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Sun 1 Apr 2007 11:00 AM

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Quick harvest for German producers

German-based Wineconsale has released its vintage report for 2006, which suggests climatic changes forced crops to be harvested earlier, and quicker than expected last year.

German-based Wineconsale has released its vintage report for 2006, which suggests climatic changes forced crops to be harvested earlier, and quicker than expected last year.

The independent fine wine shipper, which has a number of wines in its portfolio including Schloss Vollrads, Tesch and Weingut Duijn, works alongside Dubai-based Emirates Fine Wine to distribute high-end German wines in the emirate.

"Last year, Germany had record amounts of snow, record temperatures, and record levels of rainfall, with the beginning of 2006 seeing temperatures in East Germany and Berlin falling to below -20°C," commented Marc Pohl, sales and marketing director, Wineconsale.

The cold weather and snow prevailed until April,added Pohl, leaving a short and very late spring. Temperatures then rose to 30°C by the beginning of June, but by then the vines were still a good two weeks behind in growth, meaning flowering did not occur until mid-June.

"Virtually the whole of Germany's crops were harvested within the space of three weeks, a quick harvest even for the most experienced German winegrower," said Pohl.

The temperature changes and rainfall has meant the 2006 German harvest fell slightly behind 2005, recording 8.8 million hl, 4% down on 2005. Some regions in Germany though experienced a growth in production, with Saale-Unstrut recording a 45% rise to 42,000 hl in 2006 compared to 2005.

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