Autumn is harvest time - and the busiest time in a winery. Weeks of preparation in the cellar, months of preparation in the vineyard, everything for the most important time in the year of a winery.
Perfect timing is the key.
Thanks to our small-scale structure and our 190 members, we are able to plan the harvest dates with precision and flexibility. Already during the year, our agronomist & vice winemaker Erwin is constantly in the vineyard to advise and assist. Now, in the hottest phase, berry samples are taken for the ripeness tests. Here our cooperative structure is an advantage as each parcel gets examinted precisely: with about one hectare per member, it is of great importance that each winegrower examines his own vineyard with a keen eye to wait for the right harvest time. The winemaker decides, based on the ripening samples and his personal vineyard visits, when a particular variety in a particular parcel has the perfect conditions to be harvested. Then the owner of this parcel receives a Sms from the winery. The "Wimmschafflen" and "Reberlen" (vine secateurs) are prepared, the harvest boxes are collected from the winery and, very importantly, the helping hands are gathered. Now the "only" thing left to do is to hope for good weather and get to work.
Teamwork in the cellar - when everyone counts.
Meanwhile, the cellar is bustling with activity: when the tractor brings the grapes in the green boxes, the first lots find their way into our cellar. Before that Klaus, our colleague at the scale, weights the load. The next stop is at Patrick who takes samples to measure sugar content once again, followed by a precise taste check from our chief wine maker Othmar. Klaus, Thomas and Werner unload the boxes and the grapes are processed according to the instructions of our winemaker Othmar. Ivan and Manfred, our cellar staff, are responsible together with Erwin for the gentle processing of the grapes from the delivery to the finished wine.
Flexibility is key especially now in the harvest period where our staff works usually until midnight and longer. Each day the aim is to get everything done to make the best wine possible from each lot of grapes. Also this year our team is supported by three interns: Gabriel is responsible for the analysis in the laboratory, Michael and Valentin help where helping hands are needed and receive a deep look into our way of wine making.
The first white wine grapes are in the cellar - time for a summary.
This year the harvest started later than usual, the first Pinot Grigio grapes were delivered two weeks ago. The white wine grapes delivered so far put a smile to our cellar team: the grapes are healthy and physiologically perfect ripe. The acidity levels are higher than usual which will lead to mineral wines with intense aromatics.
"Especially the grapes for our Pinot Grigio PENON, the Sauvignon KOFL and the Pinot Bianco HOFSTATT, from the homonymous sites, are promising with top sugar-acid values. Because of the beautiful, predicted autumn weather in the next days we are looking forward to the upcoming week!" - Othmar Doná, cellar master.
The already delivered, first lots of our most exceptional white wine, the Chardonnay FREIENFELD, are promising too. Regarding the red wines there will be first deliveries at the end of the week. The start will be Schiava, which promises good quality despite the hail due to the diligent work of our members in the vineyard and thanks to the beautiful and dry September.