The harvest begins - and is as different as ever before
In Rheinhessen, the grape harvest has started, but only partly, as the grapes are not yet ready everywhere. Here, the enourmous differences in the maturity becomes obvious.
In Wonnegau, where it rained most this year, the harvest is in full swing. In the center of Rheinhessen, on the hills around Alzey, it still is very quiet. Here, there was rather little rain, so that the maturity of the grapes is slightly delayed. Yet, the grapes that were not affected by sunburn, are very healthy. Along the Rhine some grapes have burst due to the rain from 1st September, so that in these parcels there is a rush to harvest.
The strong differences in precipitation, sometimeseven differ from vineyard to vineyard and should also be reflected in the yields. The high yield of the past year is far from being achieved, and Rheinhessen is likely to have a yield slightly below the long-term average. The quality looks great, also the tartaric acid is fresher than last year and together with the good, but not extremely high amout of fructose, we can look forward to a fresh, fruity vintage. Especially the currently cooler nights and the sunny days now promote the development of aromas in the grapes.
And yet, one should not praise the vintage before it has reached the cellar, leaving us excited and curious about what the winemakers in Rheinhessen will make of these rather promising grapes in the next few weeks.