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millésime (F)
vintage (GB)
cosecha (ES)
annata (I)
ano (PO)

Significant influence on the quality of wine has in addition soil type. varieties and the winegrower's art climate, Wines sometimes reflect a considerable extent in the weather-related, often very specific peculiarities of a year. In this context, one speaks of vintage-related typicality, for example, wines can have a "vintage-typical botrytis "Or due to heat spells a" roasted note " respectively. In warm growing areas, the fluctuations are usually not so strong, the deviations lower. In contrast, weather-related differences can be significant in cooler growing areas, such as the Italian regions Piedmont and Tuscany, in Austria the winegrowing area Wachau and the wine regions in the state Styria, the German growing area Moselle, as well as the French regions Burgundy. Bordeaux. Alsace and Loire,

Criteria for a wine: topography, soil type, climate, grape variety, vinification and vintage
© Norbert Tischelmayer

From the Bordeaux comes the statement that the Châteaux do not produce good wine, but only good vintages or even only good bottles. Although climate and weather conditions are often similar for very large areas and even for countries within a year (although, of course, the climate does not abide by national borders), quality can vary from area to area, location to location and even location to be very different in location within the year. Therefore, one can speak only very generally of a certain vintage quality and may understand this only as a relatively rough guide and not for all producers.

In a "small vintage" the wines usually have less total extract (especially at flavorings ) and alcohol content, As a rule, such wines ripen faster and reach their peak or the former maturity, Great influence also has the kind of expansion. Wines with barrel aging or. Barrique usually have a longer one durability as those in the steel tank. Special vintages were mentioned already in the antique, to the oldest wines counts the famous Falernian "Opimianer" from 121 BC. However, mostly only the very bad (by weather, wars, pests or other disasters) and the particularly good years were documented. In addition, it used to be common in a barrel to simply add the new vintage.

The best wines of very special years are poetically as Wine of the century designated. A vintage that was also significant from a historical point of view was, for example, the legendary one 1811er (further stresses are under oldest wines mentioned). The description of the following years and / or wines comes partly from the documentation "vintage chronicle, wine in the last 2000 years" by Peter H. Jordan. This is also a short historical outline of viticulture. The remarks are often related to certain wine-growing regions and of course can not be valid in principle for whole countries and all wines. Unless otherwise stated, they are mainly for Germany and Austria:

121 BC Chr. - first documented vintage of the wine history, from this year comes the famous Falernerwein "Opimianer"

306, 312, 411, 545, 585, 604 - crop failures

765 - blessed wine year, thanksgiving of King Pippin III. (714-768) - Father Charlemagne

900 to 1350 - this long period is called Medieval warm period which followed from 1450 to 1850 a very long cold period, the so-called Little ice age

987 - very hot and dry year, complete crop failure

1150 - Crisis years on the Moselle and Rhine, probably due to overproduction due to the enormous increase of vineyards due to the climatic warm phase led to a large emigration wave of winegrowers, especially in the Carpathian region

1185 - great wine in large quantities, beginning of reading 1 August

1293, 1295, 1297 - exquisite wine in abundance

1343 - a wine from Lindenfels-Pfalz was still served in the 17th century in Heidelberg Castle

1346 - catastrophic year, extreme frost in mid-September

1407 - Strong winter frosts, Rhine frozen over, many vineyards destroyed

1437 - Heavy frosts, extreme winter destroys the vineyards on the Vistula

1443 - extremely sour and inedible wine, so he was asked for mortar in the construction of the Wiener Stephansdomes used; see also under Reif biter

1450 - After a warm period of about 900 to 1350 began the so-called Little ice age, which lasted with different phases until about 1850

1484 - very good vintage with huge quantities, over one million liters of old wine was dumped into Lake Constance to make room in the barrels

1485-1488 - four-year period of crop failure and poor, acidic wines

1525 - a good vintage, the wine was proven to be still served in 1730 in Strasbourg hospital cellar

1526 - in the Burgenland community Donnerskirchen (Austria) became a Trockenbeerenauslese pressed, which was still edible after 326 years and as Lutherwein became famous

1529 - bad vintage with sour wines - see also below Turks wine

1530 - bad vintage, grapes very sour, wine almost inedible

1540 - a millennium year; it was so hot that the Rhine dried up; a Würzburger stone was drunk 421 years later and was edible

1606 - very good vintage, hot summer, great Tokaj

1628 - as bad as it has not been for 100 years, even the vinegar was spoiled

1632 - very bad year, unusual heat and drought from mid-July to mid-September, destruction of many vineyards by the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)

1645 - Bad year; in the "Heilbronner Chronik" it is reported that the "sour wine may well be called 'Franzos'"

1659 - first of viticulture pioneer Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677) produced vintage in South Africa with 15 liters of muscatel wine

1679 - one Madeira This vintage with intact original cork was made in 1999 by Michael Broadbent tasted and found very good

1703 - very bad year, the cooper Hans Jakob Erni was executed because he "improved" the bad wines of 1701 and 1703 and some people died from it

1709 - extreme frost in the French area of Pays Nantais on the Loire, which caused many vines to freeze (see below) Muscadet )

1726 - exquisite wines in the richest abundance

1727 - in terms of quantity and quality a large vintage in Germany; the so-called "Rüdesheimer Apostelwein "(Rheingau) from this year stored in" Bremer Ratskeller "

1735 - a Rheingau wine of this vintage from the winery Castle Schönborn was auctioned in 1987 for around € 27,000

1748 - one Castle Johannisberg was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) served on his 66th birthday and a copy of this wine was still edible in 1985 at the age of 237 years, Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) gets a 1748 Rheinwein in Cologne as a gift

1766 - excellent vintage, was demonstrably drunk in 1780

1775 - very good vintage with magnificent wine, first Botrytis late harvest in the Castle Johannisberg with the famous story of Spätlesereiter

1776 - very good year, wines from the years 1748, 1775 and 1776 were still offered in 1830 in Hochheim as "fine, old vintages"

1786 and 1787 - bad wine, "to be used only for farmhands, maids and day laborers"

1794 - supposedly first Eiswein in Germany (Franconia)

1804 - exceptionally good, mature vintage

1811 - one as comet vintages, Napoleon wine and Wine of the century designated legendary vintage in many growing areas of Europe; to emphasize Château d'Yquem and that of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe mentioned famous " 1811er ", A Riesling from Bassermann-Jordan

1816 and 1817 - gross misdeeds; the grapes were already frozen before maturity, 1816 went down in the northeast of America and in the west and south of Europe in the history as a "year without a summer", referred to in Germany as a misery "Eighteenth Hundred"

1821 - bad year, almost nothing was harvested

1830 - frosty year (the end of a very long frost period from 1799 to 1830), which also made the cultivation of the frost hardy Riesling forced, there was the first documentary evidence Eiswein in Germany from the 1829 read near Bingen (Rheinhessen)

1840 and 1841 - the 1840 vintage is by George Saintsbury (1845-1933) in his famous "Notes of a Cellarbook" as very good, but in 1841 described as bad

1846 - documented ice wine in Germany

1857 - very good vintage, exceptionally hot summer, the wines are characterized as "Sommerwonnen-Bronnentrank, as a mild, wild potion", for the Fuder (about 1,000 liters) Scharzhofberger (Mosel) were paid up to 13,000 Taler, for the best Mosel wines to 15,000 Taler

1858 - very good vintage (see also under comet vintages ), documentary evidence Eiswein on Castle Johannisberg in Germany

1861 - very good vintage (see also under comet vintages )

1864, 1865, 1867 and 1870 - some exceptionally good years with Century wines; This period went down in history as the so-called "golden Bordeaux era" (as in June 1940 by the German occupiers of the wine cellars of the famous restaurant La Tour d'Argent was robbed in Paris, especially these years were saved by just before occurred walling in a niche of the cellar)

1870 - above-average vintage, the average yield of the years 1870 to 1879 in Germany was 17 hectoliters per hectare

1877 to 1883 - consistently poor years with mostly cold, wet summers

1880 - documentary evidence Eiswein in Germany

1886 - for the first time in many years a very good vintage with low crop yields

1888 - miserable year, the vintage describes the poem "Der 88er Wein"

1890 - documentary evidence Eiswein in Germany

1893 - outstanding year with many Century wines, Competitor to 1811, excellent noble rot, the best Fuder Scharzhofberger (Moselle) cost 10,500 marks (10.50 marks per liter), German wines of this vintage were awarded at the World Fair as the world's best

1900 - very good and sought after vintage, a so-called "picture book summer"

1911 - very good vintage (see also under comet vintages ), blazing hot summer ( drought year ), a Riesling Auslese from the Rheingau was tasted in 1996

1921 - long and very hot summer, some fruit trees flourished a second time, outstanding wines in Germany (here was the term widow wine used) and France Bordeaux

1926 - very good vintage, especially France (Bordeaux)

1928 - very good vintage, especially France (Bordeaux)

1929 - very good vintage, in many parts of Europe hot, long summer, especially many top wines from Bordeaux (a "glorious year")

1937 - some Wines of the century in France-Burgundy and Germany; in Germany with outstanding, extremely long-lived Rieslings of Rhine and Moselle, excellent predicate wines (Spätlesen, Trockenbeerenauslese - see under Steinberg ), at the christening in Neustadt (Pfalz) the wine was called "Bomber" (two years later they fell); in Burgundy there were top quality Pinot Noir, for example from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

1945 - very good vintage, many exceptional wines - the "Peace Year Wines"; see examples below Wine of the century

1947 - very good vintage, especially France (Bordeaux), also in Austria

1949 - very good vintage, especially in France (Bordeaux, Burgundy), also partly in Austria and Germany

1951 - very bad year due to heavy rains in May and early summer, extremely bad in Bordeaux (Michael Broadbent in the "New Great Vintage Wine Book": Terrible, the worst post-war vintage and one of the most disastrous ever ")

1953 - very good vintage, in France (Bordeaux) and in Germany for noble sweet wines

1956 - a bad year in many countries; extreme low temperatures to minus 30 ° Celsius and frost in many European countries (eg France, Germany, Austria), which also led to the destruction of many vineyards

1959 - century vintage, many exceptional wines in Germany a. France

1961 - a world-wide vintage with long-lived wines, especially in Bordeaux but also in Spain, Italy and overseas (Australia, California)

1966 - a century vintage specifically France-Burgundy and also Germany

1968 - large harvests of moderate quality in Austria, bad vintage with low cider levels in Germany

1970 - Record harvest in Austria with acidified wines, big Eiswein year in Germany

1976 - long heatwave and drought in Europe, partly Wines of the century, in Germany outstanding vintage with Botrytis wines (the wines were called "Sonneschlucker" or "Bikini wines" - because the harvest was also made by "lightly clad" staff)

1976 to 1984 - Austria became incorporated in 1985 wine scandal Uncovered, some producers were crying diethylene glycol The first affected vintage was in 1976, increasing the years 1980 to 1984

1979 - above-average vintage in Germany, long-lasting wines in Austria - special qualities in Burgenland and Styria

1982 - very good vintage, especially France (a "miracle year" in Bordeaux), Germany's largest wine harvest of all time, also in Austria bumper crop

1983 - Germany's second largest grape harvest of all time, famous was the Grange 1983 from the Australian winery Penfolds

1984 - Cold weather in the spring, bad vintage in Germany and Austria with very few good wines

1985 - very good vintage, especially France (Bordeaux, Rhône), some Wines of the century, severe frost damage in Austria, had a negative impact on 1986

1986 - The Chernobyl year (accident in the nuclear reactor), very good vintage, especially France (Bordeaux) and wines from the appellations Montrachet in Burgundy

1987 - in the spring late frost damage, late blooms, nevertheless good vintage

1988 - large crops with different qualities

1989 - very good vintage, especially in France (Bordeaux) with wines rich in alcohol and tannin

1990 - outstanding vintage, applies to many wines in Europe and overseas

Only after passing to wine in bottles to fill in, the distinction began in vintages. From about the beginning of the 19th century, monasteries keep accurate information about each year. Today an attempt is made to represent the quality of a vintage divided into countries, regions and territories. This is to provide clues for tasting, wine review or purchase of wines. Of course, vintage tables are not static and are by no means valid for all eternity, but must be updated annually to reflect the evolution of the wines by the aging or. bottle aging to take into account. Society International Wine & Food Society already published in 1935 one of the first vintage tables ever. Since then, an updated table is published annually. The wine evaluation is the responsibility of a specially commissioned committee, in which three Masters-of-Wine-members are represented.

A vintage table can only be a rough guide. Even within a small area, the wines are rarely of consistent quality. A good example is 1964, where a generalization of the quality of all the wines of a country (specifically Bordeaux-France) would be wrong. This year there were heavy rains during the main reading time. Those wineries that harvested before the rain achieved excellent results, such as Château Latour, Many others but how Château Beychevelle. Château Calon-Ségur. Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Mouton-Rothschild, harvested (too) late and produced sooner thin, body-weak wines whose peak was already exceeded after a few years.

Some producers or areas mention special vintages. These are Barbaresco. Bardolino. Barolo. Brunello di Montalcino. Château Haut-Brion. Château Lafite-Rothschild. Château Latour. Château Le Pin. Château Mouton-Rothschild. Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Château Palmer. Château Pétrus. Château d'Yquem. Chianti Classico. Côte Rôtie. Opus One. Penfold's Grange. Sassicaia and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, These are regularly among the best and most expensive wines in the world for, at Auctions highest prices are achieved. See also below oldest wines and Wine of the century as well as under Records,

World's largest wine knowledge database, made with by our author Norbert Tischelmayer.

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