Harvest 2017: Rest of Europe
Harvest came early for many of these European regions, and volumes are significantly down – with the exception of Turkey.
As with all of Europe, this is mainly down to April frosts and the August heatwave. Quality remains good, but it is likely pricing will increase in some areas.
Here's a roundup from our producers across Europe:
Volumes were down across Germany due to devastating April frosts. The harvest was much earlier for many producers, and quality was generally very good.
Markus Molitor | Mosel
2017 was one of the earliest harvests in Markus Molitor´s history. Careful hand selection of grapes was essential to pick fully ripened and aromatic grapes following the spring frosts. The fermenting wines are looking aromatic and of high quality.
Peth-Wetz | Rheinhessen
This was also the earliest harvest recorded at Peth-Wetz, complicated by hail at the end of August, rain and humidity. The harvesting period was warm and dry, helping the late-ripening varieties like Pinot Gris, and Riesling to develop fully. About 50% of the harvest was hand sorted due to hail damage and overall they lost about 20% of the total fruit, so volume is particularly low.
Schafer | Nahe
The yield was very low this year at Schafer, but they are pleased with the quality. Riesling was particularly high quality, with a good balance of ripeness and acidity. The Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese are all showing well.
Volumes are marginally up this year in Austria. Despite extreme heat throughout the summer it was generally a trouble-free vintage, and quality is good.
Weingut Glatzer | Carnuntum
2017 was a good year for Glatzer, and quantities remained average. The year began with frosts and very early budding, but the summer was very dry and the vines developed well. The white wines are showing elegant fruit characteristics with medium acidity and alcohol, and the reds are intense in colour and tannin.
Laurenz V | Kamptal
It was a very dry, cold start to the year in Kamp Valley, reaching -10C. A dry spring was followed by an unusually dry and warm summer. Early budding meant vines were affected by two waves of spring frosts. A dry, warm September encouraged the grapes to ripen well, while the cool Kamptal nights helped to retain freshness and aromatics.
“The 2017 vintage is a highly elegant, very spicy vintage with an array of fruit-driven aromas, showcasing the various terroir aspects of our beloved Kamp Valley,” says winemaker Dieter Huebler.
Mantlerhof | Kremstal
Winemaker Josef Mantler junior describes this harvest as an “emotional roller-coaster”. It began with exceptionally healthy grapes, and good weather. This was followed by heavy rainfall that lead to an explosive development of botrytis.
“Our Riesling and Roter Veltliner vineyards were hit the worst,” says Josef, “with a botrytis share rocketing from 5% to 35% and above. We did rigorous selection, only harvesting the healthy grapes and leaving the botrytis for later. We now have vast amounts of sweet wines (one berry selection and two dry-berry selections), but the quantity of dry Roter Veltliner and Riesling could have been better.”
Josef has high hopes for the quality of the Gruner Veltliner, and anticipates powerful wines with lower acidity this year.
Volumes are low this year in Greece, down 5% from 2016 due to unpredictable weather throughout the season, and more in areas such as Santorini.
Kir Yianni | Naoussa and Amyndeon
An early start to the growing season was followed by the earliest veraison of the decade and extremely high diurnal range in Naoussa. 2017 is looking to be an exceptionally good year for both Xinomavro and French varieties, comparable to 2007 qualities.
Amyndeon’s cold winter was followed by low temperatures in April and hail in May, causing damage to vines. Yields are down, but the crop was healthy and quality is high. The Amyndeon whites are looking very aromatic, and Xinomavro is of high quality.
Volumes are down by 11% in Hungary due to April frosts, particularly affecting red wines. Quality is good, however.
Royal Tokaji | Tokaji
Botrytis developed well this year thanks to warm summer weather and plentiful rains. Royal Tokaji expect a great vintage for their sweet wines – and may even produce the rare Single Vineyard Aszu. Due to the botrytis progression they faced some challenges to pick the quantities needed for the dry wines, however the grapes were also top quality, and dry whites are anticipated to be excellent.
Spring frost destroyed 35% of Slovenia’s crop, and volumes are down as much as 33%. The quality is good.
p&f wineries | Stajerska
p&f wineries faced spring frosts for the second year in a row, followed by a dry summer and good weather conditions at the start of harvest. One third of the late harvest was affected by rain and therefore some of the late ripening varieties faced rot infection. From a quality point of view this is a year of ripe acidity, intensive aromas and slightly higher alcohol. The wines will be more complex but also elegant, and age worthy.
Volumes are down 5% in Turkey in comparison to 2016, due to sporadic frost and hail damage.
Doluca | Cappadocia
Head winemaker Aysun Pirdel feels fortunate with this year’s harvest. “Many vineyards in Turkey were very lucky this year compared to other European countries. We did not face sudden high temperatures or any vineyard disease. Our yields are equivalent to what we usually get in normal years.
“The good weather conditions gave us good fruit profiles for the white and rosé wines. Our red wines have fine phenolic maturation with manageable alcohol. We are delighted to say this has been the best of vintage for Narince and Okuzgozu so far.”
Veralda | Istria
Summer this year was very warm and dry in Croatia, but September saw a year’s worth of rain in one month, making harvesting red varieties difficult. The rain lengthened the harvest and impacted ripening. Reds this year have less body than average, and are developing more slowly. The white wines are developing well, however, and a looking to be of high quality.