New York Riesling Diary: Day 12 – An Open Letter to the Middle of the Row, by Caitlin Harrison

Caitlin Harrison worked the 2013 crush at Weingut Eva Vollmer in Mainz-Ebersheim/Rheinhessen. This is her second and final report:

Upon a full two week’s reflection since I saw you last, and after many carefully thought out explanations of your production to those interested in my time spent with you, I ask you, middle of each row, a simple question:

Why? Why did you give us such an opportunity to be disappointed with you? You just love to hold on to all of that moisture, convert it into Pilze, botrytis, rot, WHATEVER, and not fully explore your potential in this singular function of harvest. You just wanted to be difficult, and you succeeded. You dusty mistress of destruction. You mocked hand lesen, and I kind of hate you for it.

You heard all of us hand pickers marvel at the precious fruits residing at the beginning and end of every steeply terraced slope, but you obviously felt we didn’t deserve happiness. You liked the murmuring of slight disbelief as we assessed your fruit. You enjoyed watching us find only little beauty and health within your clusters and dust out the carefully crafted, impolite rot. You might have even laughed at our befuddled expressions. It wasn’t cool, mid-row.

Eva and Robert choose to let you live a natural life (organic viticulture!) They don’t manipulate you and your health, they instead provide you every opportunity to live. They love watching everything from the satiated worms work through your soil, to a good old fashioned bud break and further, a normal maturity. You gave that to them. Then you succumbed to the rain. Weak.

And don’t get me wrong, as with misbehaving children, not ALL of you are responsible for this upset, but the ones who are KNOW who they are. And while you gave us some grief, not all was lost. Great wine will be made of what we worked so diligently to find in you. But your efforts put a damper on an already damp harvest.

So my words of advice for the future are this: next time if you are considering showing up in the fall in the same fashion, just, don’t.

Or, do, and we will make the best of you. Either way…

Caitlin “Uffmudler” Harrison

(Uffmudler is local dialect in Mainz that means someone that stirs something very thoroughly, or a mixer. I translate it to mover and shaker, and I think it sounds amazing.)

Caitlin Harrison
Student of Riesling. And German. And German Riesling.


PS We’ll hear moor from Caitlin after her return to Lenox/MA!

PPS If you have something important to say and wish to become a guest author on this blog please get in touch with me!



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