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The dearest place of the wine-grower: cellar or vineyard?

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There is an old saying among wine-growers: "the vintner in the vineyard comes, the vines themselves roare with laughter." So the vintner should only have a faint idea of the work in the vineyards, as we say.

Especailly here at the Moselle, once the vintner steps out of the dark wine-cellar, the bright sunlight makes him squint and he has to get rid off the paunch he developed during all the wine-tastings in his effort to climb the steep vineyards, and the vines do not always look better than before the work.
 
Well, in our family owned winery everyone must still be able to do everything, and also the vintner takes care of the vines.
 
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In the vineyards the vines are being cut. This is done by Hans-Peter and Christian themselves - the work is not only important for this year’s harvest-result, but also for the stick-construction for the following years and decades. Besides especially the cutting of the vines simply is fun, since it is an almost creative work.
 
After the pre-cut, the old shoots are extracted and the new fruit-rods are tied up.
 
In the cellar the wine is separated from the yeast. The method is still the same since ages: the "bare", i.e. clear, wine is simply pumped out of the barrel while the yeast remains behind at the bottom of the barrel. However, to prevent unwanted fermentation in the bottle, the wine must still be filtered before bottling, so that there is no lees left.
 
Just another beautiful work: You virtually stand in the scent and the fresh, alive aromas of the new wine and the yeast. On the barrels the crystal tartar is gleamming. Now the young wines are ready to be tasted for the first time and finally it can be said what the "the newcomers" will be like this time.
 
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At the moment you can, therefore, hardly decide where to work - in the fresh air, beautiful weather and a great landscape or with good wines in the cellar.
 

Old vineyards

Two very small, but also very nice vineyards in the best-situated parts of the “Frauenberg” could now be preserved by us from their certain "end", the clearance. In the Steep terrace slopes, in which it is, of course, extremely difficult to work in, everything must still be done by hand. This means about 1.000 hours of manual labour per hectare, while on flat ground, which allows the use of mashines for the work and harvesting, only 200 hours are needed!
 

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However, the geographical situation compensates for the hard work: Best slate-weathering-ground with iron-containing brownish inclusions and tracks of Quarzit, southwest - as well as south-southwest-alignment in one of the best wineyard locations of the area. Besides the optimal alignment, the quartzite content has a positve effect on the heat-balance of the ground.
 
Just recently a group of Franconian wine-grower-apprentices, who visited our winery, noticed: "What about all this big stones in the vineyards, you cannot even walk on them properly... and how steep this vineyards is!" That there is something good about the stones, they finally noticed when they tried our wines; -). The "Terroir", i.e. the characteristics of the individual location of the vinyards, and also the taste of the stones can be found in the wine as well.
 
By now, you can hear it everywhere and not only from the connoisseurs: The leading white wine-area in Germany is the Moselle – and (not only according to my opinion) regarding the Riesling even in Europe.
 
This is just some of the press commentary (sources: www.wein-plus.de; www.weinreporter.de):
  • 17.11.2006: Moselle: 2005 the best wine-growing area in Germany: Gault Millau 2006: Moselle presents the best wine-grower and the best collection of the year. The year 2005 turned out exceptionally well at the Moselle and surpasses the other areas in qualitaty. Also the “Eichelmann“ wine-guide had nothing but praise for the Moselle, as the best noble-sweet collection was awarded to our valley.
  • 23.11.2006 German wine ever more popular: German wine seems to be ever more popular all over the world. The value of the exports rose to 503 million Euro: a plus of 11,3 percent. The most important markets were Great Britain (92 million liters), the Netherlands (43 million liters), the United States (25 million liters) as well as Sweden (19 million liters).
  • 27.02.2007 German Rieslinge also succeed in France: At this year's international competition "Riesling du Monde" in Strasbourg German wines succeeded like never before in the history of the competition. Five out of ten “Excellence”-trophies for the best Rieslingwine were awarded to Germany.
  • 1.3.2007: Riesling-boom: Rising prices, sinking quantities. With the year 2006, Germany's most expensive wine on the (barrel-wine-)market is now the Riesling from the Moselle. Because of inferior quantities and strong demand, the barrel-price went up by about  80 percent (!) - other regions, whether in Germany, Europe or overseas, had never thought it possible.
  • 3.3.2007 The climate and wine-growing: The Moselle could profit from global warming. As an interesting lecture of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research showed, the Moselle profits until 2050, probably even longer, from global warming. While precipitations remain at the same level (however, they are more badly distributed, therefore a healthy balanced soil is even more important), the conditions for the ripening vines improves. What caused the high quality of the last years is, therefore, quite clear: Beside the enourmous efforts of the vintner, 6 out of the 10 hottest years of the last century occured in the past decade. Unfortunately, this development leads to earlier ripening process, as we could witness again in 2006; in the past years the grape harvest began earlier than ever before. Not speaking of the current situation in 2007, the “year without a winter”: nature is already two weeks in advance.
  • To sum it all up: "Anybody who is not trying German wine is missing out on one of the wine world´s most extraordinary tastes." Wall Street Journal, New York.

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