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Wine Diary

This Moody Spring of 2020

April 17, 2020

Emotional roller coaster 

This spring will remain in our memories as an emotional roller coaster ride! The wonderful latest press reviews felt like the sun breaking through these quite clouded crisis times!

In our cellar, our 2019s seem to fully live up to the high expectations we felt entitled to speak of after the end of harvest, but - we really do hope to be finally allowed not only to bring them to the virtual attention, but also to have them poured to customers of our friends & partners in the still totally shut down tourism industry.

Out in the vineyards, the jubilant nature presents a marvelous feast to the eyes of the wanderer as trees now are in full blossom with their first leaves sprouting; while on the ground more and more greens and flowers start springing up. What a joy of heart when you are looking for distance to the mandatory domestic life.

Hot and Cold

However, our current scenario fluctuates between almost summery day temperatures and frosty nights down to -5 C°! Twice already, we were lucky during pretty icy nocturnal temperatures. The vineyards proved their resilience where many fruit trees have suffered heavy damage. New measures like heating wires installed in the most precious cooler sites or vegetable oil applications might have helped too. Moreover, it is really too dry. A short change in the weather last weekend hardly brought any rain, and for the next few days only very little precipitation is to be expected. But this dry period, on the other hand, slowed down sprouting and maybe has been saving a lot of vineyards from severe frost damage.

Careful tending

For many days now we have been spreading compost, which is rich in nutrients and micro-organisms, but also full of insects and earthworms. It will sustainably contribute to the amelioration of the structure and supply of our soils. We have finished binding: after cutting, we had to bind all annual shots to the wire frames (trellis system) in order to determine their future ways to the light, or, in other terms, to "design the architecture” of the future canopy. Currently our workers are occupied with weed regulation. This means mechanically “hewing” the weeds around the rootstocks which otherwise would compete for water and nutrients.  Thus, the soil around the stems is disturbed, with the weeds brought into the ground, which later also might help to slowly nurture the plant.

Subtle Rejuvenation Cure for “Heiligenstein”

By now, we also have accomplished very nice work on our Heiligenstein: understandably, over the years we lose individual vines in our vineyards. Whether they get sick, after damage by minor “accidents” such as grazing by game, or they just have passed their natural life span, it is always sad to watch. In former days, older vineyards were to be cleared relatively early. Today, we try to keep old vines safe as long as possible, even more so, if they thrive in the most valuable sites. Old plants might carry less fruit, but smaller berries with eventually thicker skins rich in extract and flavor. Therefore, occasionally we set out to replant the vacant spots by hand with young promising Riesling vines. In this manner new life is breathed into our venerable “Heiligenstein”!