VDP.IN THE VINEYARD | Read here what winemakers think of the vintage 2016

A year of viticultural highs and lows is drawing to a close. While many estates have completed their harvests already, others are just getting started — a fitting symbol for a year in which winegrowers faced all manners of extremes. Here we've collected some of the VDP Estates' own initial insights into the 2016 vintage. Click on the links to see the individual harvest blogs from each estate. Or follow the hashtag #VDPLese2016.

Wine Estate Acham-Magin (Pfalz)
"This was a year that rewarded a bit of daring! The last two weeks have shown that our decision to delay the harvest was a wise one. The wait was ultimately worth it."
Wine Estate Friedrich Becker (Pfalz)
"Working in picture-perfect weather, the 2016 harvest brought us optimally ripe and healthy grapes. Even so, we lost 30 percent of the harvest to downy mildew."
Dirk Würtz / Wine Estate Balthasar Ress (Rheingau)
"I've rarely been as tense going into a harvest as I was this year. Never, when I think about it. I was worried about the weather, the rain and the downy mildew. 2016 offers a fantastic example for just how much the theory differs from practice. My fears were unwarranted. Sadly we harvested only a very small amount of Pinot Noir. But for the Riesling, it didn't end up being anywhere near as bad as we'd feared. Everything seems to be in balance, and that's a good thing. The must tastes terrific. The acidity levels are pretty low."
To the blog from Dirk Würtz
Wine Estate Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)
"A year of tremendous challenges! Frost, a long rainy period, hail, downy mildew, drought, wild boars and now — birds! We've had to deal with a little bit of everything imaginable. But it all turned out well in the end. The initial Riesling musts are measuring out at 85 - 90° Oechsle and 8 - 9 g/l of acidity: fruity, light, harmonious — although it took a hefty selection process to get there. The classic dilemma: There's not much to start with, so there's even less at the end!"
Wine Estate Kreuzberg (Ahr)
"The 2016 vintage will surely go down as one of the finest in the past 20 years. These past weeks we've brought in optimally healthy, deeply colored Frühburgender and Pinot Noir. Despite a few touch-and-go moments during a wet summer, the lovely August and September weather brought the Ahr Valley a very good vintage for reds."
Wine Estate K.F. Groebe (Rheinhessen)
"A good start: today was the first day of the harvest, 95 degrees Oechsle for the Pinot Gris, super healthy grapes, prime weather and great conditions."
Wine Estate Heitlinger (Baden)
"The atmosphere is super, even as we haul crates up and down the long, steep rows."
Steffen Christmann (VDP.president) / Wine Estate Christmann (Pfalz)
"It's crazy how this vintage managed to come together in the end."
To the wine harvest blog
Ökonomierat Rebholz (Pfalz)
"The first harvest day started with gorgeous Pinot Noir from the "Im Sonneschein" site in Siebeldingen. We hope it continues this way."
To the wine harvest blog
Wine Estate Rings (Pfalz)
"Majestic weather, perfect fruit and we even cracked the 3000 mark. What else could a winemaker ask for? :-) OK, back to work..."
Eva Raps, Wine Estate Hans Lang / Kaufmann (Rheingau)
"While all of these extremes meant lower yields, the grapes still on the vines are of really outstanding quality right now. So we hope and pray that the weather gods have already had their fun this year... some lovely autumn weather would be much appreciated as we bring in this small but very fine harvest."