The 2020 vintage in Germany has produced very good quality and with an estimated 8.6 million hectoliters nationwide, is only slightly below the average harvest yield. The German Wine Institute (DWI) reports, that thanks to the sunny and dry late summer, German wine producers harvested very ripe and healthy grapes. The red varietals are perfectly colored and show great potential, whilst the first white wines in the barrel are correspondingly aromatic and extremely fruity.

Harvest is completed after three to four weeks

The summer in September, with lots of bright sunshine and temperatures often well over 25 degrees Celsius, accelerated the harvest as the sugar content in the grapes rose quickly. Consequently, many varieties were ready to be harvested at the same time. Harvesting was often done in the early morning hours or at night in order to get the grapes into the cellar at the coolest temperature possible.

In many wineries, this year’s harvest was completed in three to four weeks. Some winemakers have chosen to leave their grapes hanging to ripen further in order to make the noble sweet specialties – Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese, because the conditions this vintage are so propitious for that.

Late frosts in Franken, Saale-Unstrut and Saxony

Another effect of the hot September weather was a relatively strong evaporation in the berries, which in some cases was accompanied by significant losses in volume. In some regions, this was exacerbated by persistent drought, because the rainfall received in the winegrowing regions was extremely varied throughout the year. Late frosts in Franken, Saale-Unstrut and Saxony, have also led to further crop losses.

Large differences in harvest yield in the winegrowing regions

The estimated yields in the thirteen German winegrowing regions are as varied as the weather conditions they received. They range from a drop of 38 percent in Franken compared to the ten-year average yield, to an increase of 31 percent on the Hessische Bergstrasse. In the two largest winegrowing regions, Rheinhessen and Pfalz, average to slightly above-average harvest volumes can be expected with a minus of one percent and an increase of six percent, respectively. Baden and Württemberg each estimate a decrease in harvest yield of ten percent.

Nationwide, the currently forecast yields for the 2020 vintage are expected to be around 8.6 million hectolitres, which is close to the ten-year average of 8.7 million hectolitres and three percent above the previous year’s yield.

Forecast of the German wine must harvest 2020

      As of 08.10.2020
               2020       2020
Winegrowing Region Ø=2010-2019        2020 % change-amount % change-amount
           hl          hl compared to 10yr average compared to 2019
AHR 39.000 39.000 18 
MITTELRHEIN 28.000 31.000 11  35 
MOSEL 736.000 813.000 10  30 
NAHE 318.000 339.000
RHEINHESSEN 2.469.000 2.450.000 -1   0 
PFALZ 2.174.000 2.300.000
RHEINGAU 209.000 251.000 20  26 
HESS. BERGSTRAßE 29.000 38.000 31  46 
FRANKEN 432.000 267.000 -38  -22 
WÜRTTEMBERG 998.000 894.000 -10 
BADEN 1.221.000 1.100.000 -10  -11 
SAALE-UNSTRUT 45.000 32.000 -29  -14 
SACHSEN 22.000 21.000 -5  -19 
NATIONWIDE 8.720.000 8.575.000 -2   3 

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source: Deutsches Weininstitut / The German Wine Institute / www.germanwines.de