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Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - Mulching the winter greenery

We are now mulching the last of the winter-growth vegetation - much to the
joy of the birds, who find their dinner table set with a feast.

If one looks closely at the vines, it is easy to tell the difference between
healthy shoots and those damaged by the frost.

Monday, May 2, 2016 - Losses of 70% due to the late frost

Now it has become a sad certainty. The damage we suffered from the late
frost ranges from 10% to 95%, with an average loss of 70%. Our vineyards in
detail: Dürr 10%
Katerstein 20%
Gloria 30%
Föllikberg 50%
Tatschler 60%
Haussatz 70%
Point 70%
Setz 80%
Bartsatz 95%
Steinmühle 95%

The vines will sprout once more from the secondary buds, but these will grow
few clusters – perhaps none at all.
Furthermore, development will be retarded, and there is no guarantee that
the grapes will ripen to full maturity.

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - Frost in the vineyards:

We managed to escape Tuesday's frost with just a black eye and bruises,
but last night's frost brought devastating injury to the vines.
Our Zweigelt is almost totally frozen, and it will be a few hours still
before we can accurately evaluate the extent of the damage.

Friday, April 22, 2016 - Managing the greencover.

The perennially green patches between the rows of vines are cultivated with
a piece of equipment known as the 'greenmanager'.
It slices the turf open, turns it over and puts it down once more.
In addition to loosening the soil,
it also enhances the mineral content of nutrients in the earth, thus being
good for the diversity of flora, the soil, and its organic elements..

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - Applying fertiliser.

An application of manure contributes to the formation of humus. Each
kilogramme of humus can store five times its volume in water.
- a prudent precautionary measure for the next hot and dry summer.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - Planting new vines.

We are laying out a vineyard of 0.3 hectares in Ried Gloria. A
planting-plough opens a furrow 35cm deep, plants the vines,
then with several tines seals the furrow again with loose dirt.

The advantage of this: the young vines are happiest when the soil is loose.

Monday, April 11, 2016 - Eulenraupen/Caterpillars...

The vines are growing new shoots, and this is the point in time when
caterpillars of the drab moth (Orthosia incerta) can inflict great damage.
They devour the newly sprouting buds, gnawing them all the way down to the
bare wood.
The Eulenraupen can only be picked off the vines at night; during the
daytime they hole up and hide in the ground nearby.

Friday, April 8, 2016 - Bottling -

Starting with the top red wines of 2013, continuing with the young rosé,
then the single-vineyard Chardonnays and the two Trockenbeerenauslesen from
2014 – the wines are now in the bottle!

Friday, April 8, 2016 - Bottling the large formats.

The top 2013 red wines are being bottled -
many of them in larger formats, all the way up to 18 litres.
This slows the maturing process, even as it enhances the ultimate cellaring

Thursday, March 31, 2016 - Start of the vegetation cycle

The vines are beginning to 'trickle' - they have started to exude moisture,
heralding the outset of the approaching budbreak.

Sunday, March 13, 2016 - Binding the canes

We are finished with the pruning, and the old wood has all been removed from
the wire trellising.
Now we are taking the only remaining part of the vine, the so-called arc
vine or cane, and binding it to the wire.
In order to do this, the cane is taken from the vertical position with
careful and measured pressure and bent downward onto
the lowest wire, the arc-wire, and secured with a clamp.

Friday, February 19, 2016 - Almond blossoms & pruning the vines.

Rather mysteriously, the almond trees began flowering before Christmas, and
now - mid-February - they are in full bloom.
We're nearly done pruning our grapevines, and we are happy for the mostly
overcast weather,
since it encourages the vine to remain in its healthy Winter dormancy.

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - Pruning the Methusalemreben

For weeks now we have been busy with the pruning.
Here for decades, with the ancient Sauvignon Blanc 'Methusalem vines' in the
Ried Steinmühle, cane stubs have been trimmed onto a cordon.
The knotty and knobby vines thus formed yield a small harvest of the finest