European wine grape harvest also below average. 10/07/2019 – Due to a good level of grape ripeness and the damp autumn weather, this year’s grape harvest draws to a close earlier than expected. Thereby, the yields of the harvest are significantly lower than in the exceptionally strong year 2018 (+18% compared to the 10-year average). Based on a first yield estimate, the German Wine Institute (DWI) informed that the nationwide wine production in 2019 is expected to be 17.6 million hectoliters or 17 percent below the outstanding previous year and two percent below the ten-year average of 8.8 million hectoliters.

The reduction in yield is mainly be attributed to the second dry year in succession, as well as to sunburn damage to the grapes and regionally limited hailstorms. However, there are quite large differences in yields between the thirteen growing areas as well as within the single regions and even within individual vineyards.

As to the largest German wine regions Rheinhessen, Pfalz and Baden, including the Mosel and Nahe region, the forecast harvest volumes fluctuate only slightly around the ten-year average. With a decline of 19 percent, wine producers in Saale-Unstrut anticipate the most significant fall of yields. But also in Franconia, Württemberg or on the Ahr, the expected harvest quantities are ten to 15 percent lower than the average of the last ten years. The producers in Saxony and the Middle Rhine are looking forward to an expected increase of 30 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

It is not only in Germany, but also throughout Europe, that the 2019 grape must harvest will turn out somewhat smaller. According to an initial crop forecast by the EU Commission, this year’s harvest will amount to 161.3 million hectoliters. This corresponds to a decrease of 15 percent compared to the previous year and four percent compared to the five-year average. Europe’s three largest wine-producing countries, Italy (46.14 million hl), France (43.36 million hl) and Spain (40 million hl) are forecasting 80 percent of this year’s grape must harvest in Europe.


Forecast of the German grape must harvest 2019

Ø=2009-2018 Estimate Difference
Wine growing region 10-year’s average 27th September 2019 Comp. to 10-y. Ø
  hl hl %
Ahr 39.000 33.000 – 15
Mittelrhein 28.000 35.000 24
Mosel 755.000 770.000 2
Nahe 316.000 305.000 – 3
Rheinhessen 2.480.000 2.500.000 1
Pfalz 2.198.000 2.150.000 – 2
Rheingau 210.000 205.000 – 2
Hess. Bergstraße 30.000 34.000 14
Franken 443.000 375.000 – 15
Württemberg 1.020.000 920.000 – 10
Baden 1.218.000 1.200.000 – 1
Saale-Unstrut 43.000 35.000 – 19
Sachsen 21.000 27.000 30
Deutschland 8.801.000 8.589.000 -17

Source: DWV and official authorities