Ideal conditions for the vines
Hattrick! 2020 was the third sunny year in a row. And just like in 2018 and 2019, we harvested a picture-perfect crop of grapes. It took outstanding conditions throughout the entire growth cycle to reach this happy conclusion. Plentiful rain in February and March went a long way toward replenishing the water stocks in our soils.
2020 also saw a continuation of the trend toward increasingly warmer years. Enduring good weather in April led to early bud break. After a May of moderate temperatures, flowering started roughly 7-10 days earlier than the historical average, all under ideal conditions.
A lovely summer followed, with plentiful sun yet moderate warmth that rarely edged over the 30°C mark. We in Westhofen were quite fortunate with the rain, which perpetually arrived just in time as showers but not full-on storms. The grapes began ripening in early August. Warm, sunny weather promoted development, while cool nights encouraged elegance.
Good water supplies despite the dryness
We intentionally allowed the canopy to grow in the vineyards to protect the young grapes against overexposure to the sun. You could certainly see the effects of dryness on our sites, yet at the same time it once again was clear just how much a good growth balance helps vineyards endure difficult phases. The deep roots on the vines drew what they needed from the heavy clayey marl soils, and autumn approached quickly.
Ripe and healthy fruit on all sites
We kicked off the harvest this year on September 7. The first half of harvest transpired to summery temperatures and a quick picking of the Pinot family grapes. Given the balanced ripeness and mineral freshness, we saw little reason to delay. The Riesling harvest then followed starting on September 20. Within 18 days we’d brought in healthy grapes from all our sites. The best starting point for a vintage to remember.
2020 vintage: The golden mean
Once fermentation successfully completes with yeasts from our vineyards, the young wines will be given time to develop in our vaulted cellar. They will stay on the lees as long as necessary to develop into elegant wines of massive potential.
Our first tastings hint that the new vintage will combine the best elements from both 2019 and 2018. Well-defined aromatics on the one hand, chiseled minerality on the other. The wines are currently showing as highly balanced, with plenty of tension on the palate. In short: we’re thrilled!