The vines urgently need water
There is a reason for the play on words in the headline. The water supply is the limiting factor in the development of the grapes this year.
There are now localities - especially around Mainz, Worms or in the west, where it has rained a lot in the past few days and the grapes can now fill up really well. Precipitation in July and August is almost completely absent, especially in central Rheinhessen. The grapes literally stopped in their maturity development. In young vineyards you can see it by the withered yellow leaves, but even in old vineyards you can suddenly find completely dried up vines despite deep roots.
This year, too, there are signs of an envious autumn for the winemakers: Regarding the quantity due to the uneven water supply, but also with regard to the must weights due to the delay in ripening in the dry locations. On average, the first ripening measurements by the statisticians in Oppenheim show a slight lead in must weight of one week compared to last year. The acidity will again be moderate this year and will ultimately become the measure of all things in many vineyards when it comes to determining the reading date, as fresh, fruity white wines with moderate alcohol levels are particularly popular with wine lovers. The early red varieties are already completely colored, the later ones are just in the middle of the coloring, which we see in our picture always brings interesting shades with it.
The first grapes have already been picked for Federweiss, but we do not see this as the beginning of the vintage. Depending on the weather, the main harvest in Rheinhessen will begin in the first or second week of September, depending on the region.