The German Wine Institute (DWI) predicts a nationwide harvest of around 8.8m hectolitres, around 1% below the average yield of the past ten years and 3% below the volume of the previous year. This year's harvest was particularly short and characterised by a thorough selection of healthy grapes. As a result, the harvest volume was significantly below the initial forecasts, the DWI explained.
The challenges of this vintage - the extreme drought in June, the subsequent heavy rainfall until August, and the emergence of the spotted wing drosophila (SWD) were well-managed by the wineries. The harvest itself was also a major challenge. On the one hand, the late summer rain required a quick harvest, and on the other hand, most grape varieties ripened almost simultaneously this year. "Harvesting operations continued around the clock, with a significant portion in regions like Rheinhessen, Palatinate, and Baden wrapped up by September. Some growers even described it as the fastest harvest they've ever experienced," the Wine Institute reported.
Top qualities possible
The quality of the vintage appears to be promising. The sunny and dry late autumn benefited mainly Riesling grapes, but also Silvaner, international red wine varieties, and the new disease-resistant grape varieties (Piwis). The sun and late warm temperatures also promised the prospect of first-class sweet wines.
According to the DWI, the first young wines fermented smoothly and were very fruity with moderate alcohol and a fine fruit acidity.