Harvest 2020 (so far)

The 2020 vintage in Germany has produced very good quality and with an estimated 8.6 million hectoliters nationwide, is only slightly below the average harvest yield. The German Wine Institute (DWI) reports that thanks to the sunny and dry late summer, German wine producers harvested very ripe and healthy grapes. The red varietals are perfectly colored and show great potential, whilst the first white wines in the barrel are correspondingly aromatic and extremely fruity.

Harvest is completed after three to four weeks
The warm weather in September, with lots of bright sunshine and temperatures often well over 25 degrees Celsius, accelerated the harvest as the sugar content in the grapes rose quickly. Consequently, many varieties were ready to be harvested at the same time. Harvesting was often done in the early morning hours or at night in order to transport the grapes into the cellar at the coolest temperature possible.

In many wineries, this year’s harvest was completed in three to four weeks. Some winemakers have chosen to leave their grapes hanging to ripen further in order to make the sweet specialties – Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese.

Late frosts in Franken, Saale-Unstrut and Saxony
Another effect of the September weather was a relatively strong evaporation in the berries, which in some cases was accompanied by significant losses in volume. In some regions, this was exacerbated by persistent drought, because the rainfall received in the winegrowing regions was extremely varied throughout the year. Late frosts in Franken, Saale-Unstrut and Saxony, have also led to further crop losses.

Large differences in harvest yield in the winegrowing regions
The estimated yields in the thirteen German winegrowing regions are as varied as the weather conditions they received. They range from a drop of 38 percent in Franken compared to the ten-year average yield, to an increase of 31 percent on the Hessische Bergstrasse. In the two largest winegrowing regions, Rheinhessen and Pfalz, average to slightly above-average harvest volumes can be expected with a minus of one percent and an increase of six percent, respectively. Baden and Württemberg each estimate a decrease in harvest yield of ten percent.

Nationwide, the currently forecast yields for the 2020 vintage are expected to be around 8.6 million hectolitres, which is close to the ten-year average of 8.7 million hectolitres and three percent above the previous year’s yield.