Annual report 2013
In viticulture you deal with stable and adamant constants (soil, exposition), aspects which change slightly year after year (vines, climate, me) and components which rise to a challenge every single year. Weather definitely ranks in the last category and makes for the fact that I do not get bored and that every vintage tastes a little bit different.
For a change, 2013 started as everybody would have expected it. It snowed and it was cold, it went on snowing and it became even colder. This rhythm continued until the end of March and even in April some snowflakes fell into the vineyards. Budding was late but at least it did not freeze then and everything seemed fine. April and May were brilliant – a little bit of sun alternated with some rain which kept the soils moist until summer; the infamous flood of the Danube at the beginning of June did not influence the vineyards in the Spitzer Graben. But when everything seemed to be perfect a heat wave (!) hit us exactly at the time when the Veltliner vines were flowering. The repercussions were dramatic. Nearly 50% of the potential Veltliner harvest was destroyed by coulure, a viticultural hazard that causes a failure of grapes to develop. It is also the reason why in 2013, I was not able to vinify the Grüner Veltliner Viesslinger Stern. Riesling withstood the heat without any problems.
After it cooled down shortly a second heat wave hit us, this time with temperatures up to 40°C.
This was mainly unpleasant for the winemakers but since temperatures cooled down again during the nights the vines stayed in a perfect and perpetual balance. The rest of the year was excellent. When I feared that the soils would get too dry it started to rain and autumn was pleasant but never excessive. The harvest was taking place under ideal conditions.
Considering the qualities, 2013 is probably the most exciting vintage I ever did since body, extract and acidity of the wines are in perfect equilibrium. They are vibrant, succulent and precise. Besides, all of them – no matter if they are Riesling, Veltliner or Muskateller – should have a great future ahead of them.