The grapes of the year are harvested and it can be noted with joy and satisfaction that it will be a really good vintage. All the grapes were completely healthy, and could even have hung unharmed for many days, had they not been so early, so perfectly ripe. What was unimaginable a decade or two ago is now – due to the undeniably rapid climate change – almost normal: the grape harvest begins earlier and earlier and usually ends as early as the end of September/beginning of October. At the turn of the millennium, it was still an unwritten law that the harvest of the first Riesling rarely begins before mid-October. This year, we finished the 2020 harvest of wonderful Riesling and Cabernet Cantor grapes quite relaxed on September 30. Crazy, in the most literal sense of the word.
As healthy as the sunny summer weather has kept the grapes into the fall, the lack of rain and the drought that has persisted until now is noticeable in the harvest volume. In 2020, not all barrels have been filled. If in the future it remains so warm and in our region falls as little rain as in the last three years, we must prepare for permanently lower harvest volumes. It’s comforting to know that Mother Nature will at least compensate for this shortfall with increasing quality.
One thing a winemaker learns very early is that, despite everything, we should be grateful for every year. Nature makes its decisions, we are left with honest effort, good craftsmanship and joy for each new year that we are given. Because the still invisible preparation for the next wine year already begins now. The vines are now looking for peace and rest in order to gain strength and in the spring to stretch the leaves and blossoms that are already dormant in the buds towards the sun. Somehow incredibly magical….