After a careful selection in the vineyard, the grapes arrive at the winery and are lightly crushed. They then macerate for 2 - 4 hours until they are slowly and carefully pressed at a very low pressure.
Spontaneous fermentation with natural yeast is predominantly used, as this way the specific character of each single vineyard is maintained. A cool and very slow fermentation, with use of no additives, and a subsequent careful filtration, results in very complex wines that improve over years and even decades.
In line with our philosophy, our traditional 1,000 Liter barrels are of major importance. After being fermented in stainless steel, most of our wines are matured over a period of several months in these traditional Mosel-barrels.
The 2014 harvest demanded a lot of sensitivity and strong nerves from the growers in the Mosel valley. The continuously changing weather conditions during summer and early autumn presented us with a challenging situation. We started harvesting as well the Pinot Noir as the Riesling earlier than anticipated.
Following a mild winter and a very warm spring bud-break and flowering took place early indicating only the best for 2014.
Already in the beginning of April vines were budding, and the flowering took place in the beginning till mid of June at dry weather without problems.
After the very dry spring, rain was badly needed and hoped for. It came with a vengeance during July and August – 295 liters alone during the month of August. September fortunately dried up again.
These weather conditions influenced the harvest extremely. All growers carefully observed the continuously changing weather during September: the spectrum went from sometimes almost ideal conditions with sunny days and cool nights to unfavorable humid-warm phases. The health condition of the grapes was the decisive criterion for the start of the harvest. To prevent rot and loss of quantity in our main variety Riesling we started picking earlier than in the previous years.
We started picking our Pinot Noir very selectively on October 2ndand harvested at 90° of Oechsle. The quality of the grapes was very good, even though there was a heavy quantity reduction due to an extremely severe selection process which already took place in the vineyard. An additional challenge presented this year an insect brought to Europe from Asia. The “Kirschessigfliege” affected mainly red grape varieties and made special attention to each single grape indispensable.
Picking was completed on October 30th.An extreme selection process was carried out in our Rieslings vineyards. The quantity harvested in our top vineyards was reduced to no more than 2000 litres / hectare. The average quantity in our Riesling vineyards amounted to 2700 litres/hectare. The extreme attention to quality finally paid off. We were rewarded with a good spread of quality levels from our Qualitätswein to Kabinett, Spätlese and some beautiful Auslese musts.
We are very pleased with the development of our 2014 vintage in the cellar. The musts and wines are characterized by good extract-values, a harmonious and well integrated acidity and very beautiful clean fruit aromas. Similar to the last years, the wines will be kept on the lees for a long time, so that they will stabilize in a natural way and have the time to develop complexity and structure.
We are very much looking forwards to the next summer, when we will be able to show you the new vintage.