided no unusual events of nature take place in the meantime, the main harvest should start on the 12th. of September. In the case of one or two plots growing early varieties, a few fays earlier. Basically I am expecting goog conditions, but am chary of making premature, euphoric prognosis. Only when the grapes are safely in the cellar can we claim, through good care and handling, to have made fine wines.

This summer, with its record temperatures and long periods of drought, is a further clear indication of a fundamental change in our world climate. In extreme situations it always happens that a lasting basis is created for compensation and evening out. In agriculture this basis is the soil. Plots of land which, over the years, have been leeched out and exploited, show us this most clearly.

In working with nature, we clearly experience that measures which lead to harmony and evening out, achieve lasting success.