Late harvest while the leafes show first autumn colours Barrique storage Andreas and Kathrin Sonnenmulde wine bottles Trailer filled with fresh grapes at the harvest Autumn colored vineyards around Gols Hillside vineyard with autumn colored leafes View of vineards starting to change leafe colours in autumn View towards the winery Barrique casks Vineyard next to a forest, autumn colored leafes Rows of grapevines in summer, about 1 month befor the harvest People at manual wine harvest Sun rises through ground fog while wind turbines tower above the vineyards View towards the illuminated winery at night

Waiting for Dessert

2015-10-24 - 12:00

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Two rows of high trellis vines covered on the lower 60 cm with fine meshed plastic nets.
Bird-nets to protect our precious grapes.

A fine meal is hopefully followed by a dessert. Just as we are now hoping to pick some great dessert wines after the main harvest has been finished. We’re planning to conclude the season with Icewine and Trockenbeerenauslese to be specific. We have not tried to do both of thes super-sweet dessert wines in the same year for decades, but after this awesome vintage we think there is a great opportunity.

Looking a the photo you can see that we are protecting our grapes with nets. Since most of the vineyards have been picked by now, birds would really appreciate the few remainig treats. The nets help us secure that the wine stays our dessert, and not the bird’s!

Making Icewine is almost easy. One “just” has to wait for really freezing temperatures of -7° C or cooler. After a few hours the grapes are frozen and can be picked. But this means waiting. In some lucky years we are blessed with a really cool night in November already but in other years it might not get cold enough at all. We’ll see, but we do of course hope for an early date so that we don’t still have to think about Icewine during Christmas. But even that would not be too unusual. The 2003 Icewine was picked on Dezember 25th, 1995 it was December 26th. That’s just how it works. Trauben mit beginnender Edelfäule


Grapes starting to be affected by noble rot.
Grapes starting to be affected by noble rot.

We do not need cold tempeatures for Trockenbeerenauslese (“Dry Berry Selection”, short TBA) but it is even more difficult to harvest. The grapes dont have to freeze but be completely affectet by Botrytis - the noble grape rot. It makes the grape skins permeable so that water can evaporate in warm autumn weather, thus greatly concentrating the juice. Noble rot affected grapes are not pretty but their juice is incredibly precious and develops great sweetness and aroma.


Two photos of Gols with buildings, two church towers and vineyards in the background. Low but thick ground fog in one image and bright sunny conditions in the other.
TBA weather: foggy in the morning, sunny for the rest of the day.

Botrytis is a bit demanding. There are only a few wine growing regions on earth where it does find ideal conditions. Luckily Lake Neusiedl guarantees just that and the noble rot can thrive in our area. Cool, foggy mornings followed by a warm and sunny day are ideal for the development of “botrytised” dessert wines. And in most years, autumn offers just that. Here are two current pictures of the vineyards of Gols. One is from this morning - low lying fog just a bit higher than the grapes are. A few hours later everything is fine, sunny and warm. Awesome! If that continues we can hope to yield a great 2015 TBA!

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