We have just received the 2020 Harvest Report from Heitlinger, a producer in Baden, Germany!
We heard from various producers about the situation this year, and it seems that just because they couldn't walk around town in Corona due to the lockdown, it didn't mean they couldn't work in the fields.
However, I'm not familiar with what the difficulties are for those of us who are away from the agricultural field.
The "seasonal workers" could no longer come to the fields!
However, once every few years, I also receive an invitation to harvest through Facebook, etc., and I volunteer to help out. As an importer, I tend to feel like a salaryman, but sometimes it's nice to get up at 4 in the morning to harvest! It's really refreshing... It's really hard work.
Once again, I will sit on the wine, bow, and sell it! That's how I feel.
For example, at a winery in Germany, Polish and other foreign seasonal workers come for a week or two to help with the harvest.
It seems that there was a situation where they were not able to do that as much as they would have liked, but they were able to meet new people instead. ・・・・・
The following is from Heitlinger's report (PDF)
2020 Word of the Year: TOGETHER
The 2020 vintage has tested us in many ways.
But what surprised us most of all was how well we ultimately weathered it by coming together as one community. The end result was fantastic.
Grape growth began with a very early budburst on March 20, and the warm April has been beautiful for the vines. Spring frosts were a problem in some areas, but this was managed by the timely application of pre-pollination (a biodynamic technique, if you want to know more about it. ) was sprayed in a timely manner to help us cope.
We were also able to meet many new faces and people who were willing to help us. They joined us as part of the Sommelier Association "Side by Side in the Vineyard" campaign. This campaign matches restaurant workers and sommeliers on leave with wine farms looking for vineyard helpers. Without their help, we would not have been able to achieve the level of quality we are satisfied with. But even more importantly, without this opportunity, we would have missed out on many wonderful new encounters.
The summer was blessed with good weather and the harvest began on August 31. In order to make the most of the warm days and cool nights, we headed to the vineyards every morning as soon as the sun rose. The characteristics of this vintage are already becoming apparent, with aromas containing remarkable clarity and nuances unique to the 2020 vintage.
Although not a year for abundance, either socially or in terms of yield, the 2020 wines are delicate, with a carefully woven lace-like structure and moderate alcohol levels.
I could not have dreamed of this result.
GG (Großes Gewex) = German Grand Cru
About the harvest by parcel
The first grapes to be harvested from the vines were Chardonnay to make the base wine for our Sekt. The fresh, crisp acidity is still evident and promises great vibrancy in the final sparkling wine. The same goes for the moderate sugar content, which allows for more flexibility in adjusting the alcohol level after the second fermentation.
Following the Chardonnay, the golden Auxerrois from Hassapfel Große Lage shone. Juicy and fresh, for added depth, the wine was historically screw-pressed and aged in large, not new, oak barrels.
GG Spiegelberg's Pinot Gris is a dream. Its acidity, sweetness and pigment ripeness are in absolute balance, and the same applies to the Pinot Blanc from GG Eichberg.
GG Heinberg's Chardonnays always have a distinctive appearance, and this year was no exception. There is a surprisingly fine spectrum of aromas, both deep minerality and subtlety, both of which hint at great potential for the future. Again, screw pressing was applied to accentuate these characteristics and bring out the precious pigments.
GG Wormsberg (only 2 hectares of Pinot Noir, the highest quality parcel, and Marukai imports GG Coonixbecher Pinot Noir which is one hectare below <(_ _)> If you are interested, they can share only about 6 bottles with Japan. Please let us know. was facing southwest, and the first Pinot Noir grapes were ready for harvest by the second week of September. 10,000 vines were planted at a density similar to the Côte d'Or, producing breathtaking, highly aromatic Pinot Noir fruit in small bunches. The grapes were cold macerated whole in wooden vats for four days before spontaneous fermentation. Periodic manual arm-training punch-downs, called pigeage, will further enhance the expression and intensity of the wine, resulting in a harmonious blend of fruit, pigment, tannin texture, freshness, and acidity. Malolactic fermentation will be delayed until next spring to give the wine more time to age.
The final harvest from the GG vineyard was the Riesling from Schellenbrunnen.
The most selected parcel, "Museum", is still using single-stake tailoring (one straight stick tailoring) and the wine made from grapes from this still straight and austere parcel is being aged in stainless steel tanks to preserve its pronounced acidity! The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks to retain its pronounced acidity.
The above is from Heitlinger.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to stock up next year, as restaurants are having a hard time keeping up with retail prices and we are not in the B-to-C business.
I would be very happy if you could give me a hand to purchase one of them (T-T).
Wineries that have been doing business with restaurants, not just Heitlinger, have been having a lot of cash flow problems. Not only Heitlinger, but also other wineries that have been doing business with restaurants are having a lot of financial difficulties.
Since June of this year, restaurants and cafes that have applied for this program have been allowed to sell wine to-go with a limited time frame.
If you think, "This is a wine that I would only see in a restaurant," please reach out and try it. Your choice of a bottle may be saving the winery...!