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Wine Diary

The Taste of Autumn

October 18, 2010

When it’s a question of deciding what type of wine to make, the most important factor is the timing of the harvest.

Winemakers generally decide this by examining the grape sugar concentration inside the berries, the condition of the skin and seeds, how easily the grape flesh can be separated from the skin and above all, by tasting the grapes.

After a certain amount of time – and this time has now arrived – each individual grape begins to develop distinctive aromas. Each grape has its own particular and unique taste, differing even from other grapes on the same cluster.

This is the most exciting time for the winemaker, raising hopes of producing a special, individual wine.
Experienced winemakers no longer need to taste the grapes. They can judge how the wine will taste simply by looking at their vineyards.

The taste of each individual grape is matched by the particularities of autumnal colouring. Every leaf has its own special colouring. No two leaves are exactly the same.

Naturally, the winemaker hopes that the marvellous beauty of the autumn vineyard will emerge in the wine.
If the September vineyard is uniformly green, the wine it produces will be simple, with a straightforward, greenish taste.

From now on, the taste will be enriched with various nuances. The greenish freshness predominates at first, but as the autumn progresses, lovely warm new tones develop.

At this time of year, there is always the threat of bad weather, including of course the cold November winds. The Kamptal winemakers will be wishing the clouds away to the Alps, to rain and snow there, leaving the wine region around the Danube as dry as possible. Low temperatures can chill the harvesters, calling for hot tea in the vineyards, but for white grapes low temperatures are welcome, since they delay ripening and promote high quality fruit.