Imagine a wine which is the result of guidance, free from intervention. A wine which demands immediate drinking. Addition- free, pure varietal expression. Naked, not socially accepted. The truth…origin.
Often found in the Mosel Valley vineyards where vineyard workers strangle one year old canes with twine during “Aufbinden.” Roadworks on the xylem and phloem autobahns.
My wife and I ventured to Luxembourg on the weekend. Although our time was limited to 24 hours, I can definitely recommend the following:
Wild yeast have taken control of our wine production…..excellent! My influence on flavour profile is now heavily impaired. All we can do now is apply some guidelines for these rebellious, sugar-hungry fungi. One major consideration when playing with botrytis-infected fruit, is to ensure the little beasties receive all nutritional requirements. If their RDI is not met, they tend to get stinky. Having said this, you don’t want to make them lazy. After a few days, it’s time to beef up their cell walls so they don’t get leaky at later stages of fermentation. Wild yeast appear to posess the keys to unlock flavour precursors which make a Mosel Riesling truly unique.
Production has moved from our back yard to the 1000 year-old winery, Staffelter Hof. Anyone seeking a quintessential Mosel experience should commence their journey here. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Jan and his family for allowing us to use their winery. We can’t imagine producing our wine anywhere else.
300 Vines endured pruning, leaf-plucking, tipping, spraying, weed-wacking, rain, sun, wind, bees, wasps, ants, spiders, fruit flies, disease, earwigs, lady beetles and still managed to fill this 500L tank. The freshly-squeezed juice is resting quietly in it’s new stainless-steel home. All we can do now is wait for the juice to warm and the yeast to spontaneously multiply….let the fizzing begin.
We couldn’t be happier with how our day ran yesterday. A huge thank you to our friends who joined us. For most, it was the first time in the vineyard during harvest. They did a great job, smelling every bunch to eliminate any bunches which were affected by fruit flies. We yielded 500L of exciting Riesling juice with 90 Oechsle and 11 g/L Acidity.
I have to admit, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey from winter to autumn as a hobby winemaker. 4 days out from dropping the vintage, we’ve not yet established refractometer-ripeness. We have however found penetrating fruit flies which embed themselves inside our Riesling bunches. Aided by a few weeks of rain, the bunches tumefied to popping-point, attracting all forms of guests. It’s not all bad news though. The rest of the grapes taste fantastic. My guess is high 80’s sweet and 10 sour. The foundations for an 18-8 Mosel mouth-waterer have been set 😉
Hobby winemaking is a weekend sport and this weekend we have nothing on. 13 Rows to sort and press.
Spraying fungicides is a necessary evil in all wine regions of the world. Organic or conventional, every winegrower sprays throughout the year. Variances in what, when and how play a huge role on the results in your glass.
My lads run to the bathroom window at 6:30 in the morning to greet the Pilot as he man-handles his machine across the vineyards behind our house.
I had the pleasure of flying with a young pilot a few years ago. As he rotated us through every axis known to flight, he posed questions like, ‘So how did you end up here? Where did you meet your wife?’ He was a very likeable character with a quick wit and a cheeky grin which complimented his style of flying.