fully ripe grapes
Rebblüte
green vine rows, © Robert Dieth© Robert Dieth
vines sprouting
vines cut
Pruning in winter
Vineyards in the fog
handpicking
Sprouting of the vines
grape harvesting
Trimming
Winter in the vineyard
Vineyards in November

What happens in the vineyard?

Looking into the vineyard

Working in the vineyard is one of the most important activities for a winemaker. The management of a vineyard naturally contributes massively to the quality of a wine. Here you get an insight of what currently keeps the winemakers busy.

The harvest for Federweiss began in August, and the official harvest started this week. The sun has done the grapes really good over the past few weeks. Increasing must weights and decreasing acidity are currently the measure of all things, in stark contrast to previous years in which one had to keep an eye out that the must weights did not generate too high alcohol content and that the acid did not become too expressionless.

It was exciting so far and it still is - the vintage of this vintage. After the cool climate summer, it started a good two weeks later than in previous years, but that was no surprise. Then it had to happen very quickly with some red varieties, here the harvest was a balancing act between grape health and grape ripeness, often in competition with the cherry vinegar fly magically attracted by the red grapes.

On the early red wine varieties you can already see it from a distance, the first grapes are turning blue. Concerning the white wine varieties, the ripening process is not yet that obvious. The white wine grapes turn from a dark green to greenish-yellow and become slightly transparent or,"glassy", as the winegrower says. And then there is the third colour in some varieties, a light red, like for Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer. Yet, this colour usually only results in a slight orange in wine, often these wines still simply are pale yellow.

The vineyards in Rheinhessen are getting bigger and bigger. Pruning, the most labour-intensive activity of the year, offers a long window of time from December to March. Nevertheless, perhaps especially now in the wake of the pandemic, some wineries are experiencing staff shortages and are looking for time-saving alternatives.

Over Christmas and between the years, most winemakers take a break and go on a skiing holiday. Unfortunately, this will not be possible this year, so some winemakers might simply grab their pruning scissors and combine the good with the useful by starting the pruning in the vineyard.

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Contact details:

Rheinhessenwein e.V.

Udo Diel

Otto-Lilienthal-Straße 4

55232 Alzey

Tel: (0049) 6731 951074 18
E-Mail: udo.diel@rheinhessenwein.de

Contact details:

Rheinhessenwein e.V.

Otto-Lilienthal-Straße 4

55232 Alzey

Tel: (0049) 6731 951074 18
E-Mail: udo.diel@rheinhessenwein.de

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