German wine harvest expected to be above 2019 level

Winemakers in Germany expected the harvest in 2020 to be 6.4 percent bigger than the previous year when the vintage was below-average, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said in a recent announcement.

Around 8.86 million hectoliters were expected in Germany in 2020, according to Destatis. The two large wine-growing regions Rheinhessen and Pfalz are expected to produce 55 percent of the total harvest quantity in Germany.

“The harvest of grapes is currently in full swing,” Ernst Buescher, spokesperson of the German Wine Institute (DWI), told Xinhua on Tuesday. “Thanks to the very sunny late summer and autumn weather, the grapes in the German vineyards are in an optimal state.”

“Even if overall the condition of the grapes is very good this year,” the output was different in the wine-growing regions, DWI stated two weeks ago. Some wine-growing regions were concerned that late frosts could reduce yields by up to 30 percent.

The harvest of Riesling, the most popular German grape variety, is expected to increase by 22.2 percent to two million hectoliters in 2020. Last year, yield of Riesling saw a “disproportionately strong decline,” Destatis noted.

China was the fifth most important export market for German wine producers, according to Buescher. Last year, 3.3 million liters of wine worth 17 million euros (20.2 million U.S. dollars) were exported to China.

This year, wine exports to China declined sharply until May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “but already rose again significantly in June,” said Buescher.

In 2019, the German harvest made up around five percent of all harvest in the European Union. At 51.07 million hectoliters, “most wine grapes within the European Union were harvested in Italy,” Destatis noted.