Harvest 2019 - how does it look?
In the world of wine nature is our master, every year is different and as each year passes one builds a library of memories the recollection of which is usually attached with emotion, followed by facts. For us the harvest and vintage of 2019 is so far characterised by calmness. Perhaps an odd choice of words given the main ingredient, nature, is out of our control but that is how it has felt and testament to the professional nature and experience of our team.
Despite the biblical amounts of snow experienced in most of Austria in January, February to April were unusually dry months for us. May brought three times the usual rainfall and cool temperatures. This delayed and pushed the main growth of the vines into June and our teams were absolutely flat out keeping on top of things. June through to now have been predictably warm but not as extreme as 2018. The facts show another year of low rainfall but our soil on the Leithaberg has a phenomenal ability to store water and the vines have looked healthy and our grapes have ripened more ‘usually’. The sunny, windy days we have experienced throughout September have even enabled us to leave early ripening grapes such as St Laurent and Pinot Noir hanging for longer and it will be exciting to see the results.
Harvest started on the 4th of September two weeks later than last year. We have had rain but nothing that has dramatically put picking on hold. This constellation has allowed us to bring in the harvest at a constant rate, quietly and deliberately with just the last of the Blaufränkisch on Kirchberg still to go.
It is early days but we suspect the 2019 vintage will be characterized by a little more freshness, acidity and elegance largely due to the less extreme heat. Yields are lower and the reduced alcohol is likely to result in a deeper fruit flavour. At the moment the yeast are working hard in the winery and as ever time will tell.......!