Optimistic start to the vintage 2019 in Germany
Thanks to the rain-free, sunny summer, the grapes in the German wine growing regions are very healthy and well-developed overall. The winemakers are currently optimistic for a qualitatively good wine vintage of 2019.
Winemakers had challenges to master
Although the grapes were partially damaged by sunburn and heat during the record temperatures in July in many regions and also hail in some areas, these events had hardly any impact on quality.
The danger of drought damage was also banned for the time being by the precipitation of recent weeks in many parts of Germany. However, the situation is very heterogeneous due to the very different distribution of rainfall within the individual growing areas, so that there are still some vineyards that still need water.
Main vintage starts around mid-September
However, the weather in the coming weeks will be decisive for this year's vintage quality. The start of the main vintage for the actual vinification of grape varieties such as Müller-Thurgau is currently not expected until four weeks around mid-September. Late ripening varieties such as Riesling are not expected to be harvested until the end of September or beginning of October, depending on the growing area. Until then, a lot can still happen.
Currently, the level of development of the vines is approximately equal to the 30-year average. In the last exceptional year 2018, the main vintage started two to three weeks earlier.
Good earnings prospects for the vintage
After an overall problem-free flowering, the yield prospects for the vintage are good, but they are well below the above-average harvest of the previous exceptional year. At present, initial estimates, which may change depending on the weather, assume that the nationwide crop could be at about the level of the ten-year average of around nine million hectoliters.
For the coming weeks, the winemakers wish sunny and dry autumn weather. That would be the best conditions for a good 2019 vintage.