2006 VINTAGE Report
German winemakers are optimistic about the 2006 vintage
The forecast is good for Germany's 2006 vintage, given the current condition of the vines. The relatively cool spring time damped initial expectations but vine growth accelerated in July's sunny spell. The German Wine Institute (DWI) has confirmed that the vines have reached a healthy level of development, in line with the average.
The grapes benefited from rainfall at the beginning of August after the very dry conditions of the previous month. At the moment the winemakers are looking forward to stable, sunny weather and a golden October which will allow the grapes to reach a high level of ripeness.
The early ripening varieties of white grape have already been picked for the production of Federweißer (lightly fermented grape juice). The main harvest for grape varieties such as Müller-Thurgau, Dornfelder or Weißburgunder, will start in mid-September. Germany's most important grape variety Riesling is normally left on the vine until October or November. This long ripening period allows development of the intense aromas characteristic of this variety.
All in all, the grapes in the German wine regions are healthy, leading to predictions of a good German vintage 2006.