Harvest report in Carnuntum, Austria: Interview with Dorli Muhr

Harvest at Muhr van der Niepoort
Harvest at Muhr van der Niepoort

This year, we decided to interview a few of our winemakers to get their impressions of the 2017 harvest and the overall 2017 vintage.

Here is Dorli Muhr, owner of the Muhr-van der Niepoort winery located in the Austrian appellation of Carnuntum east of Vienna, and known of her elegant Blaufränkisch wines:

How would you describe the 2017 vintage?
2017 is a very diverse vintage. We see fantastic quality in some vineyards, and less interesting grapes in others. You will find outstanding wines from the 2017 vintage, and you will find quite poor wines. For the consumer and for the trade, tasting and comparing will be very important.

How is this vintage different from last year’s?
This year, we had a very hot and extremely dry summer, while in 2016 we had enough rain.
The grapes were very balanced in 2016, very tasty, very relaxed in a way. In 2017, many grapes could not mature perfectly, because they did not get enough water. But for some vineyards, the hot summer and the rainfall we got finally in September, was just ideal. Those vineyards will make incredibly good wines.

These ripe Blaufränkisch grapes will make incredibly good wines

What’s the biggest challenge this year?
We need to pick very carefully, and separate the lower qualities from the great ones. Even in one vineyard you have two or even three different kinds of maturity, depending on the soil conditions. It is definitely a year where experienced and conscientious pickers are needed.

Harvest at Muhr van der Niepoort

We are happy to have, for nearly 15 years now, the same team of Hungarian pickers. They know our vineyards and they know the quality demands we have. I am very proud of Jutka and her colleagues.

What’s going to be the most interesting wines this year?
In the best vineyard sites we have high maturity AND a thrilling acidity. This will give incredibly compact and long lasting wines.

Watch Dorli foot stomping grapes and singing Hungarian songs with her Hungarian team:

Who said harvesting was no fun?