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Wine Diary

The eating habits of our "four-legged friends"

October 24, 2011

The deer of Langenlois are somewhat spoiled and have become selective in their eating habits. Only the best, healthiest and ripest grapes are delicately nibbled off their stems.
In our Chardonnay vineyard we have four or five Veltliner vines. This old, native varietal is a favorite with the deer, for some reason. In spring they eat the leaves, and in autumn the grapes, and only netting can protect this bastion of veltlinerhood.
Is the preference based in the lower acidity, the characteristic taste, or because generations of deer have known Veltliner grapes? Only when no Veltliner is left the deer will turn to Chardonnay. And even there only the best is good enough. Of course, the animals know that I do not hold a hunting license and continue undisturbed when they spot me at a moderate distance.

The picking is speeding up now. Last Saturday we made use of the wonderful weather – frost in the morning, dry air and sun – in order to harvest our classics: Heiligenstein, Berg Vogelsang, Loiser Berg.
There is also already a first barrel of Heiligenstein Lyra.
I feel that the potential for truly fine, straight, fruit-driven and dry wines is exhausted now. The remaining harvest should be brought in quickly.