great grapes

German wine white wine silvaner grapes

This update brings you pics of our grapes as at beginning of July, looking good in small-pea size.


What exactly is the “yay” for? What’s the excitement, you may ask?

For us, the excitement is huge, we would barely recognise them as Silvaner grapes. What we see is the product of trials and tribulations, of lots of discussions and thoughts as to how we can improve.

To recap: We have previously blogged on how Silvaner grapes stand as tightly as if squeezing onto a London rush hour train (see the July 2015 pics here); and that these tightly packed berries are a problem, especially in organic agriculture, since the “shoulder-to-shoulder” points of those tightly packed berries will eventually yield to mould. Mould, yes. I did a post on that, too, how “beautiful” it can look. That was in our first organic year (2013) and we have since worked non-stop to find ways to take the growth out of the plants, through the soil mainly, to get smaller bunches with loser grapes, to find the ripeness we wanted.  Halving is another big part of  that effort (see here).  We halved the  in the last two years, but still had “London”-style grapes.

This year, we halved very very early. When we had tiddly things, the size of a third of a finger; when we had to imagine what they would look like when large and where the London tube feeling would arise. It was fiddly stuff, with finger tips.

And these pics suggest that our vines went along with what we did and gave us Silvaner grapes we would not recognise as such.  Result!

To dampen all that enthusiasm, – one of the illnesses is very present with all the rain, in the whole region, so we will not yet stop to keep the fingers crossed for this year. Time to think of a harvest date!

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July 2016 (left) vs July 2015 (right)