2006 Vintage Report 

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Vintage Report  2006  from Germany  

Vintage Report 2006
Source: Press report from the VDP


Translated from the original German by Hanne Caraher


The Praedikat wine estates see a positive picture at the end of the concluded harvest. Although the quantities harvested are low, the results are convincing. Price increases will be unavoidable.


According to VDP information, harvesting started in almost all regions in mid- to late September with good conditions and healthy grapes. The monsoon-like rain in late September/early October required quick action. That was also true for the harvest in vineyards with top quality levels and where the yield had been regulated extremely. A lot of humidity caused the ripe berries to swell extremely so that the grape skin became thin and tended to split open. It was necessary to harvest optimal grapes, despite the circumstances, by using the most exacting selection criteria. Negative botrytis was left behind on the ground, and healthy and botrytis grapes were separately harvested for the wines. Spending 400 labor hours per hectare was not unusual.


Hansjoerg Rebholz, chairman of VDP-Palatinate, said at the conclusion of the harvest: "Magnificent wines in the cellars of the VDP estates of Germany will reward the efforts made during the harvest of the 2006 vintage."


The Riesling musts are maturing and judged to have a good acidity structure, which is more pronounced than in the 2003 vintage. Because of extensive botrytis, we can expect numerous BAs and TBAs. With Pinot Noir wines, we also expect wines with pronounced aroma spectrum and high density. In the Ahr region, the vintage has already been called the (late) Pinot Noir year, very good and even better than 2003.


Depending on water availability in the vineyard, regional influences caused by hail and rain at the beginning of the harvest, and the share Riesling has in the individual estates, the yields also differ from region to region. Especially with Riesling the quantity was extremely reduced by the weather.


In the Palatinate and the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region, average yields of 35 to 45 hectoliter per hectare are no rarity in the estates.


The Ahr, Franconia and Wuerttemberg and the eastern wine-growing regions are content with "normal VDP customary" yields around 65 hl/hectare. 


The time of the harvest determined the quantity (40 to 50 hl/ha) also in the Rheingau and the Nahe region. In conclusion, this vintage will be entered in the archives of many estates as the smallest in this generation but one of special quality. The lack of quantity in the cellars because of the small and cost-intensive vintage will cause not only difficulties in meeting the demand but also an enormous pressure on wine prices so that price increases, partly to ensure survival, will be unavoidable in many estates. The increase in the value added tax will also make itself felt in the final consumer prices, according to the VDP."




Copyright 2006, German Wine Society,  all rights reserved.