Some shots from the harvest in Germany

Instead of the usual Sunday read, I want to just show you some photos from the end of the German wine harvest. The harvest is almost over now in Germany. German wineries often go through their vineyards several times during harvest, selecting the grapes for each particular style of wine. The longer the grapes hang, usually the higher the concentration leading up to shrivelled, mostly botrytized grapes that are used for the stars of sweet wines, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.

Nik Weis, the owner and winemaker of St. Urbanshof, a winery in the Saar valley, posted some photos the other day of their final stages of harvest and I asked him whether I could share them. I hope you find them as interesting as I did. It gives you an idea of how labor intensive just the collection of grapes for these very high end wines is, and how low yields are, which explains their high prices…

I have added some photos from the harvest in the prime Mosel vineyard Erdener Prälat, taken by my friend ManSoo, who harvested there with Dr. Hermann winery.

I am leaving for a few weeks in Germany the coming weekend, and I am excited about trying the 2012 vintage of my beloved Mosel and Sarr Rieslings as well as wine from new places for me: I will visit the Kistenmacher-Hengerer estate, a newly minted member of the elite winemaker association VDP, in Württemberg, a region I hardly know anything about, for example.

Happy Sunday!

Another round of harvesting begins in Erdener Prälat

Another round of harvesting begins in Erdener Prälat

Collecting healthy and slightly shrivelled grapes

Collecting healthy and slightly shrivelled grapes in Erdener Prälat

Healthy Riesling Grape Cluster in Ockfener Bockstein

Healthy Riesling Grape Cluster in Ockfener Bockstein

Further selection taking place...

Further selection taking place… (Erdener Prälat)

Once the grapes get crushed, this "must weight scale" shows the density of the must in degrees Oechsle, which determines what quality category a wine can be listed as.

Once the grapes get crushed, this “must weight scale” shows the density of the must in degrees Oechsle, which determines what quality category a wine can be listed as.

Now that is manual labor.

Now that is manual labor: Highly shrivelled grape harvest on the Saar (St. Urbanshof)

Slowly, slowly piling up...

Slowly, slowly piling up…(St. Urbanshof)

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19 thoughts on “Some shots from the harvest in Germany

  1. Stefano says:

    Great photos documenting the harvest and selection process, Oliver: they make me miss our German rendez vous even more… :-(

  2. Great photos! Happy and safe travels to you. Bet you’re excited to go to Germany – have fun!

  3. Happy & safe travels! Thanks for sharing – amazing to see, hoping some day I get to first hand too.

  4. ksbeth says:

    very cool shots, have a great trip. ps – can you recommend a dry sparkling white, that would pair nicely with fish?

    • Hmmm, if you want to go affordable, I find Sigura Viudas Cava, a Spanish sparkler, pretty good. We use it as a standard aperitif most times. You can find it in most places, Plum should definitely have it…not sure they have it at Trader Joe’s.

      I am not much of a sparkler fan myself, so I am not the best help in this…:(

  5. Hey, Oliver, I am tasting wines to make my selection for the wine bar. I am going to carry only 3 rieslings and would like for one of them to be from Germany. With that in mind, what is your recommendation? I hope to get one from the Finger Lakes region and maybe one from Washington. Thoughts??? redwinediva@gmail.com

  6. Look forward to hearing about your trip! Enjoy those wines!!!

  7. vinoinlove says:

    Great pictures, Oliver. Thanks for sharing them with us!
    Enjoy your trip to Germany :)

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