Verus letniki

VINTAGES

Due to the constantly alternating warm, cold, rainy and sunny periods, the vintages differ greatly from one year to the next. They may sometimes look similar, but no two vintages are quite the same.

From the beginning of the growth period to the end of the harvest, we monitor the weather daily. On the basis of meteorological data and many years of experience, we decide on what needs to be done in the vineyard, paying special attention as harvest approaches. This is how we attain the best possible quality and desired style of wine in any vintage and in all varieties.

Verus 2016

2016

The cold January, when temperatures were most of the time below zero, was followed by an above-average warm February, March and April. Bud bursting started a bit earlier, which brings always along the risk of spring frost.

By the end of April, when the offshoot already developed 4-5 leaves, the climate experienced a sharp cool down. As of 26th April the temperatures have fallen below zero on lower areas, in valleys they were recorded up to -4oC. In addition, 10 cm of snow has fallen the day after. What followed were three days of great uncertainty. Some more snow, a bit low temperatures and we could have lost the entire harvest.

The vines recovered after a few days and the growth continued in its normal pace. The blooming started on 2nd June and progressed without any problems. The vineyards in Ivanjkovci and Jeruzalem were hit by hail on 6th July but the grapes remained unharmed. The summer was relatively cold and the ripening was slowed down.

The end of August experienced a sunny and dry weather and the harvest started on 9th September. Due to fine weather no major problems occurred and the harvest ended on 6th October with the Furmint vineyard in Jeruzalem.

Vintage 2016 was truly dramatic. We have survived the spring frost and hail without major consequences and produced grapes that fully meet our high-set measures.

Verus 2015

2015

Winter was warm. In January there were some days with an average temperature above 8°C, which in theory is enough to trigger the start of vegetation. February was colder but there were no extreme low temperatures.

April grew warm rapidly and budburst soon started. However, the weather remained dry and cooled down thus slowing the process down again. Flowering started on May 31th, a few days earlier than the long-term average. During flowering, the weather remained fine; flowering ended in just ten days for all varieties.

Summer was hot with enough rainfall. On August 16th, a brief hail storm in Jeruzalem village scared us. Due to their bigger grape size, only the Furmint grapes showeda small amount of damage. The affected berries dried out later thanks to hot days, dry weather and wind. This weather pattern accelerated ripening which meant that on southern sites harvest had to be done earlier than expected.

Harvest started on September the 2nd. The weather during the harvest was fine and very warm. The grapes were perfectly healthy and ripe. There were some rainy days at the end of September which interrupted the harvesting but the majority of the grapes were already in by then. The harvest ended in the first days of October. Shortly after our last day of harvest the weather quickly started to become cold and rainy for the rest of the month.

Thanks to the right harvest timing our fruit retained an excellent natural balance of acidity and aromatics. Because of our care to keep crop levels correct, the 2015 vintage wines have good, rich concentration and flavour.

Verus 2014

2014

Most of the winter weather was mild and without snow. At the end of January freezing rain paralyzed whole of Slovenia for 10 days, luckily with no serious damage in our vineyards.

Warm spring weather followed and budburst was early. Flowering started on 27th May with some rainy periods. Summer months were unusually cold and rainy with July and August recording rainfalls well above average. Dry and windy weather was expected for late summer but rainfall during September was recorded at 212 mm.

We started harvest on 17th September. Picking required a lot of patience and precision. We had to train our team of grape pickers to select only the ripe and healthy fruit.

The quality of grapes, which came to the winery, was excellent, though the yield loss was unfortunately huge: between 40% and 70 %. As a result of cold and prolonged ripening time, the varietal expression and flavour of our 2014 wines are beautiful.

Verus 2013

2013

The winter was quite long with much rain. January and February were hit by snowfalls of even up to 80 cm and the cold weather continued until the end of March. Melting snow in spring caused flooding in valleys, whereas those vineyards where the soil is heavier, numerous landslides occurred that swept away almost entire vineyards. Our vineyards, however, are located on lighter sandy soil, apart from the vineyard in Brebrovnik which consists of mostly clay soil.

The excessive soil moisture and hasty warming contributed to good bursting of buds and rich growth. The weather at the end of May worsened with morning temperatures falling below 10°C which nearly halted the growth. The blossoming started immediately after the warming or around June 7, which is a few days earlier from the recorded average in previous years, and completed in twelve days. The summer was marked by numerous exceptionally hot periods; 38°C were recorded on 8th August. The growth was lush with grapes developing very quickly and the ripening beginning quite early. The period from blossoming until ripening was significantly shorter from the usual time periods. The weather cooled down at the end of August bringing quite a number of rainy days.

The September, as well, was cooler from the average which slowed down the process of ripening.

We had to hurry up with the harvest in order to prevent fruit-rotting. We started the harvest with Sauvignon blanc vineyards on 8th September and finished with Furmint vineyards on 3rd October.

We experienced several rainy periods but still found some sunny days for the harvesting. Although we were deprived of a longer sunny and dry period, we were still glad of having some cool weather that helped us to preserve the varietal aromas during the harvest. In terms of volume, the produce was slightly below the projections.

Vintage 2013 is characterized by a long and cold winter with abundant snow, a changeable spring, and a summer whose first part was very hot while the second part was marked by excessively rainy and cool weather. Despite the lack of sun during harvesting, we can boast of quality grapes that revealed excellent varietal aromas.

Verus 2012

2012

Year started with warm January and very cold February. The coldest day was the 8th of February with -15°C. Due to very little precipitation during the winter there was a drought danger at the end of March. Bud growth started in the first days of April, but in the low land there was -1,6°C on 9th of April and some of Muskateller, Chardonnay and Furmint buds were damaged by the frost. Flowering started on 25th of May; same as last year and a week earlier than average. The summer was the hottest in the last years. We had very little precipitation but luckily in the right time, if the vineyard had balanced growth. The hottest day was August the 24th with 36°C.

The harvest started on 3rd of September. Because all varieties were ripe at once we had to speed up with harvest. The harvest ended on the last summer day the 21st of September, which never happened before. This was 3-4 weeks earlier than average.

During the harvest the grapes were in perfect condition, sugar levels high and surprisingly varietal characteristics preserved.

Vintage 2012 was very close to winter frost, very close to spring frost and spring drought. It was one of the hottest in the summer and the harvest finished before autumn started. Because of the balanced growth of the vines and good planning of the harvest we successfully overcome all the weather difficulties. The crop was 10% lower than expected but of excellent quality.

Verus 2011

2011

We experienced a moderate winter, however, it was long-lasting. The low temperatures lasted all the way to the end of March. This was followed by a sudden and considerable rise in temperature that accelerated the budding. We were concerned about the occasional spring cool spells. In the beginning of May, when the buds were already well-developed, the temperatures dropped to 2°C, and there was some frost in the valleys and low-lying terrains. The vineyards were not affected.

Despite the cool spells, flowering started early (May 25th) and continued in the good weather without any problems. There was not much rain and we began to experience a water shortage by the end of June. The dry and hot weather continued, with growth almost stopping in the middle of summer. Fortunately, enough rain fell at the end of July to ensure the uninterrupted growth of the grapes. August and September were dry and hotter than usual, which sped up the ripening process.

For this reason we lost no time with harvesting. We started on September 7th with the Sauvignon, finishing on October 4th with the Furmint. Weather was favourable the entire time – sunny and with no rain. The temperatures were high and we had to be very careful to transport the grapes so that they were undamaged and cool.

Despite the high temperatures during the harvest, we were able to preserve the varietal characteristics. The grapes were very ripe with an above-average sugar content. We produced somewhat more than we had anticipated.

Verus 2010

2010

The first half of a quite moderate winter 2009/2010 was followed by an unusually warm February. In March, however, the winter showed its teeth again and the cold weather lasted until the end of April. Consequently, the vegetation began later than in the previous year and the flowering started on the 4th of June, or a few days later if considering the usual average timing. The flowering period was accompanied by nice weather.

The months of May and June recorded many rainy days which resulted in strong growth and the occurrence of various diseases but basically nothing serious or uncontrollable. The summer slowly commenced and proved to be quite difficult; it was marked by much rain and a number of hot days which resulted in high humidity, thus providing perfect conditions for the powdery mildew. The consequences were heavy and some varieties did suffer damage at particular sites.

The month of August was not extremely warm and hot, so we waited for the late summer and the dry and windy days. This type of weather is typical for our area and usually continues throughout the early September. But, there were only few such days and we had to put up with a rather cold, humid and rainy weather up until the start of harvest.

The ripening of grapes was very slow. This is not necessary bad at all and it can produce pretty aromas but can bring problems of under ripeness also. The harvest of unripe grapes was not an option hence we have decided to wait as long as it would be necessary for keeping the quality. Nonetheless, the loss of crop was quite big and a heavy blow for us.

With starting the harvest on the 23rd of September, we have more or less remained within the standard date and time but a great amount of grapes was still not ready to be picked. The unstable, cold and humid weather caused uneven ripening, as well as the Botrytis. At one stage of the harvest, the St Martin’s grapes had the ultimate look which on the other hand would be fatal for the wine quality at a later stage. The first selection of grapes in the vineyard was carried out with utmost care as well as the second selection at the sorting table prior to the destemming process. Great efforts were put forth and we have succeeded in providing the required quality irrespective of the major loss of crop (40 to 70%). We have invested twice as much time in the harvest as in previous years.

Vintage 2010 proved to be the most difficult vintage so far. We were forced to sacrifice a great amount of grapes as well as working hours. Notwithstanding, we are convinced to have made the right decision. One good thing about this harvest was certainly the fact that all grapes delivered to the cellar were naturally cold. The wine of 2010 boasts of great purity, good grape ripeness, rich and varied aromatic character, firm structure and – last but not least – good balance.

After all ups and downs a slow grape ripening, low harvest daily temperatures and good grape selection during the harvest could be a winning combination of vintage 2010 charming wines.

Verus 2009

2009

Cold winter weather with daily temperatures around 5°C lasted till end of April. From moderate spring temperatures we jumped into warm-hot May weather with daily temperatures above 25°C. Vegetation in the vineyard started very intensive. Flowering began on 22nd of May. This is one week earlier than average. Immediately after flowering a period of cold and rainy weather started. At the beginning of this period we suffered two serious hail storms. Luckily apart from a few local vineyards, ours weren’t damaged seriously. We had very warm, dry and sunny August and beginning of September. Ripening of the grapes was very fast. Due to hail damages and cold rainy weather during flowering time the crop was lower 20 - 40%.The grapes at the harvest were of very good health condition and of very good aroma concentration.

Verus 2008

2008

The first three months were warmer than average. We began to think we would have another warmer vintage with an early harvest as we did in 2000 and 2003. Spring then turned cold and pushed back the 2008 harvest dates to give us more typical timing and temperature conditions. The Spring rain provided enough water for the vines to have good growing conditions. Flowering started several days earlier than average but cold weather with some rainy days interrupted and dragged out this vital period. Many more rainy days followed over the Summer months, especially in July. August and September failed to produce their usual long hot, dry periods. Instead we lived with a serious threat of rain and hail storms right up to harvest time. There were at least 4 hail storms in 45 days and we were all feeling increasingly nervous and worried. However, our vineyards are spread over 15 different sites in a 20km wide circle. This is complicated in term of cultivation but it always proves to be good in terms of hail damage. It is very unlikely that hail will destroy the whole region. Unfortunately, we did lose 50 % of the crop in one of our vineyards. The rest suffered little or no damages. The harvest started on 13th of September. We began with low yield old vines Sauvignon blanc on the Mali Kog slopes as they ripen one week earlier than the main Sauvignon crop. The vintage really got underway in the last ten days of September and we then did not stop until the 26th of October. The weather during the harvest of Sauvignon blanc and Pinot gris was cold and dry. The second half of October continued dry and sunny with daily temperatures between 15-20°C which was good for later ripening grapes including Sipon/Furmint and Riesling. Although the weather throughout the growing year 2008 was colder and wetter than average and marked with frequent hail storms, good vineyard management, no water stress and moderate temperatures during ripening period followed by a largely dry harvest period preserved the natural cool climate varietal aromas. The new wines are therefore looking very fresh and pleasant.

The vintage was slightly colder than average. There were many hail storms – luckily not lethal for us. Careful work in the vineyard, sufficient water supply in the soil and moderate temperatures during ripening seson, followed by dry windy autumn, created and preserved plentiful natural varietal cool climate aromas in the grapes. Wines tastes threfore fresh and pleasant.

Verus 2007

2007

This vintage shall always have a special meaning as it saw the birth of Verus. Each sort of wine that we produce is like a new child born and hence a significant member of our family. It was a mild winter with snow falling not before the year-end and providing sufficient amount of water for the soil. Months that followed were warm and dry above average. The blossoming of the vine started on 18th May or three weeks earlier than usual. It was a hot and dry summer. The second half of the August turned quite cool and the early planned harvest was accordingly postponed. Notwithstanding, the harvest started »only« 10 days earlier than usual. The autumn was nice and warm with cool nights. Grapes were healthy and ripened well; small 12 kg perforated cases were used during the harvest. The processing was quick, without airing and with greatly reduced mechanical charge on the grapes and must.