Harvesting Riesling: A Winemaker’s Triumph in Durbach

by | Jan 19, 2024 | Explore Local | 0 comments

Durbacher Winzer Harvest Riesling Grapes for Eiswein

Durbacher Winzer Harvest Riesling Grapes for Eiswein
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In a spectacular winter harvest, the Durbacher Winzer in Germany successfully picked frozen Riesling grapes for Eiswein, marking the completion of the 2023 wine vintage. Despite icy nighttime temperatures, a team of 30 harvesters from five winemaking families demonstrated their expertise with delicate precision and agility, ensuring a perfect selection of 1,350 grapevines for the production of the highly anticipated 2023 Durbacher Riesling Eiswein.

“Fingerspitzengefühl, Schnelligkeit und diffizile Handarbeit bei minus acht Grad Celsius wurde im Weinberg verlangt.”

Given the challenging conditions of minus eight degrees Celsius, the grapevines were carefully wrapped in foil to protect them from birds and winds. This labor-intensive process proved worthwhile, allowing the winter sun to continue ripening the grapes. The result was approximately 320 liters of must, extracted from the frozen berries.

“Ein kleines Wunder, so Kellermeister Rüdiger Nilles, was überhaupt noch an Flüssigkeit aus den bereits fast rosinenartigen Beeren, die zudem noch gefroren sind, herausgepresst werden kann. Dies funktioniert nur durch die moderne Technik.”

Exceptional Quality and Challenges in Eiswein Production

The pressed must, with its exceptionally high natural sugar content, measured an impressive 152 Oechsle degrees, as reported by Stephan Danner, the executive board member of Durbacher Winzer. The temperatures during the Eiswein harvest were ideal, allowing the grape processing to take place outdoors without interruption to the freezing process.

Eiswein, known for being highly sought after by wine enthusiasts, presents a significant risk for the winemakers at Durbacher Winzer. Stephan Danner acknowledges the considerable preparation and time investment involved in every step, from binding the grapes to the harvest, as a nerve-racking process that carries financial implications.

“Die Vorbereitung, gerade der hohe Zeitaufwand vom Einbinden der Trauben bis zur Ernte ist immer eine Zitterpartie und stellt für uns ein finanzielles Risiko dar,”

Typically, the Eiswein harvest is celebrated with a small gathering, enjoying Viennese sausages and warm red wine as a symbolic conclusion to the hard work.

A Glimmer of Light in Frosty Times

The successful harvest of Eiswein during these frosty and politically uncertain times is seen as a beacon of hope for the winemakers and their communities. Stephan Danner expresses gratitude for the favorable weather conditions that allowed this exceptional harvest to take place in the 2023 wine vintage.

“Gerade in der derzeitigen frostigen, politischen Situation ist dies ein Lichtblick so Stephan Danner für uns und unsere Winzer.”

The processed Eiswein must now undergo fermentation and several months of maturation before it can be offered to wine connoisseurs, projected to be available by mid-July. The successful storage of Eiswein demonstrates the outstanding quality of the 2023 vintage, with near-inclement weather conditions contributing to the production of various wine types, including the coveted rarity, Eiswein.

This impressive achievement by the Durbacher Winzer exemplifies their dedication to preserving vineyard traditions and the virtuosity needed to overcome the challenges of producing Eiswein.

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