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The main wine harvest has started in the German wine regions. As the German Wine Institute (DWI) reports, the sunny September has been very good for grape ripening after the cool and rainy summer. According to the DWI, the must weights have increased in the past two weeks by up to 17 degrees Oechsle for Burgundy varieties and by up to 21 degrees Oechsle for Riesling, depending on the region. In the official ripeness measurements, almost all varieties are already at the quality wine level on average.

Even though this year's trouble-free blossoming of the vines led to an overall good fruit set, the yield situation in the vineyards "varies greatly from region to region due to the extremely heterogeneous state of health of the vines," writes the DWI. Therefore, in many cases a selective harvest will be necessary. In addition, in parts of Baden and Württemberg late frosts reduced the expected yields, and in Saale-Unstrut severe winter frosts in February damaged a considerable part of the vines.

According to the DWI, around ten percent of the vineyards in the Ahr region were destroyed by the floods. The vineyards that were spared are in good shape, however, thanks to the help of colleagues from other growing regions. Currently, the first early Burgundy grapes are already being harvested there, and the locally dominant Pinot Noir should be harvested in about two weeks. From a qualitative point of view, the Ahr wine producers expect a very good vintage despite all the difficulties, which can be processed completely in the growing region.

Nationwide, first cautious yield estimates assume a harvest volume that is slightly below the ten-year average of about nine million hectolitres. However, a more precise forecast will only be possible in a few weeks.

(uka / Source: DWI - Photo: German Wine Institute)