The 2022 harvest in Germany will be «exceptionally early’. This is thanks to consistently sunny weather, reminiscent of the hot 2018 vintage. However, according to the German Wine Institute (DWI), the prospects for a high-quality 2022 vintage are ‘very promising’.
«This is because most of the vineyards have responded well to the extreme drought – explains the German Institute -. The grapes are in good health and so far there have been no major weather events that could compromise the harvest».
The red grape varieties, in particular, are benefiting from the sunny weather. This, again according to the DWI forecast, would «bode well for full-bodied and richly coloured red wines». The white grape varieties would already present «a very good aromatic character, combined with moderate acidity».
«It can be assumed that the 2022 harvest in Germany will proceed fairly quickly,’ comments the German Wine Institute. The sugar content in the berries will increase rapidly with the sunny weather, and many varieties will reach harvest maturity at the same time. The harvest will end with Riesling, which should be ready for picking in mid-September».
HARVEST 2022 IN GERMANY: DROUGHT, A MAJOR CHALLENGE
However, drought poses a major challenge for Germany’s winegrowers. Vine conditions, as in other parts of the world, are extremely heterogeneous within German wine regions.
While older vineyards currently enjoy a good state of productive vigour, thanks to their deep root systems, younger vines suffer significantly from the lack of water.
«A phenomenon – the Institute points out – that occurs mainly on light soils, which are unable to retain much water. The ripening of the grapes is also much slower.
Young plants are irrigated wherever possible. In very stressed vineyards it is even necessary to remove the grape bunches to protect the vines or, at least, to keep them alive».
Another effect of the drought can be seen in the size of the berries, which remain relatively small. «This – concludes the German Wine Institute – leads us to expect rather moderate yields, despite the fact that the bunches are good overall». The moderate rainfall in the coming weeks could have a positive effect on the 2022 harvest in Germany.