Every vintage is unique. Due to the heat and drought, we could not have realistically expected that 2018 turn out to be typical. This being our earliest harvest ever, we began picking on 27 August. We started with the early-ripening varieties Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent which posed us quite some challenges. On the one hand, the grapes matured very quickly towards the end, which caused the berries from the Southern slopes to ripen and soften rapidly. On the other hand, the fruit from the cooler sites were showing some green notes. The rain at the beginning of September did not make things easier for us – it also took somewhat of a toll on the sun-softened grape skins. For these reasons, 2018 is not going to be an outstanding vintage for the early-ripening varieties, but a solid one nonetheless.
We are very satisfied with our Zweigelt as well as with our first picking of the Furmint vineyards. While these had to be harvested early in Ritzing and presented themselves as chalky-dry, the „Steiner“ site gave us fully ripe Furmint grapes with almost exotic aromas. This year, the Blaufränkisch harvest proved particularly good in the rocky vineyard sites. Steiner, Kalkofen, Kirchholz and Bodigraben produced grapes with good acidity and alcohol levels. This harvest is not only the earliest but also the shortest one on our record.
All our single vineyard wines are maturing in large barrels this year. We are interested to see how the climate is going to change further and which challenges this will bring us.