German winemakers can expect record harvest after extreme summer heatStaff Writer | November 7, 2018
Vintners in Germany are set to record the biggest wine harvest in 20 years, following an unusually hot and dry summer, official figures published on Tuesday by the country's federal statistical office, Destatis, showed.
Europe Vintners could look forward to a harvest of 10.9 million hectoliters
Compared to last year, when German vintners suffered heavy harvest losses due to snap freezes during otherwise warm months, the new estimate published on Tuesday marks a 46-percent increase.
Riesling vines in particular, the most popular grape variety produced in Germany, witnessed a climatic boost to their output. The lion's share of the harvest will be contributed by the traditional centers of German viticulture located in the southwest of the country.
Earlier, the German Wine Institute (DWI) announced that the domestic harvest of grapes for wine production had begun earlier than ever before. The first vineyard began harvesting on Aug. 6, breaking a recent record set in 2014. "This year we are starting extremely early," DWI spokesperson Ernst Buescher said about the development.
This year's hot and long summer has provided some German winemakers with a competitive advantage against producers from countries like Italy where harvests usually begin earlier than in Germany. However, the scarcity of rain experienced between June and July was highly problematic for the German agricultural sector as a whole. ■