The rearing and culture of so-called root vines - young grafted vines - takes place in vine nurseries. To create a vine, a scion - eg Riesling - is grafted onto a phylloxera-resistant rootstock by cutting it accordingly.
These young grafts are planted in the ground in spring, remain in the ground throughout the summer with a good supply of nutrients and pest control, and are fully trained again in late autumn. The young seedlings then developed splendidly and will grow well in their final location - the vineyard - next spring.
This technique of vine grafting became necessary due to the devastating damage in European wine-growing regions caused by phylloxera at the end of the 19th century. To this day, the noble vines are grafted onto the root-forming, phylloxera-resistant American rootstocks worldwide.
A vine planted in the optimal location - in terms of location, soil and climate - delivers good yields of high quality for 25 - 30 years. In the later years, the yield decreases continuously. Since the root system continues to branch out and grow even deeper, significantly higher extracts and minerals are stored in the berries of the old vines. Today the wineries are proud to own such old vines and market the wine exclusively under the name "Alte Reben".
In the course of a year, a number of care measures are required in a vineyard, such as pruning in winter, tying up the vines in spring, foliage work , grape thinning and soil care in summer. This is what leaf work means
- bursting of shoots,
- looping or tying the shoots,
- removal of stinging shoots,
- thinning out of the grape zone,
- Pinch off shoots and tops.
After the work in the vineyards is done in late summer, the vintners are looking forward to a long, sunny and dry autumn in order to bring another excellent vintage into the cellars.
The steep slate slopes of the Saar are particularly suitable for the cultivation of the Riesling grape variety:
approx. 80% of the vineyard area is planted with Riesling ,
approx. 10% the Pinot varieties Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris ,
approx. 5% Müller Thurgau (Rivaner) and
approx. 5% the red wine varieties Pinot Noir and Dornfelder