On 17th August this year´s harvest, the final phase of the annual cycle in the vineyards, started: we picked the Sauvignon Blanc grapes from our Moraru vineyard.
Looking back, this year was – like every year in the vineyards – full of surprises, obliging us to develop the right tactics and strategies. Every year, nature seems to challenge us with new rules. We have to understand them and to find the best possible responses.
Luckily, we can rely on our team in the vineyards, lead by our „shaman“ Dumitru Nedeluț, who accumulated more than 40 years of experience in the Drăgășani wine hills – first as vineyard engineer for the state-owned winery, who managed all expropriated vineyards in the communist time, and since 2001 as our administrator.
Under his guidance, most of our vineyards were planted more than 30 years ago. Then being responsible for the preparation of the soil, Dumitru Nedeluț knows the hidden underground of every single parcel better than anybody else.
And he knows nearly every single vine – its character, its strenghts and its weak points. And therefore he is able to adapt the treatments to the vines´ specific needs in the most diverse climate conditions.
Back to the tricky year 2018: it began much too warm and let us wait for cold and snow until March. The vines had already started to awake, when temperatures fell to minus 15 – 17°C around 1st March and more than 30 cm snow fell on 20th -22nd March. Luckily our healthy vines were not affected, and growth of buds speeded up in April, due to much too warm weather, combined with the rich water supply at the vines´ roots.
And as May was too warm as well and brought again some mild rain, the vines´ blooming period started around 20th May – ten days earlier than in an average year.
June and July were the most tricky time of this year: it rained nearly every day, with temperatures between 15 and 25°C – ideal for the development of all kind of fungal diseases – forcing Dumitru Nedeluț and his team to apply all their know-how in adapting the work on the vines and treatments in the vineyards to these extremely tricky conditions given by nature.
Only after 3rd August rains stopped – and since then the sun warmed up the vineyards to 30 – 35°C and enabled healthy ripening and accumulation of aromas, flavours and sugar in the grapes. It seems that nature intended to reward us for having understood well its rules of this year´s round of the game!
This allowed us to start harvesting on 17th August – the earliest start of harvest ever in our 18 years experience!– in perfect conditions. Let´s hope that nature is on our side also during the next couple of weeks – we will keep you updated!
Ileana & Jakob Kripp