2016

All our posts from 2016

Spat woa’s, passt hod’s.

“Spat woa’s, passt hod’s” is the name of our 2015 wine, the green label. It was late, but it was all good.  In Austrian dialect. Which could be applied to more than just the wine.  Specifically, it referred to when you harvest and what acidity you find in the final wine and whether the acidity needs to be reduced. Germany being such a northern wine growing region, acidity tends to be high. Too high for some. Especially, if you are struggling with tummy aches and reflux. And there are several methods for reducing acidity. But that’s for another day.

This being December, I just wanted to post a few pics to show how dramatically the vineyard changed over the last few weeks, from yellow leaves at harvest stage, to doing the winter work and seeing bare stems; to the frosty image now.

2016, it was very very nice knowing you.  Pass my regards to 2017 and let 2017 also be a nice year! Thank you!

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Harvest by hand: Like a rolling grape ….

in midst harvesting chaos, this is to say a massive big “thank you” to everyone who came along last Saturday, to help us harvest the largest of our three “Stueckerl” or rows of vines.  Dylan may have been on our mind, as we cut out bits of mould from grape bunches of high sugar, but also high acidity.  As dogs and parrots started to complain where the fun program for the day was. As the coffee flow was restored, thanks to a neighbour coming to the harvest.  As we experienced every weather, from fog to rain, to freezing cold, to sunny. As we contemplate what to improve next year.  Very exciting times.  Have I said thank you yet? (and thank you to our friend Paul for creating such great ‘bigger picture’ shots that we did not have before.)

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Too hot for some

So what if it is too hot in the vineyard for the parrots?  Where do we find Erbse then? Find out in this video:

harvest celebrations

10 months after the 2015 harvest any aches and pains created by the harvesting experience will hopefully be forgotten by anyone who joined us then. And so this is a good time to open a bottle of the finished 2015 Bio-Praedikatswein, nicely chilled, with all helpers and anyone else curious in comparing 2015 to our earlier vintages. If you are interested, email us for more details. We are very excited!

German Wine Organic Praedikatswine

an avalanche of weeds

I always picture an avalanche when the weeds sweep over (or under) our vines.  Experiencing this avalanche helps with understanding the glyphosate discussion: how much manual effort is necessary to keep the weeds in check; the pros and cons of all those methods;  only then can I picture why so many farmers are so intent on holding on to a “simple” chemical that gets rid of this avalanche.

Glyphosate, how I understand it, are designed to travel to the inside of the plant they are applied to, in order to kill it from within. That “drying out” effect is also used on grains and potatoes, which sounds particularly nutty, to spray it on the finished fruit; when usually, one would observe a period of say 6 weeks of no spraying, before harvesting anything. That’s why it is forbidden in some countries.

But coming back to the avalanche and our attempts at dealing with it (manually):  straw has been dealt with in a previous post earlier this year;  but these three images show: 1) the avalanche of weeds; 2) a fleece designed to stop the weeds from growing; and 3) a conventional neighbour’s chemical efforts.

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Or, put together:

compare chemical and organic way of dealing with weeds

vine design

Old vines force you into creativity: the results have changed. At a party in 2013, the decorated vines looked like this. These are more recent designs (thanks to Ute for the input on these):


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ailment on an idyllic evening

‘Conflicting emotions’ seems an understatement: a gorgeous summer evening in the vineyard, – yet the illnesses have spread so badly that it is difficult to enjoy it. Here are the pics:

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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.

Yay!!!!!

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)

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