2020: A year of challenges

A classic Wachau wine year was turned upside down by an unprecedented hailstorm at the end of August. The consequences were considerable. But the qualities are convincing.

After a dry winter followed by a wet spring that supplied the soils with sufficient moisture, the summer was pointing to a very pleasant, assuring Wachau vintage. Plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures without extremes alternated with sporadic rainfalls. However, the sky suddenly darkened on August 22nd, and what happened within just a few minutes on that day has already gone down in the history of the Wachau. Incredible amounts of rain and walnut-size hailstones wreaked havoc in several vineyards.

But miracles do happen, with a mixture of happiness and sadness: the tremendous, concerted efforts of our winegrowing families saved a vintage that, at first glance, seemed all but lost. Because of their uncompromising dedication to sorting out the unblemished grapes – which lasted for weeks – we were able to obtain a small but impressive amount. Thankfully, the qualities across all origins and grape varieties were indeed high! Nevertheless, the downside is, that it was one of the smallest harvests in decades.

This is certainly clear with the first barrel samples. Our Federspiel wines are showing as elegant, focused and fruity. And the Smaragd wines are yielding lovely finesse, complexity and distinctive minerality.