A Year Marked by a Long Winter and Cool Spring,
but Sunny and Hot Summer and Late Summer... Capricious Weather During the Harvest
Due to cool, wet spring weather, bud burst was substantially delayed, but even. Nevertheless, thanks to intensive work in the vineyards we were literally able to lay the groundwork for a promising vintage in 2013. The weather was also responsible for late blossoming - a week later than the longtime average - and led to considerable coulure and a concomitant “natural” reduction in yield. This also resulted in loose clusters later in the season, which helped ensure a healthy crop and thus improved prospects for them to remain longer on the vine.
Thanks to sufficient moisture reserves in the soil, hot weather in July and August fostered grape development and veraison began on 24 August, neither too early nor too late.
Good weather in September enabled must weights to quickly rise to 80 degrees Oechsle.
On 14 October, the harvest began in full force with the entire team of pickers. In the meantime, extremely variable weather had set in and it remained throughout the rest of the harvest, with lots of rainy spells. Yet, a highly selective harvest by hand enabled us to bring in an absolutely healthy and physiologically ripe crop. Even the grapes for our Gutsweine reached ca. 85 degrees Oechsle.
On 23 October, we started picking grapes for our dry wines from classified sites. They, too, were completely healthy and had reached ca. 95 degrees Oechsle.
Very soon thereafter, we began harvesting grapes for Spätlese with residual sweetness before they reached an overripe state. They were all picked with starting must weights of about 100 degrees Oechsle and between 10 and 11 grams of acidity. The main harvest was completed on 3 November, not least because of the wet weather, marking the end of a successful, but very stressful, three weeks.
Although the weather remained poor throughout November and into December, we were still able to do a number of selective pickings to bring in small quantities of Auslese, Beerenauslese, and Trockenbeerenauslese with must weights of up to 201 degrees Oechsle and optimal acidity levels.
If samples of the musts were promising, initial tastings of the finished wines were even better.
Our team can be proud of a remarkable accomplishment: for 25 years in a row - every year since 1989 - we have harvested grapes for Trockenbeerenauslese...a worldwide record.
While not a year of superlatives, the wines of vintage 2013 have a number of positive attributes. They are enormously concentrated, expressive, and rich in complex fruit aromas and have great finesse. At second glance, this vintage might possibly join the ranks of “great vintages.” In any case, they will be very pleasant to drink early on, yet still have aging potential.