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With sales of 1.75 million litres of wine in 2021, the Freyburg-Unstrut winegrowers' association reports a drop in production of around one third compared to 2020, when the result was 2.65 million litres.

"The hot and dust-dry vintages of 2020 and 2021 with their small harvests are clearly clouding the annual balance sheet," managing director Hans Albrecht Zieger described the tense situation at the cooperative's general assembly. The small harvests are also reflected in the members' grape money, who have to reckon with "significant losses".

Part of the losses had been compensated for by better sales revenues. Here the decline is only a quarter. For example, higher added value has been achieved through increasing direct sales via the cooperative's own vinotheque and in online trade. Ziegler was concerned about the current "exploding prices" in the wine industry. The sometimes drastically higher costs for glass, paper for labels, packaging material and transport are also forcing the winegrowers' association to take action.

Thus, the roof surfaces of the Freyburg headquarters are now to be covered with photovoltaic modules. Hans Albrecht Zieger explained: "We are investing 270,000 euros for this and will thus be able to cover our energy needs almost entirely for cooling and the production processes from our own sources."

(uka / Photo: Winzervereinigung Freyburg-Unstrut)