The flood disaster last week has had a devastating impact on many, including the wine producers of the Ahr Valley. Particularly in Ahrweiler, but also in the surrounding villages of Mayschoss and Dernau, the deluge of water has carried away barrels, wine bottles and machines, thus destroying entire wine-producing businesses and livelihoods. The number of winegrowing businesses affected, the severity, and the extent to which the disaster will affect the entire Ahr region with its 563 hectares of vineyards, will probably take weeks to quantify.
The managing director of the German Wine Institute (DWI), Monika Reule, was stunned by the images of the devastation and the fate of the people living there who are now struggling for their livelihoods. “We immediately offered our help to the wine industry organisations in the Ahr region.” In general, she is very impressed and also very grateful for the overwhelming willingness to provide help and the solidarity from the entire wine industry.
Many growers from different wine regions are already on site with forklifts, vineyard tractors or pumps to save what can still be saved. External helpers are also on duty to help with any urgently needed vineyard work in order to secure the upcoming vintage. Numerous wine donations have also been made, the sales of which will benefit the affected wine producers of the Ahr.
The DWI is currently gathering the many aid and donation offers on its website as well as generating its own donations in collaboration with its agencies abroad. For this purpose, the DWI will use a donation account at the Farmers and Winegrowers’ Association of Rhineland-Nassau in which the Ahr Winegrowing Association is also organized. This way, the proceeds from the numerous aid campaigns can directly benefit the Ahr winegrowers, who urgently and unbureaucratically need money for the reconstruction of their businesses, which will certainly take a long time.