Tag Archives: Gunderloch

Vintage 2012 – Day Twelve

Actual harvesting today!!! Some silvaner from a few different vineyards. It gave me another opportunity to get to know some of the pickers from the P countries of Europe. The Polish come across for the six-week period of harvest, work everyday from eight until five and then head back home afterwards. Many of them have been doing it for years and know the vineyards as well as the Hasselbachs. The Portuguese all live here but head back for holidays to see the family, which I think I may have mentioned when I was there and saw all of the vehicles with license plates from various parts of Europe.

The lord of the land surveying in the early morning sun.
The view over the back of Nackenheim.
Ready for a full day of harvesting.
Nino is from the Douro, and has been here for about 30 years.

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Vintage 2012 – Day Eleven

On the ninth day I rested as I was struggling to shake a cold I had for almost two weeks, and the tenth day involved scrounging for things to do as the vintage still hasn’t really got going and Johannes was in Austria. The eleventh day of vintage started with finishing the cellars at Nackenheim and checking the amphora for any leaks, and then heading over to the Nierstein cellars to get to know them better and also test some grape samples in a different laboratory.

Johannes taking me through the Nierstien laboratory.
The tanks need their numbers redone.
Hard to see, but we caught a Landrover ‘swimming’ down the Rhein River!

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Vintage 2012 – Day Eight

Day eight didn’t involve anything new in terms of work (more cellar cleaning), but I had the afternoon off which allowed me to get a haircut (not really happy with it but you can’t expect much for 15 Euros), and then I took up an invitation to the Ingelheim Rotwein (red wine) Festival. It was somewhere between an agricultural show (without the competition element) and a fair, with lot’s of wine and food with rides for all the kids just starting their holidays. Ingelheim isn’t one of the best places in the Rheinhessen region for wine, but they are known for their red wines like spatburgunder (pinot noir). Ingelheim itself is a lovely town with an old city wall running around it.

A lovely old building in Mainz.
The main square in Mainz with the cathedral in the background.
One of the gates of the old city wall of Ingelheim.

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Vintage 2012 – Day Seven

A week into vintage and there has been barely anything harvested. A lot of the fruit is just not quite ripe enough, but has promising levels of acid to ensure that when the fruit does come off it will be sensational. The fruit I was working with on my seventh day wasn’t quite up to Gunderloch scratch, as I helped Johannes and some of his school mates pick a parcel of grapes they are fermenting for a project. We kept things pretty old-school with one of us wearing a large basket on our backs for the others to dump their buckets into. Perhaps this is something I can look forward to when I am in the Mosel in a few weeks. Unfortunately for Johannes and his fellow students the de-stemming machine at the school winery packed it in and they had to be done manually, something Johannes couldn’t stick around for. In the afternoon I helped around the winery again, preparing and packing some wine.

Bright and early we harvest the fruit. That’s what makes the difference.
Get right in there and don’t miss any grapes.
Fine work from Johannes here.
Is it just me or do I look slightly confused?
Nice lens flare.
The grapes go in the bucket.
Then into the basket.
Then into the bin.
The wine pyramid at the Oppenheim Wine School
Bins of grapes waiting to be de-stemmed and pressed.

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Vintage 2012 – Day Six

The entire vineyard team has arrived from Poland now, and I joined them today with more leaf thinning and pre-harvest fruit selection taking out any bunches with rot or drying. It is pretty hard work, mostly as I am surrounded by a combination of Portuguese and Polish, neither of which I can understand. Bit of fun!

Lunch time. Take advantage of that sun whilst it lasts!
Freshly groomed slopes.

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Vintage 2012 – Day Five

 Day five was much of the same as we finished preparing the amphora project but regretfully I probably won’t be here when the fruit is harvested, pressed and fermented inside it. Down in the cellars I continued cleaning and preparing the cellars; an important but very wet and dirty task.

Making sure the soil is dry we left it out in the sun.
We put sand around the amphora and then surrounded it with soil.
Snug as a bug in a rug
What’s inside the magic box?

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Vintage 2012 – Day Four

The Gunderloch cellars at Nackenheim are starting to get much more familiar, but also looking a little different after a rigorous cleaning before new tanks go in which arrived in the afternoon. With some old tanks removed there is a little more wiggle room down there, so existing tanks can also go in there and the rest of the cellars can then be cleaned by yours truly. The secret project Johannes is working on continues; a box we made yesterday has started to have a combination of Rothenberg soil and sand put into it, surrounding a special fermentation vessel. Momentum is building.

Three new babies got delivered. Yet to be named.
Admiring my handiwork
A clean winery is a happy winery
My weapon of choice

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Vintage 2012 – Day Three

Preparations for the real meat of vintage continued today, as old tanks were very delicately removed from the 400 year old cellars so new ones can go in tomorrow. Johannes and I also took some soil from the Rothenberg vineyard to put into a box we built for a special project. To end the day I started to clean the cellars at Nackenheim thoroughly which I’ll continue tomorrow.

Pretty versatile in the vineyards
The winery in Nierstein where most of the processing takes place
The Intrepid Wino digging for treasure
Precious booty
Now how did that giant tank get out of that small door?
A magic box

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Vintage 2012 – Day Two

Today Johannes Joachim and I went out into a number of parcels tasting fruit and looking at the health of the grapes. Samples of some parcels were taken for analysis back at the winery which yielded some interesting data. The afternoon I helped in the packaging line again for an order soon to depart. Here are a few photos.

Joachim and Johannes discussing
I’ve got a lovely bunch of riesling grapes
Joachim takes some samples of riesling in Rothenberg
Lovely mild day in the Rheinhessen
Taking notes on the tastings of fruit
The Pettental vineyard
My second favourite river in the world
Grauburgunder, also known as pinot gris, or pinot grigio
Something called portugese; no-one knows what it is exactly
A tiny little bunch of pinot meunier called schwarz (black) rielsing here
Measuring the oechsle

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Vintage 2012 – Day One

Day One and we were harvesting some low sugar high acid fruit for some light alcohol wines for a special customer. The fruit was coming from the flatter parts of Nackenheim closer to the Rhein River, where the yields are higher thanks to more alluvial soils and easier access to water. Apart from a little bit of rot in the tighter bunches, the fruit is looking excellent. Later in the day we were doing more leaf thinning in the Rothenberg vineyard and doing some preliminary fruit selection by removing any berries with traces of rot. Here are some photos.

One of the parcels being harvested. Good fruit and plenty of it, with only minor rot and dried berries.

A home away from home, for taking breaks and eating a packed lunch.
Found this amongst the grapes. Vacated thankfully.
Grapes in buckets. Need I say more?
On the left, leaves thinned. On the right, not.

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