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

Harvest 2018

2018-08-21 - 17:03

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Hans Schreiner picks grapes and puts them into a wheelbarrow.
Grape picking by hand.

The year of the earliest harvest of all times. Never before we started picking our grapes on the 20th of August, but yesterday we did. We brought in ripe, healthy Grüner Veltliner grapes. They were from a young vineyard that does not yet yield as much and ripens earlier, but still. Climate change is here and we have to deal with its effects.

We’re already used to heat-waves with over 35° C for several weeks. But normally these slow down grape development but not this year. Regular preicipitation, just right for our vines lead to an almost explosive development. And here we are, harvesting in the mid of August.

Grape quality is top and the yield looks good too as far as we can tell this early. Only the heat is a real problem. To avoid it, we harvested at 04:30 h yesterday morning and will even start at 02:00 h tomorrow. This means we’re using a grape-harvester of course. Picking by hand would be impossible in the dark. But in a year where all grapes are healthy and no manual selection is required, a harvester ist a reasonable option. This is especially true since hot temperatures pose a lot of problems for wine quality. Microorganisms like it warm and therefore heat does not add to clean conditions when crushing and pressing the grapes. Cool conditions are mandatory and that’s much easier when we’re harvesting during the night.

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