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German wine growers optimistic as main harvest gets underway


Water supply paramount in determining quality and quantity: As picking commences for Germany´s main harvest, which in most wine regions has begun exceptionally early this year, wine producers look forward to a vintage of overall very good qualities and promising crop sizes.

However, The German Wine Institute (DWI) has emphasized that ripeness and yield prospects in the vineyards depend heavily on the water supply, which at this stage is extremely diverse, not only in the individual regions but even within single sites.

Old vines with well-developed root systems and vineyards on deep soils have so far withstood the hot and dry weather conditions surprisingly well. Young vines or vineyard sites with poor water availability were partly irrigated to avoid delays in ripening or even crop shortfalls due to drought stress. An additional factor was that the rains of the last few days and weeks were very unevenly distributed from one region to the next.

Thanks to the sunny weather, the grapes in the majority of vineyards are looking extremely healthy with on the whole very good must weights, whilst the red varieties also have a very good colour. In many cases, the vine development currently indicates an almost uniform point of maturity of many varieties in the next few weeks, leading to expectations of a swift harvest.

As for the further ripening process, the forecasted warm days and cool nights provide ideal conditions for the grapes to develop an excellent aromatic profile.

press archive: Grape harvest earliest on record

video: Mechanical grape harvesting

the film: Explore Wines of Germany (30min)


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