A Roller Coaster Ride with a Happy Ending

Sticking to the ongoing theme of "Weather Gone Wild," 2019 once again proved itself to be a year of extremes. After a very mild and dry winter, the vines began bud break in mid-April, a potentially record-setting date. The return of cold weather in May briefly gave us shivers... our young shoots barely escaped frost damage.

The cold conditions did however slow the rapid growth process considerably. In June things re-accelerated to record temperatures, with optimal growth conditions that soon had the vineyards covered in rich green. Blossoming began in mid-June, progressing quickly and setting the groundwork for top quality grapes.

Despite the drought, our biodynamic approach, which encourages the vines to dig their roots deep into the soil and improves their ability to retain water, allowed us to manage the vineyards without extra irrigation. The sole exception was a few of the young stands, which did require some extra watering through the end of June to ensure their continued and healthy growth.

July remained summery warm, with lovely rainstorms that delivered much-needed relief to the vines' water supplies. We deliberately opted away from leaf removal during this stage of growth to help shield the growing grapes from sunburn.

The enduring heat of summer finally came to a close in mid-August. At this point the grapes were approaching ripeness. These very good conditions, with sufficient levels of precipitation and cooler nights, were crucial in shaping this vintage.

The fruit progressed well towards ripeness, with the cool nights ensuring that the acid within the berries slowly fell. The classic fine fruit aromas that make our wines from the northern winegrowing regions so unique were able to develop as a result.

Harvest began on September 16 with Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). All of our "Burgunder" (Pinot family) grapes were brought in within a few days, in an effort to avoid high sugar concentration in the berries. Ripeness, aroma and acidity had achieved a perfect balance at the moment they were picked.

The Riesling harvest then followed. It progressed relatively quickly as well, excepting a few brief interruptions due to rain showers. Healthy grapes and optimal ripeness levels encouraged us not to delay. Each and every berry was hand selected by our experienced harvest team, then gently crushed and pressed back at the estate. As always, it was a wild ferment with native yeast, typically in large oak barrels.

On October 5, just three weeks after it began, harvest was complete.

Based on the young wines, the 2019 vintage looks to be extremely exciting: still wrapped in subtle yeast notes, the wines are showing a juicy freshness, playful and delicate acidity and strong minerality on the palate.

It is a vintage of extreme finesse and elegance that recounts its origins with unquestioned authenticity.