A picture book harvest with top qualities
The golden autumn made it possible: A year of high levels despite dry spells
Alwin Jurtschitsch in a first look back at the 2015 wine year
2015 was a picture book harvest for us! We were done before the rain started on October 13th and there was next to no botrytis. The ripening of the grapes occurred at a very early stage. Windy and dry days accelerated the maturation of sugar and the rapid decrease of acidity.
Quantity would have been good without hail
The harvest amounts are fully in range, but far from maximum yield quantities. This is of course excluding the vineyards effected by the hail. In principle, however, we are advocates of low yields per vine and even if the yield potential is high, the yield is stopped during pruning, cluster thinning and green harvesting. The Riesling grapes remained very small. The press yield is 60 percent, which is lower than in recent years and due to the drought. In general, the Riesling survived the dry phases very well and the acidity was maintained even at high maturity. It is for sure a great vintage for Heiligenstein and Co.
Time of harvest very important
In the Grüner Veltliner, the acidity was the sensitive factor that prompted us to start harvest a little earlier. The year would have a natural potential of 14% Alc. and more (without botrytis). We waited for the short time frame for optimal ripeness of the grapes, which were then harvested before the aroma shifted towards overripe.
Top qualities despite water stress
The qualities of the individual varieties are generally at a very high level, regardless of whether Grüner Veltliner, Riesling or Burgundy. From September to mid-October the weather was just perfect. Everything could be brought to full maturity and was healthy. Grüner Veltliner on extremely barren terraces was partially affected by the water stress in summer, especially the outer terraces which in turn were harvested separately. Where the humus supply was good, there were no problems with the water supply. I would however say that the Riesling surprised me the most with the generally high quality. Not every year do we have such juicy musts with a lively acidity. Since I am no old timer, well not yet I would classify the harvest of 2015 somewhere between the years 2011 and 2012.