The vines budded rather later than usual this year, which in comparison to the previous two years provided the advantage that they suffered no damage from frost. The heat wave that set in just after budding in April and May led to one of the earliest flowerings since records have been kept. In most winegrowing regions, flowering was finished in May, which amounted to an enormous head start in the vegetation cycle of two to three weeks compared to a normal year.
For the most part, Austria’s grapevines were able to withstand the enormous heat and lack of moisture that characterised the 2018 vegetation cycle. So we have a very early and very ripe vintage on our hands, one in which persistently high temperatures have led to consistently higher levels of alcohol and lower levels of acidity.