2017 Wine Harvest, a difficult year.

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Healthy chardonnay grapes, left, and sunburned ones. Photographer: Elin McCoy/Bloomberg

January is as good a time as ever to deliver bad news, and many European countries are taking time adding up the tallies of the previous year’s grape harvest and reporting yield’s down as much as 25%. Adverse climatic conditions in 2017, including heavy hailstorms and hard frosts in the spring as well as drought in the summer, caused considerable damage to vineyards all over Europe. The result, most of the wine-growing regions in Europe are had a very low harvest for 2017.

Italian wine body Assoenologi estimated that Italy would see one of its smallest wine harvests for 60 years in 2017, down by 25% on last year, that’s a reduction of roughly 5.5 billion bottles. Things are not much better in France where they have had the worst harvest since 1945, according to France AgriMer, an agency that works with both the industry and government. Wine production to fall by 18% on 2016 after spring frosts ravage vines, but hot summer could deliver top vintages – meaning price increases across the board for low yields but higher quality fruit.

The outlook in Europe’s other large producer is not much better with Spain’s output dropping down 20% from 2016, and in Germany the estimated vintage is down 12%. All in all 2017 proved to be a difficult year in Europe.

Despite wild fires in both California and Oregon the north American harvest is likely to be similar to last year. South Africa saw very small increases in yields, about 1.4%.  In South America, both sides of the Andes were affected to varying degrees by the shift from the wetter El Niño  weather system to the drier conditions associated with La Niña weather system. In Mendoza, Argentina yields were down about 30 percent compared to normal. And in Chile yields were down about 22% due to drought and forest fires. New Zealand also experienced a drop in yeilds by about 9%. Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand winegrowers, attributed the smaller harvest of 2017 to wet weather over the summer season. Australia was the only country to undergo modest yield increases at roughly 5% despite a tricky vintage.

The conclusion is that unfortunately the price of your favourite wines will probably increase this year a wineries increase excellar prices to try to cover lower quantities produced.

 

 

 

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Riesling Tasting

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As part of our Summer of Riesling promotion we will be hosting an informal Rielsing tasting in the shop. We will have every style of Riesling from bone dry to super sweet open for tasting. The tasting is Friday 7th July between 5pm-7pm in our shop on Middle Street.

Call in and try some of our favouite summer whites.

Weingut Hofmann

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Anyone who has called into the shop lately will have noticed we have started moving things about, adding some new wines and removing some others. One of our new additions is Weingut Hofmann from Appenheim in Rheinhessen, about an hour east of Frankfurt. The estate which was mixed agriculture, was converted solely to wine production in 1971 by current winemaker Jurgen Hofmann’s parents. Jurgen produces Riesling, Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and some other german varieties like Silvaner. But it is his Rieslings and Sauvignons that really wowed us.

Grhttps://i0.wp.com/www.schiefer-trifft-muschelkalk.de/en/standards/images/weine/content/Hofmann_Riesling_trocken.jpgapes from the Rotliegend slate soils of the ‘Roter Hang (Red Slope)’ and the limestone dominated soils surrounding Appenheim fuse together in this estate-level Riesling bursting with stony spice and minerality. Aromas of dried apricots and exotic spice dance hand in hand in a racy yet breathtakingly elegant tango. This is an entry-level dry Riesling that will leaving you wanting more.

His Sauvignon Blanc ghttps://i2.wp.com/www.schiefer-trifft-muschelkalk.de/en/standards/images/weine/content/Hofmann_Sauvignon-Blanc.jpgrapes are harvested sequentially from multiple sites as each vineyard reaches its own optimal ripeness. Cool, fresh notes of gooseberry, elderberry, and green asparagus blend with a tropical breeze reminiscent of the variety’s origins — and the small, lively kiwi bird that also calls New Zealand home. This wine is the perfect marriage of Sancerre and Marlborough styles, but from Germany!