May is the month of expectations. Temperatures rise, the vineyards become green, and new shoots burst out of the old vine wood. Budbreak occurred hesitantly during the weeks of April and beginning of May, but then suddenly with a single heavy rainfall on the 8th of May, vine growth exploded.
Activities are booming in the vineyards during the last few weeks as continuous efficient measures are taken. Excessive shoots, whether on the vine trunk or in the area that will become the fruit zone, are removed (photo A). The vine trunk must be kept free of shoots so that plenty of nutrients may reach the fruit zone without detour. Only the shoots that will serve fruit production remain in the fruit zone (photo B).
These measures demand a sensitive and well-trained hand. The experienced vintner not only intervenes at this point to regulate the yield, the decision is now made as to which shoots will carry next year’s fruit after winter pruning. We wrote about this “new old” pruning technique in an earlier newsletter and you can reach our entire article about “soft pruning” over this link.
May is also the point in time that we usually release our wine estate selections on the market. This year however is an exception; the Vigna Kolbenhof Gewürztraminer 2014 will not be released until at least October! This would have constituted a deterrent just a few years ago, but today’s consumers embrace longer maturation of white wines. Our efforts towards sensitization have resulted in our matured white wines finding an ever-increasing circle of fans. The grape variety Gewürztraminer is certainly one of the few white grape varieties in the world in which a certain maturity has an advantageous effect on wine quality.
The Vigna Kolbenhof Gewürztraminer 2014 will mature for nearly 12 months on the fine lees and before it is released on the market it will rest for at least another month in the bottle.
Our Barthenau Vigna S. Urbano 2012 Blauburgunder will leave our wine estate in the next weeks. 2012 is a vintage that we personally find as quite “Burgundian”: fresh fruit, powerful body, and what we would really like to highlight – an elegant and very supple acidity that indicates a long and promising future.