The year 2018 was marked by an overall early onset of the vegetation period, and not affected by the spring frosts. The two-week head-start was reflected also in the early term of harvest. The summer was again hot and dry with temperatures regularly exceeding 30°C. Fortunately, the winter rains created sufficient moisture supply in the soil and helped the vines to overcome the arid summer. The grapes remained healthy, however, the climate conditions affected the sugar formation, since at temperatures over 30°C the photosynthesis ceases, and lack of moisture can cause insufficient nutrient circulation in the plants. Nevertheless, in terms of quality and maturity of the grapes we can expect a very good year.
We completed the supporting trellis in the French vineyard. The vines are still cut low to support strengthening of the plants, however, all is ready for their training on the curtain trellis. We also conducted regular inter-planting of vineyards, as well as restoration of the old Portugal vineyard where 800 grafts were supplemented. We had to supplement also the French vineyard where many of the young plants did not survive the hot summer following their planting in 2017. Inter-planted were 347 grafts of Pinot and 325 grafts of Traminer.
Construction of winery (slowly) continues
Construction of the winery slowly continues and the building gradually rises above the ground level. Although we received a construction grant the actual costs are many times higher, so the pace of construction is limited by the (non)available resources. Nevertheless, the historic moment had come, and in September the old and new cellar were finally connected.
Popularity of natural wines is growing
We took part again in the global natural wine event RAW WINE in London and Berlin, as well as in other domestic and international activities aimed at the presentation and marketing of natural wines. Popularity of natural wines in the world is generally growing, and more and more chefs are pairing them with their culinary creations. It is our honor and pleasure, but above all a challenge to maintain and continuously improve the quality, when our wines are listed in reputable restaurants.
Unusually early harvest
This year harvest was by two weeks earlier as usually, and at the beginning of September the majority of grapes was already in the cellar or garage (:-)). The grape quality was excellent, although the sugar content was partially affected by the drought. The grapes, however, were perfectly mature and healthy. The drought mostly affected the young vineyard of Riesling Italico where the sugar content of grapes was only 18°NM in contrary to the 23°NM, what was achieved by the same variety in the old vineyard. The old shrubs with a strong and deep root system did not mind the drought at all, but benefited from the number of sunny days. Portugal was again harvested sequentially three times. The selection collected for Carboniq reached sugar content 20°NM and the subsequent collection for the classic Portugal and rosé reached nice 21°NM. Further varieties achieved following sugar content (°NM): Veltlíner 22; Devín 21; Dunaj 21; Hron 22; Rosa 25 and Frankovka 23. Altogether we have processed 18 tons of grapes, which has caused huge problems with the cellar logistics; fortunately we could use also the space in the unfinished winery.