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Reading aloud

See under vintage.

Term for the grape harvest. The start of the harvest, traditionally known as the " Weinlesebann", used to be determined annually by the official bodies and, according to old custom, publicly announced by the " Gebirgsaufschießen ". Today, this can be determined largely freely by each winegrower himself. The quality term Spätlese no longer has any temporal significance. In Austria, in the case of a Prädikat wine, a declaration of intent must be made to the municipal office on the day of harvest. An optimal state of ripeness of the grapes has an effect on the wine quality. The phase between harvesting and pressing or subsequent fermentation should be as short as possible to avoid undesired oxygen contact and loss of aroma.

Weinlese - Traubenlese 1903 (Rudolf Epp) und Bottich mit Weintrauben
Harvest container

An important quality factor is the type and shape of the harvest containers in which the grapes are stored and transported after they have been separated from the vine. A high-quality harvest requires small and flat containers (as in the picture on the left) in order not to expose the grapes to too much pressure and, if possible, to be able to bring them unharmed and quickly to the pressing house. This reduces the risk of injury and contamination by rotting bacteria. Country- and region-specific, such as in Champagne, a maximum pouring height in centimetres is even specified. The lower, the better, but the more time-consuming the harvesting process is. However, the traditional butte is also often used.

Weinlese - flacher Lesekorb und traditionelle Butte

Timing of the grape harvest

The ideal time for the grape harvest is when the grapes have the best possible balance between the sugar content and the declining acidity. In the vegetative cycle of the vine, this is the maturation or physiological ripeness. Several criteria influence and determine the optimal harvest time. These are climate (humid weather or rain is negative, threat of rot or too much water), grape variety (there are early to late ripening varieties depending on the time of ripening ), intended use as wine gra pes, table grapes or sultanas as well as desired...

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Roman Horvath MW

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Roman Horvath MW
Domäne Wachau (Wachau)

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