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Wine Diary

Time for the classics!

October 19, 2012

Almost every year the middle of October turns out to be the best time for harvesting our wines around the classic ripeness levels. Loiser Berg and Berg Vogelsang are scheduled to be harvested now.

Recently, I invited a visitor to taste some of those Grüner Veltliner grapes. “But each berry tastes differently!” he cried in amazement. Yes, each single berry actually does not only look, but also taste unique. Individual character was less pronounced in the grapes harvested in September. Now we discover a wide-ranged flavor profile, a multitude of “tones” each contributing in the barrel to the wines’ “harmonic sound”.

If a vintner has caught an “autumn cold” his grape tasting pleasure might be reduced, yet with some experience, he will nevertheless be able to define the right date of harvest by sight: stems, as well as the seeds in the berries, are increasingly tinged with brown. And even if he would temporarlily lose not only his sense of smell, but his eyesight as well, then he could at least “grasp” the level of maturity by touching.

The leaves on the vines are changing colors now. First, the “basal” ones, the closest to the fruits, get yellow and lose their ability to produce more sugar for the grapes via photosynthesis. When this happens, it is advantageous to remove those leaves. In so doing, the mild autumn sun can pass and the cool winds still may dry the grapes. During this phase, grapes will continue to deepen and refine their flavors, but will not accumulate more sugar.