The vintage 2018 can be summarized into three words: hot, dry and early!
Early bud burst, early flowering and early harvest.
The year started with a very warm and dry January. We had to wait a bit for a winter period. On the 1stof March 2018 we documented the coldest winter day with -15°C. At the beginning of April, we already had temperatures reaching 20°C. Temperatures that high at that period made it clear that we would have a very early bud burst: two weeks ahead of schedule! Summerlike temperatures with up to 30°C accompanied us already around the end of April which encouraged a rapid vine growth. Even after the end of flowering in mid of Mai growth continued rapidly. We were barely able to keep up work in the vineyards. What normally grew in five weeks-time already took place in 14 days.
We also had a big challenge with a long drought period. We had several storms here and there, but they occurred in different places. So, we did not really have a consistent source of water. July and August were also very hot and dry.
Mid of August we finally had a little cooling period. Perfect for the ripening phase of the grapes. Harvest started in the last quarter of August. And it got extremely hot again! That gave us a bunch of challenges too! So, we decided to harvest in the morning until noon, we picked the thin-skinned grape varieties the earliest and we had to make sure the temperature stayed as cool as possible in the cellar! Meaning: we did everything to secure the fruit of the berries. The big investments over the last years in our cooling system payed-off immediately and secured the maximum possible quality of the vintage. Mid-September marked the earliest ending of the harvest season we ever had.
All together we are very confident and positively surprised of the overall quality of the vintage which is characterised by heat and drought but due to an early harvest period with medium alcohol and good acidity levels. The sweet wines of the vintage can be counted to the premium league.