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May 30, 2022 View:

German grape vintage 2020 report is out

The German Wine Institute (DWI) reports that German wine growers harvested ripe and healthy grapes in the 2020 harvest season, thanks to the late summer sun and dry weather.

Image courtesy of: German Wine Institute

The red grapes were perfectly colored and showed great potential, while the first vintages of the white wines showed extreme aromatic and fruity flavors right in barrel.

Grape picking season lasts 3-4 weeks

The German summer in September was sunny, with temperatures often exceeding 25 degrees Celsius. The warm climate caused the sugar content of the grapes to rise rapidly, speeding up the harvesting process. As a result, many grape varieties reached a ripeness level that could be picked at the same time. Harvesting was usually done early in the morning or at night to ensure that the grapes were delivered to the cellar at the coldest possible temperature.

For many wineries, this year"s harvest was completed within 3-4 weeks. However, because the weather conditions this year were so favorable for the growth of noble rot, some winemakers chose to delay the harvest to allow their grapes to continue to ripen on the vine for the production of sweet noble rot wines Beerenauslese (BA) or Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA), a noble rot grape-by-grape selection.

Late frosts in Franconia, Saale Winstut and Saxony

The warm weather in September also led to a relatively intense evaporation of water from the grapes, in some cases accompanied by a reduction in fruit volume.

In some appellations, this was exacerbated by persistent drought because of the extreme variability of rainfall throughout the year. In the appellations of Franconia, Saale Winstut and Saxony, late frosts also led to a reduction in grape yields.

The yield varies greatly from one production area to another

Estimated yields for Germany's 13 grape regions vary as much as their varying weather conditions. Compared to the average annual yield of the last 10 years, this year's production in the Franconia appellation is down 38%, while production in the Hesse Sandau appellation is up 31%. In the top two appellations in terms of area, Rhein Hesse and Pfalz, annual production for the year is expected to be slightly above or on par with the average of the last ten years, with growth rates ranging from -1% to 6%. Annual production in the Baden and Württemberg appellations is both expected to decline by 10 percent.

Across Germany, total production in 2020 is currently expected to be around 860 million liters, close to the 10-year average total of 870 million liters, which would be 3% higher than the total production in 2019.