Top quality wine starts in the vineyard. Correspondingly much attention is paid to the work in the vineyard and the quality standards which Fritz Keller has introduced are also equally high. The stringent and extensive quality management parameters include, inter alia, the following:
- superior plant material
- selected vineyards
- old vineyards: the minimum age for Pinot Blanc is 10 years, and for Pinot Noir 15 years
- yield reduction by bunch division: in the early summer bunches are divided by hand ie the bottom half is cut off so that the remaining berries can develop optimum concentration and ripeness
- targeted canopy management
- green harvest (here small and relatively late developed bunches are cut out with the goal of improving wine quality)
- selective harvesting
- classic traditional vinification in the cellar
Please click on a photo for a larger view
- An old Pinot Noir vine. For the Fritz Keller Edition wines the vines have an average age of over 20 years.
- The parcels are recorded and entered into a land register map. This allows for total quality assessment.
- The grape bunches are divided by hand in early summer. The bottom half is cut off so that the remaining berries can develop optimum concentration and ripeness. This photo shows fully ripe, divided bunches.
- Vitis vines identification within a vineyard boundary.
The extensive guidance from Fritz Keller and the Vitis oenologists, as well as the individual quality management systems of the growers and co-operatives involved, ensures that quality requirements are observed and implemented. Every plot of vines is reviewed for suitability for the project and is accompanied and monitored during the growing season. Sometimes defects may need to be rectified and some plots may even be barred from the project.
Vitis has developed its own standards for harvesting, vinification and maturation of the wines, which largely correspond to traditional artisanal methods of wine-making. Consultants are at hand to guide the cellarmasters during the whole process.