After the challenging, low-yielding 2017 vintage, an early but abundant 2018 crop was a welcome relief.
The 2018 Mosel harvest was the earliest ever recorded, but this was also coupled with an early budbreak and flowering, so the development period for the grapes was still within the ideal target range.
The harvest was characterized by good yields, healthy fruit at the beginning of harvest, and very good quality. As the harvest progressed, we were able to produce an excellent range of dry wines, as well as wines from every Prädikat level, from Kabinett to Trockenbeerenauslese, and including a very special Erdener Prälat TBA.
The Growing Season
The 2018 growing season began with an early bud break in April, which was caused by warm spring temperatures. Naturally, these conditions led to an early flowering, at the end of May, and rapid shoot growth. This resulted in a heavy workload in the vineyards, as the development of the vines progressed quickly throughout the early growing season.
Our summer in the Mosel showed long periods of drought and hot temperatures. Despite these extreme weather conditions, however, we had no vine damage from the lack of water. A few rain events throughout the summer saved us, as did our prized old vines that have deep root systems to get them through periods of water stress. It was only our new plantings, with less-developed root systems, that had to be watered in order to keep them healthy.
Last year we had already claimed to have the earliest harvest ever, but this year we have beaten the record once again. We started with the harvest on the 10th of September, which was the earliest we ever began harvesting at Dr. Loosen.
In the beginning of the harvest the temperatures were still quite elevated, sometimes with temperatures around 30°C (86°F). Because of the dry weather conditions throughout the growing season we started with nearly no botrytis grapes.
In fact, throughout the harvest the appearance of botrytis was distributed unevenly and it was hard to discover a pattern as to how and where botrytis was appearing. The botrytis this year was very dry, which made it very easy to select grapes.
In the beginning of the harvest, the must weight was not yet that high, we were able to produce some Kabinett style wines. We had to be fast with harvesting grapes for this quality level, as the must weight was rising quickly.
During the harvest period we experienced generally ideal conditions. We had no rain at all, so we could harvest for six weeks without interruption. We had very good yields with high quality of grapes.
We want to thank all our guests, employees and seasonal workers for their work and effort during the harvest!