November ambience in a Saar vineyard

November 29, 2010

Vineyard near Schoden, Saar

When I recently visited my home town Trier, I also had the chance to explore mother nature in nearby Schoden, Saar.

It was a grey and rainy November day as we like it. The weather makes you wish for a hot tea in a warm place, maybe near a window with a view. Or a walk through the steep vineyards in the Saar valley.

Individual vines trained on a “stick”

Some of the vineyards were already pruned. One could spot pruners here and there, alone or in small groups. Please note the pruning style of these vines. November is a good time to visit wine regions. It is less crowded and people have time for a yarn.

To cork or not to cork – the problem of wine closures

September 10, 2010

Book cover

Recently, I finished reading the above book by George W. Taber. It is an excellent work. I was amazaed that one could write so much about the different aspects of this little think: the stopper in a bottle. Nowadays, quite a few different materials and techniques are available and every poor vintner needs to make up his mind what to chose.

At Two Hills Vineyard we went for the DIAM solution (technical cork) for our Merlot wines. Our German customers want a cork to pull and DIAM has never let us down. We have experimented with other corks but found that DIAM suits us best.

Moreover, I hate plastic. It does not do the job. I love glass. It is elegant and suggests superior quality of the wine because of its high price. In Australia screw caps are very widespreach. Almost 100% of white wines and maybe 80 % of all bottles are now under screw caps.

I learned from “To cork or not to cork”, that the last word is not yet spoken. It will be interesting to see how wine ages under screw cap and glass stoppers. If we make white wine again, I would chose screw caps for our Sauvignon Blanc, but maybe DIAM for Chardonnay. Our Merlot will definetely stay under DIAM. For Pinot Noir I would remain undecided. Hmm, I wonder what would be the best solution?

And out they go: The exodus of vintners in Australia

April 29, 2010

The recent ABC Landline report nicely summarizes the predicament of the Australian winegrowers. A$ 250 per tonne for your fruit is just not covering costs. Grape growing has no future, it seems. I find it quite shocking somehow. The documentary depicts the individual detiny in a very touching way.

Click on the link below and watch this very informative film.

ABC Landline

Kioti tractor, a Daedong from Korea

April 15, 2010

My new Daedong

My new toy is just awesome. A new tractor is just great after two years without agricultural machinery. Toys for boys, one could say. I really enjoy getting to know this new machine. I am slashing the vineyards and some of my paddocks.

Kioti is the name

Vintage time at Two Hills Vineyard

April 13, 2010

Two Hills Merlot grapes 2010

This vintage is one to forget quickly. The few sales of grapes we had are not worth mentioning. The Merlot grapes looked good though (so did the SB and the Pinot Noir). We have to rethink our business model. But we are in good spirits and optimistic about the future of our undertaking.

Margit and the grapes