2001 was a challenging year for the winegrowers. A mild winter with little precipitation was followed by an equally temperate spring, which brought about early budding. Towards the end of the glorious month of May, the wines were already flowering. The promising vegetational development was tempered, however, by the arrival of cold weather in early June. As a result, the flowering was only completed in mid-June. The first half of July was hot and dry, but by mid-July a cooler weather set in, bringing with it the much coveted rainfall.
Summer returned again in August. The condition of the grapes was optimal in the beginning of September. Thick-skinned grapes that were ripening ahead of time had us all feeling very optimistic. It was going to be a good, if not a very good vintage.
But it was not going to be so easy after all. September was the wettest in 75 years! Despite enormous amounts of rain, the grapes stayed pretty healthy on the vines and the cool temperatures prohibited the development of rot. On the last few days of September, Mother Nature had mercy on us and allowed the sun to shine again. Luckily, the winds that blow almost constantly around Andau dried the grapes quickly. Despite the adverse conditions, dry, ripe grapes could be harvested. We just had to remain calm and wait!