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Wine Diary

Cold Air

November 27, 2013

We are currently picking the last, sweet and often slightly frozen grapes.

Cold, dry air helps to shrivel the berries to extract sweetness. Right now the grapes are at Auslese and Beerenauslese levels, maybe next week we will have a TBA?
The highly mature fruit is the reward of really hard work. Hot tea and warm clothing protect our workers against the severe cold.
The highly-concentrated, icy juice running from the press needs to warm up in the cellar for days until the yeasts may start their transforming work. However, even the best yeasts will be unable to deal with so much natural sweetness and some residual fruit sugar will always remain alongside the alcohol.

In the 2013 vintage, this sweetness will be elegantly balanced by exquisite acidity. Reviewing the whole slowly-proceeding harvest period, these late-picked grapes might not build the main focus of the vintage. However, they close the circle of selective harvesting that started in September with light acid-driven Sekt base wines, then went on through several rounds of all of our classic vineyards to finish with the last sweet clusters in late Autumn.

The heroes these days are our pickers, who have founded the basis of a successful vintage by selecting grapes with highest concentration whether the sun was shining or a biting cold deserted the Kamptal area.

Willi Bründlmayer