The 2014 Vintage
The 2014 harvest is finished. On October 25, 2014, the last Riesling must flowed down the historical cellar below Trier. The grapes were pressed and preliminarily clarified in Scharzhof, in Wiltingen, on the Saar, as well as in Duisburger Hof, in Eitelsbach, on the Ruwer. The grape must ferments now in the cellars in the heart of Trier. The cask cellar, with its ceramic fermentation locks, which gives every year a wonderful concert.
The harvest began very early, on September 9, for the red grape varieties, because of the infestation of D. suzukii, or Kirschessigfliege (vinegar fly), This affected the Frühburgunder and St. Laurent, less the Spätburgunder. With a very selective harvest, the necessary quality standards were met, though at lower quantities. On September 30, we started picking the Weißburgunder and the regional Elbling. The harvest for Riesling, which accounts for 95 percent of the total production, began on September 30 for the sparkling base wines and on October 6 for the still wines.
The average yield was 55 hl/ha, about 10 hl below the long-term average of 65 hl. The yield, however, extremely varied between the steep single vineyards and the somewhat flatter sites, as well as among the different river valleys of the Mosel, Saar, and Ruwer. The maturity levels were very different and didn’t always reflect the experience of past years.
The quality of the harvest can be split as follows: 65 percent was harvested as Qualitätswein and Sekt base wine, 15 percent as Kabinett from various villages and sites, 15 percent as Spätlese from numerous top-rated steep slopes, and 5 percent as Auslese from Dhroner Hofberger (Mosel), Trittenheimer Apotheke (Mosel), Kanzemer Altenberg (Saar), and Ayler Kupp (Saar).
A Review of the Growing Season 2014
After a very mild and dry winter, it was followed by a very arid spring. An early flowering—without frost, rain, or hail—gave the region a very promising fruit set, with a good head start of three weeks, and a slight tendency to drought stress, depending on the site. At least, in the well-drained, stony, and steep sites, there was enough water until the end of June. Then came the very wet summer months of July and August. Unfortunately, it rained at different times in the important month of September during picking, which forced a quicker pace to the harvest in order to avoid rot and loss of quantity.