Vintner Stories Detailpage
Shelter from the Storm
As a winegrower, you are perpetually at the mercy of nature's whims. Weather-related harvest losses are no rare occurrence. But the Elbe flooding of 2002 caught us absolutely unawares. We were just about to get started with harvest when, from one day to the next, our entire cellar was under water. No one had ever seen anything like it. Presses, tools, machines — all flooded and trashed by mud.
Yet the harvest was ultimately saved thanks entirely to an enormous wave of support from winegrowers all around Europe who graciously donated their old machines to us. Just 14 days after the end of flooding we were back up and running, and selling. Most of those machines are still in use today. While sales certainly suffered some that year, what really remains in memory is just how selflessly winegrowers from all corners banded together to help. Sometimes you don't appreciate the quiet mechanisms in place to keep you afloat until you're actually stuck in a real crisis. And that in my opinion is one of the absolute unique parts of our profession.