Bavaria: For onion cake Federweißer: spring harvest begins

Federweißer is a product between juice and wine.

Bavaria: For onion cake Federweißer: spring harvest begins

Federweißer is a product between juice and wine. It is the first contact with the new vintage, even if it does not yet show its wine characteristics. The main harvest does not start until September.

Bergtheim (dpa/lby) - Federweißer is not yet a wine in the classic sense: but lovers are happy about the fermented grape must every year at the end of summer, which is ready to drink about five to eight days after harvesting. Franconia's winegrowers are harvesting Ortega and Solaris grapes these days, as is the Schmitt winery in Bergtheim near Würzburg. "These are the early varieties," says master winemaker Frank Kraiss. He is out and about in his vineyards with a grape harvester and picks the grapes from the vines on around 1.5 hectares.

The milky, cloudy Federweißer is traditionally served with onion cake in Franconia. After pressing the grapes, the must goes straight into the bottle, where it ferments. Most winegrowers sell their Federweißer from the farm. Federweißer - also known as Rauscher or new wine depending on the region - gets its name from the yeast, which is stirred up by the carbonic acid during the fermentation process and dances like feathers in the glass. One of the largest Federweißer producers in Franconia, the Winzergemeinschaft Franken (GWF) from Kitzingen, will start harvesting the Federweißer next week.

How much Federweißer is produced throughout Franconia each year is not officially recorded. Federweißer does not yet say anything about the quality of the vintage - which vintners are very worried about because of the drought. "There is nothing to worry about with the older systems," says a spokesman for the Franconian Winegrowers' Association. These sticks are deeply rooted with water. "But there are also systems where development is halting due to the drought." It is unclear whether the yield will decrease due to a lack of water.

It is much drier in northern Bavaria than in the rest of the Free State. Wine grows on about 6300 hectares in Franconia - a large part of the area is not irrigated by the winegrowers.

According to the winegrowers' association, the main harvest for storable wines will begin in the first weeks of September. The official start of the harvest with Prime Minister Marcus Söder and Minister of Agriculture Michaela Kaniber (both CSU) is scheduled for September 12 in Zeil am Main (Hassberge district).

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