2017: Great harvest - great year
With many contented faces we were able to finish our harvest mid-October. It was a lovely harvest. The seven weeks that our vineyard team impeccably selected and hand harvested grapes passed in a flash. And yes, finally it was an almost "normal" wine year. Our vineyards were spared from frost and hail.
According to meteorologists 2017 was the third warmest summer since 1767. When my younger vines showed the first signs of thirst, we drove water into the vineyards for days. The older vines were treated with a compost-tea-mix and thanked us with balanced growth.
The harvest planning for our Brut Rosé shattered our hopes of holiday at the end of August. The anticipated precipitation accelerated the ripening to such an extent that numerous vineyards surprised us with great taste sooner than ever, which meant we no longer wanted to wait, especially for the base wine for our sparkling wine. Suddenly we were in the middle of the harvest - surrounded by top-healthy, tasty grapes! I still have the wonderful scent in my nose from when the first must came out of the press.
The first cool nights approached very early in September. I think I have never tasted as many grapes as this year to find the perfect time to harvest each parcel. In mid-September we started harvesting our Grüner Veltliner sites. Our Riesling grapes from Heiligenstein were already in the cellar at the end of September and that was a good thing.
Cultivating ripe but not overripe grapes in warm years is a major challenge. Moderate yields and meticulous manual leaf thinning work as well as the perfect time to harvest - at which the grapes taste "al dente" - are the secret to the success of the vitality and excitement in our Kamptaler wines.
In short: 2017 was the long-awaited “normal” year with great potential. The best wines are known to come from happy winemakers, and there will be enough of them this year. All my winegrower friends from Austria reported the same thing and we are really looking forward to the first tastings together.
Alwin Jurtschitsch, November 2017