Ripe grapes at the vintage, © DWI© DWI

First the facts: According to the preliminary figures from the State Statistical Office, the winegrowers in Rheinhessen brought in a harvest of 2.3 million hectoliters of must in autumn 2019. That is almost 20% less than in the previous year and almost 6% less than the long-term average. The yields varied considerably depending on the location. In particular Riesling and Pinot Gris - important "turner" on the white wine shelves of the trade - are below 80 hl / ha in the yields.

Even if not all of the barrels were full, the winegrowers celebrated Thanksgiving. With good reason, because the 2019 harvest brought very good qualities across the board. Consumers also have every reason to be happy, as the wines are somewhat lighter than last year and delight with their emphasized freshness.

The 2019 wine year started with an early budding. The cold snap in May slowed this development down considerably. Then summer came with all its might: a summer to celebrate happily, but at the same time it was an enormous challenge for the vines. The water supply was a crucial parameter in the development of the vines and grapes in 2019. For example, there was often drought stress in traditional hillside locations, while the vines on deep soils and in so-called late locations were often "picture perfect". The beneficial relief rain then fell over Rheinhessen in July.

The year 2019 was again a year of premature prophecy: what can happen in the ominous 100 days between the end of flowering and the start of the harvest remains a great adventure and always offers enough material to make even the most plausible forecasts by the experts pulverize. In its special production of sun, heat, hail and rain, nature had set some surprising accents in the vineyards and thus once again wrote its own script.

Wolfgang Trautwein, Chairman of the Rheinhessische Kellerei, summed up the 2019 vintage in a nutshell: "There is everything again, but not quite as much of everything."

The year 2019 confirmed the observation of agricultural meteorologists on climate change in the Rheinhessen vineyards. The warming rises more, especially over the winter months. This leads to a very early budding with the risk of late frost damage. The summer months use the turbo more and more - heat records are the result: June 2019 was 3 ° C above the norm. So far, this peak value has only been exceeded in 2003. July 2019 was also significantly above the average of the years. The result of these extreme radiations and hot days is massive sunburn damage to the grapes - a phenomenon that was particularly noticeable in 2019.

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