Harvest 2017: first impressions

Evolution of the vegetative cycle:

This year we will have various surprises again: as these last years, the great differences of temperatures have marked this harvest. After a rather mild winter, all the lights turned green for nature to evolve in its own pace, but 3 weeks in advance anyway. Unfortunately, the falling temperatures in mid-April was fatal for a part of the Alsatian vineyard since the first buds suffered late frosts (2 hectares of our parcels in the municipalities of Châtenois, Scherwiller and in the plain of Dambach-la-ville have been affected).
The seasons follow their courses and after a very hot period in June, we are already predicting an unusually early harvest. This case is not the best because mostly installed on granitic soils, our parcels quickly block their maturity in the case of high heat and lack of water. This leads to a decrease of acidity. We realized that the harvest of Gewurztraminer would be very low and certainly explained by a poor flowering. August will be much more beneficial: the nights/mornings cooler and the rain regular. The lead taken earlier in the season is hampered by this freshness and trained a difference in maturity between the plots.

4 September 2017: start of harvest

We started with 3 days of harvest to harvest the plots for our different Crémants. We were then already very happy seeing in this harvest a great potential. Juices are promising: maturities for Crémant are perfect, the acidities are beautiful and the mouth is straight and precise. The different plots are assembled in our two more large casks and a small part is going to be high in our demi-muids (500L barrel).
Once is not custom, we did not pause between the harvest of the crémants plots and those intended for still wines. On September 7th the harvest of the family of the Pinot began (Pinot blanc/auxerrois, Pinot Gris and Pinot noir) that have ripened well. The balances are good, materials and volume in the mouth too and the Pinot noirs very promising. Our Pinot noir Harmonie 2017 will be exactly as we wish: flexible, greedy and always with fruit! The Quintessence is also promising and the ‘f’ will be, without any doubt, our greatest pride. The power and the typical saltiness of the Frankstein (granitic soil) is already impressive.
Then we collected our Blettig Sylvaner and the plots for the Cuvée Frauenberg (Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Gris). Given the low yields of Gewurztraminer, they quickly had the expected maturity. Initially skeptical about his taste evolution (the flavors were not very typical), the Gewurztraminer is now opening but takes all its time, specificity of the 2017 vintage. Nevertheless, it was Rieslings that needed us to wait this vintage: maturities are growing step by step but the freshness of September gave us the luxury of waiting the right time for each parcel.
Today, October 3rd 2017, it remains the parcels of Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer Grand cru Frankstein to harvest as well as the late harvest.

The magic now operates in the cellar:

Thanks to the healthiness of the grapes, we were also able to make evolve our methods of vinification. By following the Charter of winemaking Demeter, we were able to let the spontaneous fermentation and with very low sulphites dose. Wines will be then ageing on lees until spring in oak tank or stainless steel tank according to the wines range.

If we had to resume this vintage 2017 we could say : Finesse, purity and salinity.

Soon to follow the evolution of these wines already very promising!