A calm, warm beginning of Spring led to an early bud break. But then a very rare natural phenomenon took place during the night hours of May 17th -18th: a frost made its way down from the north and over the wine regions in Niederösterreich; heavy damages occurred in the Pulkautal (Weinviertel) as well as in parts of the Kamptal and Kremstal and Traisental regions. Ultimately, this lead to significant harvest losses. Spring continued, however, with very quiet and sunny conditions, and the first peak temperatures – up to 38 degrees C – were reached during the last week of June. In July, there was a cool period lasting for around ten days, and it contributed in part to a surprisingly high amount of rainfall. This phase was extremely positive because, as the weather soon turned for the better and then climaxed with a very hot and dry August, there was ample water storage in the soil for the thirsty vines. The dry conditions continued until the end of the main harvest in mid-October. This was replaced by a sudden onslaught of cold temperatures that lasted until the end of the month, but at that point, most of the harvest already had been completed.
Beautiful ripeness, fine fruitness for white and sweet
The parameters for the white wines are similar to those of the previous year, although the ample water supply in July and noticeably cooler night temperatures in September resulted in more compact and structured white wines. The high alcohol content is comparable to the previous years, while the acidity is a bit higher – although once again showing lower limit numbers. This proves to be beneficial for the lighter white wines, such as some Grüner Veltliners in Niederösterreich and Styrian Welschrieslings as well as the aromatic varieties like Gelber Muskateller, which is distinguished by a fine, delicate play of fruitiness and clear contours.
For all weight classes based on alcohol content, Grüner Veltliner is already showing very good to excellent results. As of late Winter, some Rieslings are a bit reserved and closed, but a positive development is still expected because of the good vintage conditions.
Thanks to the unproblematic weather overall, there were nearly no outbreaks of oidium or peronospera; this was true also for botrytis. The young wines are already showing their varietal characteristics and, especially for the typical Austrian white wine styles, the coveted fruit spectrum.