Baden-Württemberg: Get to the vines: New vintage wines are likely to be more expensive

In order for people to be able to sip on Trollinger, Dornfelder and Co.

Baden-Württemberg: Get to the vines: New vintage wines are likely to be more expensive

In order for people to be able to sip on Trollinger, Dornfelder and Co., the vintners have to go back to the vines these days. The forecasts of the wine-growing associations in the state depend on one aspect, even on the proverbial last few meters.

Freiburg/Weinsberg/Offenburg (dpa/lsw) - Winegrowers in Baden-Württemberg are in the starting blocks: Here and there the grape harvest has already begun, and it should start on a grand scale in September. "A lot can still happen before then," said Holger Klein, Managing Director of the Baden Winegrowers' Association in Freiburg. It's all about the weather. "The next few weeks are crucial."

How much rain will there be before the harvest starts? Does everything come at once? And in the worst case, in the form of hail? "One or two nice downpours mixed with more sunny weather would be good," said Klein. If too much water gets trapped in the berries, they could burst. Then they threatened to rot.

At the moment the grapes are very healthy, the must weights are okay. Klein expects a vintage like 2018. "We were actually very satisfied." The President of the Württemberg Winegrowers' Association based in Weinsberg (Heilbronn district), Hermann Hohl, sounds different: On average, the companies there expected a 30 to 40 percent drop in harvest volume. In the case of some, the balance sheet could even collapse by more than half. This is due to the drought, says Hohl. "But there is still a lot in terms of quality."

It is therefore important not to harvest too early. While in Württemberg the harvest of the early-ripening red wine varieties Dornfelder and Acolon is not scheduled to begin until the beginning of September, some companies in Baden have already started harvesting boulders. The start of the grape harvest at Weinmanufaktur Gengenbach-Offenburg was very recently on the agenda. The deputy chairman of the board, Reiner End, reckoned with a must weight of 75 to 80 degrees Oechsle. The grapes are healthy and the taste is fruity. "The acid is right."

Most is the juice from pressed, i.e. pressed, grapes intended for fermentation. According to Klein from the Baden Winegrowers' Association, the fairly high temperature differences between day and night over the past few days are also good for the development of the aromas.

However, wine lovers have to be prepared for rising prices, not only because of the poor harvests caused by the drought. Production costs have risen by up to 60 or 70 percent, said Württemberg Association President Hohl. "Of course we can't open that much, but it will be more expensive." According to him, cost increases affect, for example, the bottles, but also individual technical parts. Added to this is the rising minimum wage.

In the past, comparatively wet year, above all fungal infestation, late frosts in spring and the spotted wing drosophila caused the yields to shrink nationwide to 1.77 million hectoliters of wine must, according to data from the State Statistical Office. That was four percent less than in 2020 and almost a fifth less than the average for the years 2015 to 2020.

While the decline in Baden was 17 percent to 903,000 hectoliters compared to the previous year, the amount of must in Württemberg rose by 16 percent to 869,000 hectoliters. In total, Weingärtner grew Trollinger, Riesling and Co. on 26,600 hectares of vineyards in the southwest last year.

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