Germany’s Sunny, Warm, and Dry Summer Yields a Smaller but High Quality 2019 Vintage

According to the Deutsches Weininstitut (DWI), 8.326 million hectolitres (hl) of wine must were recorded from the 2019 vintage. This number, although seemingly high, is 5% below the 10-year average of 8.8 million hl and 20% below the exceptionally large 2018 harvest. The diminished yield can be attributed to above-average summer temperatures and widespread drought.


The harvest was split between 63% white wine grapes and 37% red varieties. The five most important grape varieties in Germany accounted for 5 million hl or 60% of the total harvest. Their yields are divided into 1.6 million hl of Riesling, 1.2 million hl of Müller-Thurgau, 0.9 million hl of Pinot Noir, 0.9 million hl of Dornfelder, and 0.5 million hl of Pinot Gris.


The total harvest in Rhineland-Pfalz, the largest wine-growing German state, was around 5.6 million hl, 4% lower than the 10-year average. Of all the regions, Franken saw the largest drop in production when compared to the 10-year average at 22%. The yields in Württemberg and Saale-Unstrut were also significantly below average, with a decrease of 14% in each region. In contrast, Sachsen , which is Germany’s easternmost and smallest wine producing region, saw a 22% increase in production in 2019 when compared to the 10-year average.


Slightly lower wine harvests aren’t all bad news, as wineries across Germany rate the 2019 vintage as very good in all quality levels. The white wines are exceptionally fruity, well-structured and with a lively acidity. The young red wines are already well developed, harmonious and full of color.


American wine drinkers should be on the lookout for the first of the 2019 vintage wines in their local wine shops in the next couple months. For more updates and information on German wine, follow Wines of Germany on social media at the handle @GermanWineUsa.