2020 Harvest Update: It’s looking like an excellent vintage!

According to the latest report from the German Wine Institute (DWI), German wine producers harvested very ripe and healthy grapes, and the 2020 vintage is predicted to produce very good quality wines.

The first red wines so far are perfectly colored and show great potential, while the first white wines in the barrel are correspondingly aromatic and extremely fruity.

Harvest complete after 3-4 weeks

The late summer was sunny and dry, with temperatures often well over 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), resulting in an accelerated harvest as the sugar content in the grapes rose quickly.

Consequently, many varieties were ready to be harvested at the same time. Harvesting was often done in the early morning hours or at night in order to get the grapes into the cellar at the coolest temperature possible.

For many German wineries, this year’s harvest was completed in three to four weeks. Some winemakers have chosen to leave grapes on the vine to ripen further in order to make the noble sweet specialties – Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese. This can sometimes be a risky move, but the conditions this year suggest a good chance of success.

Varied harvest yield between regions

The estimated yields in the thirteen German wine-growing regions are as varied as the weather conditions they received.

In Franken, for instance, predicted yield dropped 38% compared to the ten-year average, due in part to late frosts. The two largest regions, Rheinhessen and the Pfalz, are expecting average to slightly above-average harvest volumes. Hessische-Bergstrasse could see yields up to 31% higher than average.

Nationwide, the current forecast for the 2020 vintage yield is around 8.6 million hectolitres, close to the ten-year average of 8.7 million hectolitres and 3% above the 2019 yield.

You can find statistics from previous years here!