Summer, sun, sunburn

We have once again visited “our” vineyard in Oestrich-Winkel. The village itself is shaped by viticulture: on every corner there is a painting or craft work reminiscent of wine. The Rheingau is an important center for viticulture in Germany: the University of Oenology is just one village away in Geisenheim. Young winemakers from all over Germany come together here to deal intensively with wine.

We stay in Oestrich-Winkel and deal intensively with our wine

It’s midsummer and it’s dry. On the one hand, the sun is good for the grapes, but unfortunately too much of a good thing means nothing. It’s all about the right balance again. To do this, part of the leaves are cut away so that the grapes get more sun. A bit of shade is also important, because otherwise the grapes will “sunburn”. This mainly affects the side of the vine, which is exposed to direct sunlight at lunchtime. Too much sun causes the grapes to get dark spots on the skin and dry out completely.

The soil must also be protected from drought. For this, the soil is either mowed, mulched or plowed. There is currently no high planting between the vines. To protect the soil again, rye and wheat are sown as ground cover. Not every row is sown, only every second one, in order to create a balance between protection from the sun and water competition.

Left: hand with dry earth. Right: a tracker between rows of vines

Less is more

Another important step was recently completed. The yield was reduced by pruning the grapes. Only the shoulder, i.e. the broad upper part of a grape, remains hanging, so that the strength of the vine is concentrated in fewer fruits.

When it comes to wine, less is often more, at least more quality. This concentrated grape juice is then used in the cellar to produce the high quality of the “first location” or the “large location”. Correct, what counts is “location, location, location” because that essentially determines the character of a wine via the soil and the microclimate.

We are looking forward to the development of our grapes from the Jesuitengarten. For the end of September we have already set a date for the harvest so that we can help ourselves.

Graffiti of a grapevine
This is how you are greeted at the train station in Oestrich-Winkel