Archive for February 12, 2015

Part 3: Elixrr Goes to the Franken Region and the Hans Wirsching Winery for Harvest 2014

In the last of our series covering Germany, harvest 2014, Elixrr focuses on the Franken region and top producer, Weingut Hans Wirsching.   In part 3, we will be meeting with Andrea Wirsching to examine the vintage, the estate and the region.


Part 2 Harvest 2014: A look at the Mosel and the Wegeler Estate


Bernkastel Doctor Vineyard

It’s the second leg of Elixrr’s trip for Harvest 2014, this time going to the middle Mosel for a visit to the Wegeler Estate and the world famous Doctor Vineyard.


Harvest workers in the Doctor Vineyard

The famous slate soil of the Doctor Vineyard

The famous slate soil of the Doctor Vineyard






A New Treatment for the Vine Disease Esca?

Esca is an incurable vine disease with very little treatment possibilities.   The disease is spreading at an increasingly aggressive pace to the point that some wine grape growers fear  that Esca could develop into a devastation similar to phylloxera, a louse that nearly destroyed Europe’s wine sector in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Due to the work of a professor in France, there may be a treatment that could help battle the disease.  Elixrr went out to an old Riesling vineyard to explore a possible new treatment for Esca with wine grower and importer, Toni Moran.

Part 1 of Germany’s Harvest 2014: A look at the Pfalz, Mosel and the Franken Region

Want to know more about the vintage?  Watch Elixrr’s  3 part-mini documentary series on Germany’s Harvest 2014. Part 1 is featured above.

Grapes in the Pfalz

Grapes in the Pfalz

Elixrr looks at three regions and 4 estates in a documentary series covering the 2014 harvest in Germany.

Covered in the 3-part series are the following estates and regions:

Part 1

Last day of harvest at the Friedrich Becker Winery.

Last day of harvest at the Friedrich Becker Winery

Weingut Friedrich Becker – Pfalz

Vineyard in the Pfalz

Vineyard in the Pfalz

Weingut Rebholz – Pfalz

Part 2

Weingut Wegeler



Wegeler harvest manager, Peter

Wegeler harvest manager, Peter Hettgen-Cues

Part 3

Weingut Wirsching

Hans Wirsching Winery

Hans Wirsching Winery

Adrea Wirsching

Andrea Wirsching

Part 1 is now available (above).

Vintage 2014 in a nutshell:

Warm nights and high humidity, rain, hail in places and the first-time arrival of the Cherry Vinegar fly or Spotted Wing Drosophila across many wine regions in that part of Europe made harvest 2014 a vintage many winemakers will not soon forget.   In fact, when asking some winemakers in Germany about the challenges and what vintage might compare in terms of the harvest the answer was a decisive “none.”

No one anticipated the Asian pest’s arrival, which caught winegrowers flat footed.  The pest that is known all over Asia and now in California, Canada and other areas in Europe primarily goes after red wine grapes when it isn’t attacking berries and cherries.  However, it does go after white wine grapes when there isn’t anything else, so many white wine only grape areas were impacted.

The fly is called the cherry vinegar fly because in addition to attacking cherries and other berries, as mentioned, the part of the fruit it infects takes on a  vinegar-like odor.

There is good news to the vintage, however.  Despite the challenges, the grapes had no trouble reaching physiological ripeness.  With care in the vineyards, there will be some very good wines to choose from this vintage with the caveat that quantities will be considerably down in many regions.   Some estates are reporting that this year will yield a 25-40% less in an average year.

Critical in 2014, was the used of hand-pickers, a practice mostly associated with top estates.  Stick with top producers and there is an abundant choice of premium quality wines from the vintage.

Want to know more about the vintage?  Watch Elixrr’s  3 part-mini documentary series on Germany’s Harvest 2014. Part 1 is featured above.