The ZANTHO Vintage 2012 ****(*)

Winter passed in the middle of February with icy temperaturs of around -15°C. Spring was characterized by a mix of cold and warm weather conditions with sun and snow. Towards the end of March spring finally showed up with beginning of bud-break at unusually high temperatures of about 20°C. April started with rather cold temperatures but then showed its typical fluctuations with record breaking 30°C in the end. The merry month of May was characterized by warm days and cold nights with rain just at the right time to provide great conditions for sprout and growth. Just as the Ice Saints passed by and everybody felt save, we were again confronted with nature's caprices. The night of 18 May was extremely cold - vintners and vines were shivering from the cold.  In lower sited vineyards we recorded some damage, but all together we got off lightly. We have not recorded such low temperatures at this time of the year for nearly 70 years!

Flowering, due to the frost in May, took quite some time but finally in the beginning of June we were relieved. The month was on its best with warm and balanced temperatures. July followed with high temperatures of up to 38°C in Andau and we were roasting in the sun with our vines. Already in the first days of August the first bunches started to change their colour at stable weather.

By 20 August we could start picking the first Pinot noir and St. Laurent vineyards with incredibly high sugar levels. As the weather was stable we were able to harvest withoud any longer interruptions. Due to the persistantly high temperatures and dry conditions our grapes showed already high degrees of sugar - but in order to produce high quality wines it is very important to monitor the balance of sugar, physological ripeness and acidity. One should not wait too long and therefore a great deal of sensitivity was nescessary to figure out the perfect time for harvest.

On September 27 we could finish the main part of our harvest 2012 with perfectly sain Blaufränkisch grapes, extremely early like in the centennial vintage 2003. After four long years of waiting, we could even bring in a long-awaited Scheurebe Trockenbeerenauslese in excellent quality - so finally liquid gold again from Zantho.

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