2016

All our posts from 2016

A glimpse of evening sun in between rain

We are halfing, removing water shoots, managing the jungle of weeds, managing the canopy by placing the shoots between wire; – and discovering lots of wildlife in the process, – including a lot of caterpillars that have to go. All of this manually. And when the spraying tractors have stopped, when the rain gives us a dry window: the place almost looks romantic. A “figure” in red t-shirt and with gloved hands can be seen working away in all three pics of the collage.


sommer sky in the vineyard

 

German wine

Glimpse of grapes pre-blossom

This blog post gives you an unusual two-bunched grape formation, as well as images of the grapes (“Gescheine”) just pre-blossom and with blossom in action.

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an unusual grape formation

German wine

pre-blossom

 

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pre-blossom

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blossom

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It’s raining men…

pollination and parrot in vineyard

 

Untitled design-2

It’s raining men, no – , cats and dogs, no – , parrots.

On a grey day in the vineyard, feeling soaking wet, the progress of the vines and the wildlife observed can get that inner buzz going.  Mind you, some of the wildlife looked very familiar.

Neither Marzipan nor Erbse are big fans of the high grass in our vineyard: Marzipan stayed in the bus altogether, while Erbse preferred the “clean bottom” of the conventional-vintner-neighbour for his excursions. Very offended indeed!

Bye bye Berlin

Eventually, the parrot had to come down. It happens, we are told, to other parrot owners, that the parrot has to be tempted down from heights unreachable for humans. We hope it doesn’t happen to us too often.

In this case it was less dramatic, as it was the banner parrot image that had sat high above the fair for two days, before Frankie offered a piece of apple and the parrot flew down.

imageFor two days, the parrot had listened to praise for Green Feather Wine at our stall and had considered, how the wine fits into the funky Berlin strolling along below him.

The 2016 Next Organic fair was a good place to offer the first taste of our 2015 vintage, after receiving the official classification “Prädikatswein”. And once the official label has arrived, it will be available more widely.

Thank you Berlin. Thank you Frankie. Thank you the Parrots.

Dropping it

The height of the grass surrounding the vines is a controversial subject: we want it high, we want the growth rate of the grape bunches to decrease. Then again, what you spray in organic agriculture doesn’t stick as well to the leaves as the chemical counterparts, so any obstruction between the spraying jet and the leaf would be a problem. Erbse, the parrot, was certainly startled, dropping the car key in the process: whether it was the height of the grass or the appearance of the trimmer-monster, we will never know.

organic wine making and whether weeds should grow long

Glasses clinking in the sun

There is so much to talk about, – the freezing temperatures that our vines sat through unharmed, luckily;  the growth – both of the vine leaves and of the weeds; whether the green underneath the vines should just grow this year; what the straw we put out will do; – lots, lots, lots. There’s the 2015 vintage that’s imminent.

But for this post, all we want to convey are images from a very sunny Loerzweiler wine walk: the parrots and wines competing for attention from those walking past.


green feather wine stall

 

By the time the stall was done, lots of new human eyes had met the parrots’ eyes, the excitement fluctuating between both sides. How boring, after all of this sitting on kids’ hands and imitating laughter, must the post-wine-stall activities seem to them: the washing of glasses, the wiping down of the cool box. Just to prove their endless ability to find excitement anywhere, they almost wanted to walk into the dishwasher with the glasses, before taking a more conventional shower and walking off to find a perch somewhere in the house:  turns out that watering cans come equipped with parrot perches. That image, Erbse grooming his wet feathers on the watering can, was a nice meditative end to this particular wine stall. Shame that neither Erbse nor Marzipan will receive a ticket for our next stall in Berlin.

green feather parrots marizipan and erase

Trapeze act in the vineyard

It is a 10min walk from one of our vineyard bits (the „Drei Stueckerl“, three pieces) to the other and there is no circus trapeze set up on the way. Normally, that is.

The parrots were with us last weekend and nothing is normal with them. I find trapeze acts breath-taking to watch, one minute he or she is upright above the bar, the next minute hanging upside down from the bar.

For parrots, the manoeuvre is less out-of-the-ordinary, they do it all the time.  They sit on our finger and the next minute they hang upside down, looking at the ground.  The manoeuvre sends a clear message: ‚I am bored and the soil down there contains all the interesting bits I want to nibble on.‘

erbse and pano and tj

This was Erbse’s message during the 10 minute walk last weekend, from Bacchus to the Small Silvaner.  For us, the work needs to be done in the vineyards and not spent walking in between. Once Erbse „takes the lead“, the 10min walk can easily extend to an hour, if you picture every little stone being massively attractive to him. Every single stone being rolled round the beak and spat out again, as the next one looks even more attractive.

That’s why, in this picture, he was picked up again.  The attraction of Nick’s jacket lasted a few minutes, before a next attempt at a trapeze act.  We did make it to the Small Silvaner eventually.  For those more into the science of the vines than the science of trapeze moves by birds, we are deciding on a different regime as to how we treat the growth of weeds and the growth of the vines themselves. In short, we don’t want the plants to „push“ that much, so as to catch the mould.  In short, it could look messy:  The plant may push less, if we don’t trim it back.  There’s also the option of putting down mats between vines, to stop weeds from coming up.

There’ll be pictures.

Happy Easter

We were tasting our 2015 vintage and whether the blend of Silvaner and Bacchus grape is precisely as we want to have it in the bottle.  But it was also Easter and the fingers were full of colour blotches from easter eggs. (Note that the sequence of events is fictionalised.)  A drawn easter egg, on a piece of paper. And Marzipan was keen to help with the drawing.  Or distract from it. Judge for yourself. Here is the video:

Bacchus Aroma Dreams

What’s occurring in these early stages of 2016? Around this time last year, we had already attempted some cutting and had posted pictures of fleeing into the van (half man half parrot), surprised by sudden snowfall.

We are starting 2016 with three exciting items, a quiz picture, news on our 2015 vintage and the obligatory parrot update.

1) Here’s the picture:

OOCL Belgium
And the question is: What does the vessel OOCL Belgium have to do with our wine?

2) What’s happening to the wine from our 2015 harvest?

Still a long time to go before we bottle it. The wine is only just getting comfortable in the various vats.  We keep checking the taste.  We are sharing around the strong Bacchus aromas we have been gifted with. One taster said he did not know Bacchus could do such aromas.  Those aromas will eventually go into the Cuvee with the Silvaner. And whether you are already thinking that Silvaner is an amazing and versatile grape or whether you have yet to be converted away from other pre-conceptions, our (as always dry) blend of silvaner and bacchus (the bacchus being our small quantity and as such the addition of the „je ne sais quoi“) will be very exciting.  We wish them both all the best for their continued rest in the vats, have a good creative snooze you two, we can’t wait for the result.

3) Talking of snooze:

What a yawn! Here is Marzipan (one of the Marzipan-end-Erbse-parrot-duo) caught power-snoozing. (see 0.34; 1:00; and then from 1.50)

 

On that snoozy note, have a very good year 2016!