To ensure healthy and fully ripened grapes, we cultivate and maintain our vineyards with the utmost care. This involves thinning out the leaves and grapes, dividing the grape clusters, and selective harvesting by hand.
After such painstaking vineyard work, we optimize our processing to preserve the highest qualities of the picked grapes. We gently nurture the making of each wine, so it may unfold its very individual characteristics.
To promote a healthy growth, we closely observe and monitor the vines in their own microclimate and provide for each vine’s needs. A healthy grapevine is more resistant and less susceptible to insect or fungus outbreaks.
In order to strengthen the vine from its roots up, great emphasis is placed on soil cultivation. We analyze soil samples, and depending on the vineyard site and soil type, we use organic fertilizer, e.g., composted grass cuttings, or dung, and thus strictly do without the use of additional mineral fertilizers. By doing this, the soil’s microorganisms benefit from the sustainable use of the existing mineral fertilizers, which have been used for many generations, to provide the plants with nutrients.
Soil Erosion Protection
Covering the ground of our sites on the Roter Hang with straw or composted cuttings significantly reduces soil erosion during heavy rainfall and regulates the rainwater more effectively. The underlying soil then stores rainwater more easily, and an additional habitat for the important microorganisms and insects is created; these include, e.g. earthworms, bugs, and many more, that break up the soil and enrich it with nutrients.
The practice of planting green cover between the vines is another aspect of soil management. For one, a grass mixture improves machine access to the vineyard. In late autumn and for younger plants, taproots, e.g. white mustard or wild radish, are essential components. This approach prevents land erosion while special taproots loosen the soil, thereby providing good aeration and lively soils. An additional benefit of planting cover crops in late autumn is that nitrogen is leached from the soil during the wet season and can be captured and stored. At the beginning of the next growing season, plowing will once again set free the stored nitrogen.
Canopy management is another essential component. Continuous shoot trimming strengthens the vines and favors good growth of grapes. Cutting off excessive shoot growth is done by hand, allowing the winegrower to determine and improve the growth of each individual vine. During wet weather, open canopies permit the grapes to dry off quickly. This inhibits unwanted mildew and fungal diseases and limits the overuse of pesticides. Leaf removal in the fruit zone allows more exposure to the sun and assists in the development of characteristic flavors. Additionally, increased exposure to the sun allows the berries’ skins to become thicker, which further aids in hampering the penetration of fungal spores.
The method of hanging up insect pheromone bates in the vineyard has lead to gaining the upper hand against the dreaded grape berry moth. These bates consist of endogenous messenger substances of the female moth to attract the male moth. The cloud of fragrance over the vineyard confuses the male and disrupts mating. It stops the grape berry moth from wrapping itself around the berry and hence makes the use of insecticides unnecessary.
It is our great passion to discern the terroir of each separate vineyard so that we can understand the individual ecosystems and match the plants’ needs accurately and sustainably. In this way we are laying the foundation for authentic wines with natural characteristics.