malí veľkí pomocníci

2016 vintage

Fast but premature onset of spring was followed by frost which burned the delicate leaves of the developing vines. Thanks to the relatively high position of our vineyards we only lost about 10% of the crop, but we faced the effects of the spring frost also during the grape harvest. Nature is powerful and the vines replaced the burnt shoots, but it caused uneven ripening and at harvest we had to be careful, because the differences in sugar content were up to 4 °NM depending on the location. The summer had plenty of sunshine, but with mid August the rain came again causing many of the already colored berries crack. Spraying with water glass prevented the damaged grapes from rotting and contributed to abundant occurrence of cibeba raisins on earlier varieties, especially Portugal.

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Establishing or reconstruction of vineyards continues

We filled the gaps in “Pustak” the old vineyard  with white varieties, and continued in the adjustment of curtain llis in Maxim’s vineyard. The southern slope in the Wolf Valley which is already three years preparing to plant vineyards is finally ready after peas and alfalfa to take the precious grafts of Pinot Noir and Traminer.

         

  We made it into the global natural wine community

The Slovak natural winemaker community was close to our hearth since the beginning and greatly influenced our winemaker journey. Similarly, contacts with the Moravian and Austrian natural winemaker colleagues were established with ease. However, 2016 was a major breakthrough since we have met the strict criteria including sensory testing, and qualified for participation in the signature global natural wine event RAW WINE fair established and run by Isabel Legeron, MW. This tireless pioneer of natural wines was nicknamed at the begin of her quest as that crazy French woman, however, today  she is broadly recognized and respected. On the occasion of publishing the Slovak version of her book “Naked wine” a further icon of the natural wine crowd  Alice Feiring paid us her visit.  She got famous with her first rebellious book “The battle for wine and love or how I saved the world from Parkerization”. It was and honor to have her at our wine estate and even stir some of the unplugged wines fermenting in the cellar.

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You recognize your true friends in need

Vladimir jun.  managed to destroy his lower back at the very beginning of the wine campaign and his doctor strictly prohibited to strain his back further. Therefore he turned to his friends with a plea for help and we managed to cope with the abundant hard work thanks to their help. Many thanks for that!

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  Harvest as usual

The fact that the grape harvest was again under the threat of rain we took with stoic calmness as something that is natural in our climatic zone, and we adjusted our plans according to the quite reliable weather forecasts.

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Further steps toward artisan unplugged wines

Also this year part of our grapes was processed without electric equipment as artisan unplugged wines. We prepared Dunaj, Frankovka and Hron by feet stomping and fermentation in open vats. After the success of Orange Wolf 2015  we processed again Welsch Riesling from the old vineyard on forefathers antique equipment and let the mash ferment on skins in an open vat. We prepared a further specialty: Devín and Veltliner with the addition of intact berries handpicked from the bunches and fermented in oak barrels.  We are now looking forward to further work with the promising young wines, perhaps finally the cuvée Red Wolf will be born…

Non of our wines has been sulfited as of today and we are planning to give them enough time to clear naturally without filtering and fining. Therefore we still have to wait for a while for the wines from this year!

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