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2008, harvesting in shorts...


Photograph of a picker in the Sporen on October 14, 2008

If in August one could easily wear warm cloth in Alsace, nothing like this in this period of harvest where the weather could not be more favorable, remaining dry and sunny.

At this beginning of our third week of harvest, we boosted our reduced team of the beginning and we are now close to 50 people in the vineyards. The results are excellent, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris exceeds 14° of potential alcohol. We have therefore good hopes to be able to carry out a late harvest in the coming days…

Moreover the noble rot seems to want to develop as shown on this photograph of Pinot Gris which mutated in white to ressemble the Sauternes sémillon variety Wink


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High hopes for a great Riesling vintage


 Panoramic view of Riquewihr on 8 October 2008

The vineyards are right right now changing their dress colour taking on superb mustard and copper notes, sign that the vegetative cycle is coming to an end.

Having now received the first Riesling grapes for 3 days we are more and more convinced that it will be the most successful varietal of 2008. As in 2007 the cool temperatures of these last weeks explains this success, Riesling continuing its maturation under temperatures lower than other varietals. Average ripening measured for Riesling after 3 days shows over 11,5° potential alcohol for purchased fruits, this is even higher at this point of the harvest than the results of 2007.

On the weather front, the 10 day weather forecast also gives us reason of optimism. What else could we ask for ?


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A good soft start of our 2008 vintage

Good news from the beginning of our harvest, the first grapes coming in are both healthy and of a good level of maturity.

On the agenda of this first day of Monday 29: the 3 varieties of the pinot family: Pinot Noirs, gris and blanc. We were somewhat worried to be receiving in the beginning some grapes of plots whose sanitary state could have been degraded. It is not the case at all, grapes are healthy with good degrees and also good levels of acidity.

The weather plays a little with our nerves in the middle of this first week but it will only be light scattered showers without consequences. We have just updated the daily records of the temperatures and rainfalls of our own weather station until end of September. All looks well on this front.

Tuesday 30 is the first day when our wine growers under contract are invited to pick the Muscat varietals. As far as we are concerned, only about 5 acres are planted with this grape whose production was uneven this year. You may want to view the short video of last year's destemming of this varietal just prior to a 12 hours skin contact. We take advantage of this day to harvest as well our own young plot of Muscat (a mix of white and red Muscat d'Alsace à petits grains) located in the Schoenenbourg.

Pinot Blancs, auxerrois come in at an average close to 12° and the first Pinot Gris around 13. We even receive from a Riquewihr supplier some auxerrois lots at over 15° potential without a single rotten berry.

The weather forecast for the coming days remaining cool and overcast with chances of light rain we decide to bring in our very best plots of Pinot Noirs under still optimal conditions. The grapes were perfectly sound with average ripening degrees of 13,1°. A beautiful Jubilee in prospect...

From Thursday on and for the rest of the week we start to bring in the first gewurztraminers purchased from vineyards located mainly in the region south of Colmar in clay and limestone soils. The degrees are excellent here again with an average close to 13° and the grapes are mostly healthy. In our estate, a limited team of 15 pickers harvest some lesser Pinot Gris vineyards located in the lighter terroirs of Riquewihr.

A last word to introduce to you my team in charge of unloading and pressing. End of this week, and early next week we will not be coming home much before sunrise Wink

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