After almost 48 hours awake, 14 hours of sleep, and a big Deutsche breakfast, we were ready to check out the vineyards. I should clarify, we had one breakfast at 2am on Saturday, accompanied with a glass of Riesling halbtrocken, when we woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep…
It’s been a relatively dry summer and just recently did it start to rain, which has definitely caused some botrytis, but it is minimal, maybe 10% overall. Vineyards here were fortunate to have missed last week’s hail too. Our timing seems to be on par with the rest of the wineries in the area. Most are done with Müller-Thurgau, if they have any, and will move onto Riesling sometime next week. The öeschle are reading anywhere between the low 60s to high 80s. The most recent standard for Kabinett is an Öchsle reading of 67-75 (roughly 16.4 -18.2 Brix).
The rest of the German quality classifications follows as so:
Spätlese at 76 Öe/~18.3 Brix
Auslese at 83 Öe/~20 Brix
Beerenauslese and Eiswein at 110 Öe/~26 Brix
Trockenbeerenauslese at 150 Öe/~34.29 Brix
Here’s a bit of comparison – Keep in mind, most California Pinot Noir has a Brix reading of 23-24 Brix (for a rough 13-14% abv wine) and is typically harvested earlier than Riesling here. There’s the powerful California sunshine for you! The difference in latitude makes all the difference. The Carneros region in Sonoma/Napa – give or take for Russian River and the SLH regions – is approx 38 latitude, New York’s Finger Lakes at 42, Oregon’s Willamette Valley at approx 45 latitude and the Mosel at 50! This makes it one of the most northerly and coolest winegrowing regions in the world.
Although right now it is in the 70s with sunshine…
So tomorrow is the day. It really feels like it was just April, when we bottled the 2013 wines, but here we are again. First are the vineyards with the fruit that is sold to a local winery. We’ll start at 8 in the vineyards with a team of six, pick until we have 2 full half ton bins, and deliver them to the purchasing winery.
The fridge is already stocked with Bitburger, so today is for cleaning the cellar, making sure the tractor’s tank and battery are full, sharpening our shears and enjoying a few from the last vintage before this one begins.