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After a few days break last week we were able to continue with the harvest. We picked Riesling and most notably Zweigelt, the latter is now even finished for this year. Since we had to take another rain-caused break this week we are of course very happy about this as well as about the quality of this years Zweigelt grapes. This week we will harvest Blaufränkisch and Merlot which leaves only Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Blanc behind. Both are scheduled for a later date, especially the Pinot Blanc which we plan to harvest as a Spätlese or “Late Harvest” wine.
Here now some pictures and impressions of this years Zweigelt harvest. The grapes are picked manually then dropped onto a trailer using a wheelbarrow and brought home to our winery at last. The manual harvest allows us to easily sort out bad berries which is of course extremely important for the production of top quality wines.
Arrived at home the sugar content of the grapes is measured using an optical device called a refractometer. This defines the quality level in the Austrian quality wine system as well as for the aroma and the alcohol content of the wine that will emerge from the grapes.
The grapes are then de-stemmed and gently crushed to allow some of the juice to run out. The mesh is then filled in red wine fermenters and will be pressed after when the fermentation is completed. Only then the young wine is filled in a wooden cask where it can start its ageing process.
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