According to The German Wine Institute (DWI) wine lovers can look forward to fresh, fruity wines from the 2019 vintage. Thanks to the rain-free, sunny summer, wine grapes in Germany’s 13 wine-growing regions were healthy and well-developed at the time that the first of the season were harvested on August 13th.
In Lörzweiler in the Rheinhessen region, the first grapes of the year were harvested on August 13th, about a week later than in the previous year. These grapes were used to create “Federweisser,” or “new wine” – partially fermented wine available only in the German wine regions during the harvest season.
Although July brought record-high temperatures to certain regions, the hail, heat, and sunburn luckily had hardly any impact on grape quality.
In many parts of Germany, the rain in mid-August eased concerns about potential drought damage. However, rainfall varied within individual growing areas, leaving some vineyards still in need of water.
Main vintage expected mid-September
The start of the four-week main harvest for grape varieties such as Müller-Thurgau is expected to begin around mid-September. Late-ripening varieties such as Riesling are not expected to be ready until the end of September or beginning of October.
Until then, weather will be decisive for the year’s vintage quality, and a lot can still happen. Currently, the development of vines is on par with the 30-year average.
In 2018, the main vintage started two to three weeks earlier.
Good prospects for 2019
After an overall problem-free flowering, yield prospects for the vintage are good, though well below the above-average harvest of 2018. Initial estimates assume that the crop could align with the ten-year average, around nine million hectoliters.
Winemakers hope for sunny and dry autumn weather in the coming weeks for an ideal 2019 vintage. Stay tuned for further updates!
Learn more about viticulture in Germany.