Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt | Vintage reports

Vintage reports

  • 2023

    Vintage report

    Start of harvest
    End of harvest
    Total area
    50 hl/ha

    The weather was quite exceptional during the 2023 growing season. Spring was kind to us this time, with mild temperatures and adequate rainfall leading to early flowering. The summer months were warm and bright, and our grapes ripened beautifully under plenty of sunshine. After wet conditions in late summer, they benefited from a wonderful early autumn through to harvest. Our final crop, which we mainly picked by hand, was healthy and intensely flavoured. The vintage was of outstanding quality and also offered us options at the higher Prädikat levels. This was down to impeccable fruit, but it also reflected the meticulous and devoted manner in which we sorted and handled our ‘raw material’. We expect 2023 to produce harmonious, fruit-forward wines.

    The late-summer rain increased the risk of bunch rot, forcing us to begin picking earlier than usual. We started with our very ripe Pinot varieties. Next in line was our Ortswein village fruit from Piesport, Graach, Kasel and Wiltingen, where we were delighted to bring in particularly healthy grapes. Very sunny days had been punctuated by cool nights in the final weeks to harvest, meaning that sweetness levels were perfect for our intended categories of wine. After Ortswein, it was time to pick the fruit for our famous Riesling Kabinetts. Then we passed through the VDP.Grosse Lage® vineyards to select our Spätlesen and Grosse Gewächse.

    The wines of the new vintage exhibit very site-specific characteristics on the nose and palate. Acidity is pronounced but balanced. The fermentations were nice and slow, helping to preserve and amplify the aromas and flavours in our fledgling wines. Our Kabinetts are light in body and currently show fresh, delicate and fruit-driven characters. This makes us even more excited about the Spätlesen and Grosse Gewächse to follow.

    We cannot wait for you to taste the wonderful wines from the 2023 vintage. In the meantime, we hope you continue enjoying our amazing bottles from earlier vintages.

    Morscheid in december 2023
  • 2022

    Vintage report

    Start of harvest
    End of harvest
    Total area
    48 hl/ha

    Except for the odd rainy day, the weather in January and February was uneventful. The following months were dryer than the long-term average. April was a relatively warm month, fortunately helping to keep damaging spring frosts at bay. Bud burst began as early as 16 April on the Mosel. As usual, bud break followed around a week later on the Saar and Ruwer.


    Flowering came early at the start of June, coinciding with some extremely hot, dry weather. The vines suffered somewhat in these conditions, producing a less-than-perfect fruit set. However, the resultant grape bunches were nice and loose and consequently less prone to disease.

    Summer 2022 was extremely hot at times. Rainfall was also scarce. It was not until the end of August that the heavens finally opened. These downpours were plentiful if a little late. But not too late. This is because many of our vines have already reached middle or old age and are much more able to cope with drought, thanks to roots that dig deep into the soil to obtain the moisture that they need.


    With bud burst and flowering having occurred relatively early, picking also started ahead of time on 16 September 2022. Conditions during the first half of the harvest were unusually cool but mostly dry and sunny. Occasional showers punctuated the remainder of the picking season. This rainfall was conducive to the development of botrytis (noble rot) as the grape skins became thinner, necessitating meticulous selection of the fruit. Overall, we brought in a remarkably diverse, fruit-driven range of potential wines blessed with harmonious acidity.


    Fast-forward to the end of November 2022, and most of our fledgling Rieslings and Pinots are still fermenting. However, these wines are already very balanced and fruity in their unfinished state, with fine, vibrant acidity and moderate alcohol.


    2022 promises to be a wonderful vintage, running the gamut from fresh entry-level and village wines (Gutsweine and Ortsweine) to dry, off-dry and sweet VDP.Grosse Lagen®.


    In the meantime, we hope you continue to enjoy our amazing wines from 2021, 2020 and even further back.

    Morscheid in december 2022
  • 2021

    Vintage report

    Start of harvest
    End of harvest
    Total area
    52 hl/ha
    December 2020 and January 2021 were very mild and also quite wet, while February and March were warmer and drier than average.

    The weather turned unseasonably cold in April and May, with temperatures almost 3 °C below the long-term average. Hence, bud burst was much later than usual – at the beginning of May on the Mosel, and around ten days later on the Saar and Ruwer. By the end of May, our vines were about three weeks behind where they were in 2020.

    Conditions finally changed in June as temperatures rose, although thundery outbreaks and heavy rain also punctuated the warmer weather. Nevertheless, this led to an explosion of vegetation. At favourable sites such as our monopole Josephshöfer, flowering was over by early to mid-June – more or less in keeping with the previous year. Our later-ripening sites on the Ruwer saw a spell of cold weather that turned flowering into a protracted affair, leading to a poor fruit set in places.

    Summer itself was unusually cold and much too wet in relative terms. Rainfall exceeded normal levels by 140 % in July and by 55 % in August. Such inclement growing conditions, which have become the exception to the rule these days, exposed our vines to considerable disease pressure.

    A late bud burst meant that we also started picking very late, on 5 October 2021, in rather cool, cloudy, showery conditions. Thanks to our meticulous work in the vineyards, we were able to hand-pick fruit with an average must weight of 80 degrees Oechsle – including a batch of Riesling from Juffer-Sonnenuhr at peak ripeness.
    The 2021 crop is small in size but high in quality, currently translating into wines with crunchy, fresh acidity, low alcohol, and fine fruit notes.

    We cannot wait to showcase this classic Riesling vintage in the very near future.

    Morscheid, January 2022
  • 2020

    Vintage report

    Start of harvest
    End of harvest
    Total area
    67 hl/ha

    With the exception of some notable rain in mid-February, it was a very dry winter.

    Dry and warm weather in spring was the signal for our vines to wake up quickly from their winter slumber.

    Aided by very kind temperatures, bud burst was a rapid, straightforward affair – occurring at the start of April in our steep vineyards on the Mittelmosel and around seven days later on the Saar and Ruwer.

    Frosts in April and May inflicted damage on two of our vineyard plots in the cooler tributary valleys of the Saar and Ruwer. Many of the affected vines produced new shoots thereafter, their grapes ripening slightly later as a consequence.

    Subsequent flowering from early to mid-June went smoothly, resulting in almost zero yield losses.
    Apart from the odd torrential downpour in some villages on the Mittelmosel, we experienced another dry summer in 2020.

    A sudden heatwave at the beginning of August – and the intense sunlight that came with it – caused sunburn on some of our fruit. However, the consistently high temperatures also meant that our vines were spared almost any fungal issues.

    When picking began in the balmy late-summer conditions of mid-September, our grapes were therefore in a more or less pristine condition, showing perfect physiological ripeness.

    During the second half of the harvest, temperatures fell to an average of 10°C as rain set in.

    After holding fire for three days, we finally picked a Trockenbeerenauslese in a wonderful quality fruit in our Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Grosse Lage to conclude the 2020 season.

    With grapes of perfect ripeness producing average must weights of around 85 degrees Oechsle, we once again have an outstanding basis for a varied array of unique, terroir-inflected wines.

    True to the Kesselstatt ethos, our fruit was carefully selected and picked by hand before being gently vinified in our modern cellar.

    We look forward these tremendous wines in the making – a fascinating 2020 vintage of stellar quality from entry level to Trockenbeerenauslese.

    Morscheid, December 2020

  • 2019

    Vintage report

    Start of harvest
    End of harvest
    Total area
    35 hl/ha
    Meticulous selection pays off.
    We were all still revelling in the sunny, abundant afterglow of 2018 when the new growing season began. Only a moderate amount of rain had replenished our dry soils in the winter months. We therefore decided to work our vineyards in a way that would optimise the root surface area and consequent water uptake of our vines, so as to keep any nutrient deficiencies or drought stress to an absolute minimum during the new season.

    The buds began to swell in mid-April amid temperatures 2°C warmer than the long-term average. This was the first sign that growth was imminent. Then it finally happened during Easter weekend: green shoots appeared in all our vineyards within a matter of days.

    Such an early bud burst – an undeniable symptom of climate change – increases the risk of spring frost damage. And, lo and behold, the mercury fell below zero on 5 and 6 May. Just a few hours of frost were enough to kill many fledgling shoots, cutting our crop by around 25% even at this early stage. Our vineyards on the Saar and Ruwer were particularly affected, whereas the Mittelmosel came away unscathed for the most part.

    Spring and summer were very sunny, and flowering turned out to be a very swift affair from the middle to the end of July in all three river valleys. Fruit development was excellent in our old vineyards, even though we could have done with a few more litres of rainfall as opposed to two heatwaves. Temperatures in the Saar Valley hit a record high of 41.6°C at the end of July, while a spike of 35°C also occurred at the end of August. This led to further crop losses, with sunburn inflicting serious damage to all exposed grapes and stems.

    By the end of summer, the grape skins were quite firm and unyielding due the scarcity of water available to the vines during the initial cell-division stage of berry development.  Grapes  started  splitting  once the rain  set in at  the  beginning of the

    harvest, because the bunches became saturated  and could no longer withstand the pressure. The fruit kept on splitting as unfavourable weather continued during picking. This inevitably led to grape rot. We therefore had no choice but to select meticulously, passing through each vineyard several times to obtain the quality (and ripeness levels) that we wanted.

    The harvest began on 23 September and ended on 17 October, yielding 35 hl/ha of juice. Oechsle levels were generally between 90 and 110 degrees. We also brought in a Trockenbeerenauslese from Piesporter Goldtröpfchen that reached 233 degrees Oechsle.

    Our wonderful team of pickers deserve a huge thank you. They worked tirelessly in challenging weather conditions and were indispensable in ensuring that fruit of the highest order arrived safely at the winery.

    As Euripides once said: “Much effort, much prosperity.”

    Rest assured, 2019 is an exceptional vintage. We can all look forward to intricately structured wines showing vibrant, delicate acidity and concentrated fruit.

    Morscheid, 2nd December 2019
  • 2018

    Vintage report

    Start of harvest
    End of harvest
    Total area
    63 hl/ha
    A year of superlatives
    Sun-blessed – there is no better way to describe the fantastic vintage just passed. The dreamy days of summer 2018 will live long in the memory. Our grapes enjoyed the sun as much as we did, the extra warmth resulting in exceptional levels of ripeness, flavour and minerality as well as excellent quantities.

    The year started very wet with what seemed like three months of non-stop rain. In hindsight, this was a godsend – as if Mother Nature already knew what was to follow. The precipitation helped to replenish our water tables before the new growing season began.
    Spring was warm and dry – ideal conditions for an early bud burst. As if on cue, the first shoots already began appearing on 20 April, which was even earlier than the previous year. More than ever, we held our collective breath and prayed for those late frosts to stay away. Luckily, our prayers were answered.

    With plentiful groundwater and sunshine at their disposal, our vines shot up in no time – so much so that they had already begun to adapt to the weather by the time it came for us to prune the leaves. All our vines on the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer developed at the same pace. From a prolific fruit set came wonderfully loose clusters, thanks to perfect weather during blossoming. The mercury rose and the weather became lovelier with each day. Our summer was Mediterranean-like – more Monaco than Morscheid.

    Only our youngest vines were a little less happy, as their roots have not yet reached the necessary depth to get through dry periods completely unscathed. Our older vines on the other hand – blessed with generous and, crucially, deep root systems – had no problems coping at all. On the contrary, the grapes that we picked from these venerable holdings were golden yellow, sweet and fully ripe, with unerring acidity and fruity succulence. Add to this the gratifying size of this year’s crop, and it is no wonder we are over the moon.

    Our fruit was outstanding at all quality and Prädikat wine levels. We were fortunate enough to select Trockenbeerenauslesen – the pinnacle of any vintage – from a number of different sites including Kaseler Nies’chen. Oechsle levels reached up to 260 degrees.  At cool cellar temperatures, the natural ferments took a while to kick into action. However, our embryonic wines already show pure fruit expression and promising spontaneous fermentation aromas. We really have a marvellous vintage in the making.

    Morscheid, 12th November 2018
  • 2017

    Vintage report

    Start of harvest
    End of harvest
    25 hl/ha
    Total area
    31 hl/ha
    A year of challenges

    Looking back, there is something unique about every vintage. ‘I’ve never experienced a year like it’ is a well-worn phrase that held true in 2017 – another eventful season in which Mother Nature again showed who was boss. Faced with weather extremes such as frost, heat and drought, as well as the knowledge that rain will fall sooner or later, a vintner must keep calm and deal judiciously with the circumstances that they encounter.

    The year began with a very warm spring that resulted in an early bud burst. Late frost posed a big threat – and three cold nights in April confirmed our fears, damaging shoots that were already well developed. Winegrowers and fruit farmers were badly hit throughout Europe. A spell of fine weather thereafter helped the secondary shoots to grow quickly, partially mitigating the frost-related shortfall. Conditions were near perfect during flowering, with moderate temperatures and very low rainfall in June.

    The spring heatwave also had a sting in its tail, however, with our young vines in particular suffering from considerable drought stress, given that the water balance in our vineyards was already negative following a dry winter. On the other hand, our old vines benefited from the longer growing cycle thanks to their deep roots providing sufficient water nutrition. Time seemed to fly, and before we knew it our grapes had more or less ripened two weeks ahead of the long-term average – although a wet July and August had unfortunately caused some premature botrytis.

    We mustered a 52-strong team of men and women to begin the preliminary harvest on 21 September – thus making the 2017 picking season the earliest in the estate’s history. Above all, we focused on meticulously selecting grapes for our Trockenbeerenauslesen and Beerenauslesen, as well as separating healthy from botrytis-affected fruit, and unripe from ripe grapes.

    This hard work gave us stunning results. Piesporter Goldtröpfchen posted 192 degrees – our highest Oechsle reading on the Mosel. During what was a relatively short harvest, acidity levels fell from an initial high of 13 g/l to 9-10 g/l. Our grapes’ aromatics also changed day by day, shedding their vegetative notes and developing ripeness and concentration. The fermenting musts and fledgling wines are very fresh and fruity, with thrilling tension on the finish. Our Grosse Gewächse, sourced from plots with minimal pruning, are already showing impressive power, persistence and terroir expression.

    Ultimately, 2017 was a year of extremes that threw up a wide range of challenges and conundrums in our three winegrowing valleys, the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer.
    However, the results owe everything to the terroir at our disposal, Mother Nature, and the hard work of our team.

    Another exciting, characterful vintage is in the making.

Wappen: Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt