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The 2016 vintage
Weather

The weather during the 2016 vintage season was very good (with a few exceptions)

  • The maximum temperature (red in below figure) were slightly over 30 degree only in few occasions, and the vines were not stressed by the heat.
  • There were just enough rain showers (gray dots in below figure) to avoid the vines being stressed from drought.
  • However, there were severe frost in the end of April, but that hit mostly vineyard on flat land.
  • The summer included the whole May and lasted through the entire September.
  • Further on, for late harvesters October was a real mess with cold weather and much rain.

weathergraph

Consequently, the sugar growth in Riesling was moderate and the acidity got high and was preserved all the way to harvest in October
Harvest

In the autumn Villa Sandahl keeps their grapes as long as possible in the vineyards. Over and over it has shown that some extra weeks in sunny weather makes the difference between a good wine and and excellent one. Only too high sugar or too low acidity can force us to harvest earlier than possible. Typically cold weather come before, and the consequence most often is that the grapes are not harvested when poor weather arrives, which means that we cause our own problems with bad weather during harvest.

2016 was no exception to this self-inflicted problems, as can be seen in the graph above. The acidity this vintage was higher than sufficient, so the strategy initially was to begin harvesting vineyards with lowest acidity. And at the time this was Genesis high.

After this harvest the weather got worse, and the strategy had to be changed to harvesting the grapes with weakest health, At the time this was Bishop backyard, despite its high acidity.

After that we could not any longer harvest vineyards separate, and had to mix grapes from different vineyards for the pressing.

Due to extremely difficult weather we also had to press the day after the harvest. It can be tricky to preserve the grapes until next day, but since we harvest very careful manually in small boxes it was no problem to in that respect. Also the night were cold which considerably helped preservation.

Pressing

At the first pressing we got surprised how fast the juice from Genesis high got so very good, and we had some problems to catch up with our multiplexor.

As 2015 each pressing went into four fraction, the 1st and 2nd being the best for separate fermentation, and the 3rd fraction with a mix from all vineyards for separate fermentation. The fourth fraction contain self-run and hard-pressed juice and is not any more a big amount, and is not fermented by us.

After pressing we had the following tanks of juice:

  • 2 tanks of Genesis high 1st and 2nd fractions
  • 2 tanks of a Bishop Backyard 1st and 2nd fractions
  • 2 tanks of a mix of remaining Bishop Backyard + Genesis grafts + Solitude 1st and 2nd fractions
  • 2 tanks of a mix of Genesis low and Bishop Garden 1st and 2nd fractions
  • 1 tank of all vineyards 3rd fraction

Fermentation

The only big problem with fermentation from this vintage was the low level of yeast nutriments in the grapes, which created problems to get the fermentation to work in the optimal way.

We use the best yeast available from France, and by now we are very familiar with the fermentation process. For example, we start at 6 °C, and we perfectly know when to rise the temperature and how fast.

There were even no problem to finish the fermentation despite our high alcohol levels. Since the acidity were higher than normal, we also preserved some more residual sugar. Our rule of thumb is to leave the same grammes per liter sugar as there are grammes of acidity.

The fermentation in all our tanks were finished in February.

Assemblage

The first week in May we organized the assemblage to our 2016 portfolio.

It was rather easy and logical to do. The best vineyard fractions we usually bottle separate, and the Genesis high 1st fraction was no exception to this.

However, the Bishop Backyard 2 fractions were a bit odd because of the harvest panic and the lack of nutrients, and to not risk to spread this uncertainty to other wines, we decided to assemble the two Bishop Backyards fractions into one wine.

Further on, the Genesis 2nd fractions were mixed with the remaining 1st fractions into one premium wine.

The remaining 2nd fractions were mixed with all vineyard 3rd fractions into one base wine.

Totally we got four 2016 wines which will give us totally around 12 000 bottles.

Labels theme

The theme for the labels for our four 2016 wines is Asia. During the fermentation in the winter, we were visiting Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, with so many impressions, which were quite enough also for some wine labels. The bottling will be in June, and then we will also present the labels here.

Banana Split
Banana Split

Taken into account how much monkeys love bananas, it is quite adorable how this monkey tries to split his banana with the golden goddess.

For details about the wine, see fact overview

Chicken year
Chicken Year

2017 is the year of the rooster. However, this modern rooster is feminist, and wants more to be seen as a chicken.

For details about the wine, see fact overview

Street smart
Street Smart

Many dangers lurk in the city, and this threat wasn't taken serious by the vespa driver.

For details about the wine, see fact overview

Tie mania
Tie Mania

In this corner of the world, every market has a wide range of ties to offer, and it is unavoidable to not buy too many.

For details about the wine, see fact overview

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