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Harvest report 2023 from Germany’s Nahe: Challenging year brings great wines

by Bettina Bäck
Karsten Peter is delighted with the exciting 2023 vintage, which is now in the cellar.

The 2023 vintage at Gut Hermannsberg is already being described as exceptional. The weather was very rainy at times, then extremely dry, and in the end the harvest was completed a month earlier than usual at record temperatures. With flexibility, quick action and an extraordinary attention to detail, winemaker Karsten Peter and his team were able to bring into the Gut Hermannsberg’s cellar an exciting vintage, from which great things can be expected. 

Sunny weather during the 2023 harvest.
Sunny weather during the 2023 harvest. ©Gut Hermannsberg

Winter

Every drop of rain was essential after five very dry, warm years (with the exception of 2021). Fortunately, there was sufficient rainfall to replenish the water reserves in the soil, providing a buffer for whatever might come in the summer. 

Spring

With full reservoirs and an absence of the often-frequent frosty nights that always cause winegrowers to worry, conditions were almost perfect. The development of the young shoots progressed rapidly and the vines were treated with fantastic weather for flowering.

Summer

The long dry phase in summer ended at the perfect time, just before the start of ripening, with significant rainfall. It rained gently but in large quantities for nearly all of August. To protect against the summer heat and sunburn, only a few leaves had been removed until then. In the wet August, however, the best possible ventilation of the grapes was the order of the day to protect them from rot. So, it was time to get everyone out into the vineyard and remove the leaves!

Karsten Peter im Weinkeller von Gut Hermannsberg

It is becoming increasingly important to be flexible, nimbly react to new conditions and to learn from previous years. This requires enormous commitment from our team in the vineyards, many thousands of hours of labour by hand and the greatest dynamism in all decisions – and, of course, an obsession with detail

is winemaker Karsten Peter’s summary of the 2023 harvest.

Autumn

All the effort paid off in the end, because as the start of the harvest approached, it became readily apparent how valuable all those hours in the vineyards had been. Harvesting the grapes for the Sekt base wine began earlier than planned, namely on 9. September and at temperatures of over 30 °C, and then almost went into overdrive. The experienced team harvested parcel after parcel at record-breaking speed under these dream conditions, and the harvest was completed on 5. October – around a month earlier than usual!

In the cellar

Incredibly complex, dense, with almost energetic tension…these are all attributes that the Gut Hermannsberg team likes to hear about its wines. Straight out of the press, this year’s must already delivered this impression before it made its way to the fermentation barrels. Karsten Peter and the rest of the Gut Hermannsberg team are full of joy about what has been brought into the cellar in 2023 and are now keeping a watchful eye on the development of an exceptional vintage.

Gut Hermannsberg view winery and Hermannsberg
Gut Hermannsberg view winery and Hermannsberg ©Nils Weiler

About the Nahe

Located in the Hunsrück Hills between the Rhine and Mosel valleys, the Nahe has 4,200 hectares of vineyards (of which 550 are classified as VDP). It may one of Germany’s smaller wine regions but is notable for the striking geological diversity of its soil, even within single vineyards. The vineyards are located near the Nahe river and its tributaries Glan and Alsenz. Rieslings play a leading role here, and are characterised by their elegance and delicate structure.

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About Gut Hermannsberg

The original “Royal Prussian Winegrowing Domaine” was founded in 1902 as a state-run model winery for Riesling. It is notable for its picturesque location above the Nahe River (90 minutes southwest of Frankfurt am Main). Every one of the storied estate’s 30 hectares of vineyard has been classified by the VDP as a GROSSE.LAGE.

Gut Hermannsberg
Vormals Königlich-Preussische Weinbaudomäne
55585 Niederhausen
Deutschland

Gut Hermannsberg

Gut Hermannsberg Winzer
Bettina Bäck von Wine+Partners
Bettina Bäck
Senior Project Manager

Bettina has been with Wine&Partners since 2002, with countless projects domestic and international under her belt. She currently manages sommelier world champion Marc Almert, the culinary think tank Koch.Campus, the Styrian wineries Weingut Muster.Gamlitz, Weingut Langmann and the STK wineries, the culinary concept store Kärntnerei and the Kozlović wine estate in Istria.