Kick-off for German Federweißer harvest
As reported by the German Wine Institute (DWI), this week not only in the Palatinate (Pfalz) or in Rheinhessen, but also in Saxony (Sachsen), Franconia (Franken) or on the Moselle (Mosel), grapes from early ripening grape varieties such as Solaris or Ortega are being harvested for the preparation of the first Federweißer (also known as partly fermented "new wine").
Early start of main harvest expected
In addition, the main grape harvest for varieties such as Müller-Thurgau (Rivaner) is generally expected to start comparatively early at the end of August to the beginning of September. Sparkling wine producers should also bring in the Pinot grapes as early as the end of August. Late-ripening varieties such as Riesling are expected to be ready for harvest from mid-September, depending on the growing area.
Younger vines suffer from low rainfall
Despite the extremely low rainfall, many older vineyards with their roots up to ten meters deep are still in relatively good shape. However, younger plants and vines on light, little water-storing soil suffer significantly from the lack of water and are partially irrigated. In very heavily stressed vineyards, even the growing grapes have to be removed to relieve the strain on the vines.
Healthy grapes but drought challenges
The fruit setting is very good this year thanks to an unproblematic vine blossom and the grapes are currently extremely healthy. However, the drought means that the berries remain relatively small. If there is an extreme lack of water, the further ripening of the grapes is also delayed.
Therefore, the expected harvest quantities depend very much on the precipitation in the next few weeks (table 10, p.17). The one or two heavy downpours in August and a dry September during the main harvest time would be ideal for a good vintage of 2022.
Video: Federweißer harvest (German language)
Video: Main harvest from mid september onwards
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