Bud break was very early, which made us again fear for our harvest due to imminent frost. Luckily, we werde completely spared, and the growing season started rapidly. Sufficient rain encouraged growth in the vineyards, leading to speedy flowering that ended as early as the beginning of June.
In summer, we were faced with huge challenges, since, unlike other regions, we suffered from heavy precipitation. Some vineyards even became ampassable for vehicles so that handwork was absolutely essential. The rainy periods alternated with really hot spells, thus requiring selective canopy management by hand to avoid sunburn damage. Despite the hot summer, maturation was normal, and so we sould wait with picking until the beginning of September.
Unfortunately, a Mediterranean low brought heavy rainfall exactly at that time, which made us somewhat nervous after all. But it was vital to stay calm, pre-pick lower-level plots on heavy soil, and wait and see. Contrary to our fears, the development of botrytis kept within limits, and we were happy to do the main picking at the end of September, beginning of October.
The big winners of the vintage are Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, with hardly any botrytis problems occuring on our slate soils. Yet even Gelber Muskateller and the Burgundy grapes reached high ripeness.
The 2018 vintage is characterized by complex aromas and flavours, and a layered body that is never opulent because of perfect acidity levels as opposed to other Austrian winegrowing regions. In the 2018 vintage, handwork throughout the whole growing season and selective handpicking were the keys to success – and to an excellent vintage!