Climate and weather
Rheinhessen offers ideal climatic conditions for conducting environmentally friendly viticulture. With an annual average of about 500 millimeters of rainfall, an average of about 1600 hours of sunshine and many wind-open locations, the climatic conditions for a healthy vegetation of the vine are excellent.
However, the grapevine in its vegetation is of course also dependent on the weather. This confronts the winemakers with very different challenges each year. Late frosts, heavy rain, dryness, high humidity or wet late summer conditions, that can cause complications for the vine's health.
The vine is a permanent crop, which, depending on the weather, requires a special protection against fungal diseases. The observation of vegetation and the weather forecast make it possible to target the use of protection products. The Service Center for Rural Areas (DLR) in Oppenheim has been providing this service to winemakers in Rheinhessen for many years.
Protection and care
Protection and care of the grapevine are achieved mainly through biological plant protection measures, which start at an early stage in the grape vine's life. Thanks to a breeding technique free from genetic engineering, the vines are successfully protected against phylloyera.
Many grape varieties, such as Rondo, Johanniter or Regent are resistent to fungal diseases like mildew. And with these varieties, Rheinhessen winemakers have a lot of experience. These developments are an important step towards nature itself being able to take over plant protection. Plant protection in organic viticulture aims to make the plant more resistent.
Natural measures for preserving the vine and protecting it against pests are, for example, fostering predatory mites, in order to fight other harmful mites. Another example, which is almost universally applied, is the so-called "sexual confusion". In this biotechnological crop protection measure, the dispersion of hormones prevents the reproduction of the harmful grapevine moths.