In an age where people pay more attention to controlling and effectiveness than traditional practices, it’s comfortable to know that there are still winemakers with a passion for the traditional aspects of winemaking.
IT’S NOT ABOUT REDUCING THE WORKLOAD, MORE ABOUT OPTIMIZING THE QUALITY
The grapes for our wines are mainly sourced from the steepest slopes of the Mosel valley. Vineyards, which have been managed by hand for centuries continue to be tended by hand. Starting with the pruning in the winter, tying the vines in spring, floor work, leaf plucking and of course the harvesting itself, everything is done by hand. The pruning in the winter months sets the basis for the crop-yield for the following year. Once the growth phase starts in spring, the vine canopy requires several runs of tying and plucking. This canopy work is absolutely vital to the health of the vine and therefore the quality of the harvested grapes.
RIPENESS IS GOOD, A HARMONIOUS TASTE IS EVEN BETTER
With the onset of ripeness we monitor our grapes very carefully. Our focus is more on the physiological ripeness, and less on the sugar ripeness, because alcohol and sweetness are undermined if the body and extract are missing. The berries should be golden coloured, with dyed brown seeds, separating easily from the fruit-flesh. Fruit in this state of ripeness displays terrific flavor.
POTENTIAL LOST IN THE VINEYARDS CAN NOT BE FOUND AGAIN IN THE CELLAR!
During the harvest, we rely on our team of helpers, many of whom started originally with us as seasonal workers and, over the years have become more specialised. Obviously no machine can achieve better selectivity than manual selection with an experienced eye and hand. The grape harvest, depending on the year and the desired wine style, may need a very selective picking. Where necessary we do up to three harvests per vineyard, especially for our premium wines, the noble sweet Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese where a second hand-selection of the grapes is essential at the winery. All this manual effort brings the desired reward of crystal clear and very aromatic musts.
TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF WINE QUALITY, YOU MUST FIRST UNDERSTAND THE REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR DESIRED WINE STYLE.
After the selective harvest, our grapes are delivered in 400l transport boxes to the winery. With a fork-lift these boxes are tipped over into a very gently operating grape crusher which applies minimum pressure when squeezing the berries. Due to the wide roller spacing, the stems remain completely unharmed. The obtained mash is again tipped over by fork-lift to a sealed tank press, where the mash soaks for 5-18 hours. The so called maceration is extracting the grape ingredients such as minerals, flavors and phenols from the berry skins. At the end of maceration we continue with a gentle pressing. The must obtained is naturally cloudy and laid to a cooling tank for clarification by sedimentation. This process needs up to 48 hours. After racking the temperature controlled fermentation can begin.
ALL GOOD THINGS NEED TIME!
Especially if the good things are wine! After the fermentation is complete, our wines rest “on the lees”. During this period between fermentation and bottling, proteins and minerals are extracted from the yeast, increasing the complexity of the Wine. “Sur lie” as this process is called in French enhances the mouth-feel and after-taste of the wine. Filtration is carried out just before bottling at the end of May. Every additional day possible, helps in the development and maturation of the wines. You can taste the difference.