November 30, 2017

Retrospective: Vintage 2017

Pruning is finished in early March. After a long and ice-cold winter, early warm spring days cause premature bud break. It cools down again. We experience a few nights with frost, fortunately without any major loss of crop. Due to the cold, the flowering is delayed by almost 2 weeks. June offers ideal flowering conditions! The much needed rain has been missing since winter. There is no significant rainfall until August. Our slopes and baby-vines have to be irrigated. Although in Kamptal we are used to a certain "dryness", 2017 is nerve-wracking in this respect. We start to take vinicultural actions against the drought. Most of our Veltliner grapes have been split in 2017 to prevent stress in the vines. The appropriate care of foliage and soil does the rest. We can't support our vineyards more than that.

Due to dry weather, the pressure of disease or fungi is virtually absent and we get by with a minimum of crop protection; everything has it's advantage! It slowly becomes clear that we will have an early harvest. The vegetation really picks up in the summer days and by far makes up all the delay from spring. Fortunately, the long-awaited rain comes at the end of August and nature and winemakers are slightly relieved.

With the beginning of September our summer is suddenly gone and it cools down. The maturity has already progressed so far that we start picking on the 8th: Muskat Ottonel. The nights are cool, very cool! Perfect conditions for the aromatic development of the grapes. We pick nice and fresh Grüner Veltliner for our base segment during ideal weather conditions. The second half of September brings quite a few rainy days, which troubles our Rieslings. We switch to Riesling harvest, which is already (almost) completed at the beginning of October.

A golden autumn starts with October. Sunny and cold! The grapes are still very healthy. A few more weeks to go. We switch back and forth between picking Weissburgunder, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Grüner Veltliner. At the end, our best and most mature grapes from Veltliner, Riesling and Weissburgunder are picked for the "Maximum" series. Done. Harvest is over after 7 weeks! Great teamwork in vineyard and cellar is reflected in the excellent quality! Now the fermenting juice has all the time it needs.