2022 is one of the wine years that we may still be telling our grandchildren about in many years to come. Because everything marked with a “zu” is remembered, for better or for worse.
Too early, too late, too cold, too little - in this case: too warm. In the summer of 2022, the sun was not our friend as usual, but our enemy for a few months. So the 2022 vintage was the exact opposite of the damp and rainy summer of 2021. But let's start at the beginning:
Spring began unremarkably, but with slightly less precipitation than usual, so that budding was pushed back to May. Luckily we were spared the late frosts and the trembling around the young shoots this year - the large paraffin candles were allowed to stay in the store, packed up.
However, there was still no rain, so that at the beginning of July the first signs of drought stress were already apparent due to reduced growth of the buds. Young plants in particular had to struggle with this, as the roots of the vines do not yet reach deep to the groundwater.
All hope and prayer was useless - the water situation became more and more dramatic. We had no choice but to install drip irrigation in the steep vineyards and to supply the young plants with the essentials using water ditches under the vines. Otherwise there would have been a risk of a crop failure of almost 80%. The work was mainly done at night to prevent direct vaporization - at least that way we could use every drop of the precious water.
But such strains are at the expense of our own sleep and that of our employees. Never before has so much work been done in the dark as in 2022. The field team started work in July and August between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. in the morning. To prevent a similar stressful situation in 2023, we bring humus, straw and bark mulch to the drought-prone vineyards in February and March to keep the winter moisture longer. This is also purely manual work, but we hope that the effort is worth it.
Back to the 2022 harvest: Luckily, God had mercy and the situation eased towards the vintage. Due to a rainy period lasting several days in mid-September, the berries recovered from the drought stress and were able to store some more juice, so that the quantity of the harvest increased again somewhat. The harvest itself then went according to plan and well thanks to our great hand-picking team. However, the harvest dragged on from mid-September to the first week of November, a smooth 7 weeks. Our longest harvest since 1945. At the beginning, the Portugieser and Burgundy grapes were harvested in Kreuznacher Paradies and Rosenberg. Even the juice of the grape was incredibly aromatic, dense and rich in extracts, which is now also reflected in the young wine.
The Riesling harvest began in paradise and continued westwards along the Nahe, via Bad Kreuznach, Norheim and Schloßböckelheim until the end of October. A certain opulence can be seen in all young Rieslings in 2022, paired with delicate but not offensive acidity. A vintage that is now pleasantly drinkable at the Prowein, with a little fewer rough edges than its predecessor, but with great value and elegance.
Look forward to the first samples.