Germany's Ahr Winegrowers Manage to Complete 2021 Harvest

Ahr winegrowers have finished the 2021 grape harvest.

© Ahrwein e.V.

Ahr winegrowers have successfully completed the 2021 grape harvest

Ahr winegrowers have finished the 2021 grape harvest.

© Ahrwein e.V.

What at first seemed impossible has been achieved. The grape harvest in the Germany's Ahr valley has finished and there will be a 2021 vintage from the region.  This was made possible with support and help from all over Germany.

The flood waters that swept through the Ahr valley, famous for its Pinot Noir, during the night of 14 and 15 July hit many winegrowers hard. Machines, tools and many of the wines bottled in recent years were lost. Around 10% of the valley's vineyards were destroyed or severely damaged. In the immediate aftermath of the flood, the affected winegrowers, as well as volunteers from all over Germany and neighbouring countries, joined forces to grapple not only with the reconstruction but the mammoth task of the 2021 grape harvest. For many winegrowers, the grapes in the higher-lying steep slopes were the only capital that did not fall victim to the floods.

Support made harvest possible

"The fact that we were able to bring in the class of 2021 despite the adverse circumstances is thanks to the great helpfulness and solidarity of countless volunteers. Without them, this would not have been possible. On behalf of all Ahr vintners, we would like to thank everyone who supported us," says Peter Kriechel, chairman of Ahrwein e.V. Immediately after the flood, many helped with the canopy management in the vineyards, and in the past few weeks the focus was on the harvest.

The family-run businesses in the valley were often privately affected as well and could not devote themselves to the pending work in the vineyard. All the more reason why every helping hand was worth its weight in gold.

says Peter Kriechel. The Ahrwein e.V. supported the farms for several months afterwards by coordinating numerous relief actions and passing them on to those affected. Another important initiative also ensured the grape harvest. The "Helfer-Shuttle" provided logistical support for the harvest in cooperation with the Ahrwein e.V., transporting hundreds of volunteers by bus to the winegrowers' farms in the valley or directly to the vineyard. 

Help also came in the form of donations and the loan of machinery, vineyard equipment, spare parts and transport to enable the harvest to be brought in and processed. Broken equipment and machines were also repaired.  Thanks to this help, the winegrowers in the Ahr have reported that they have now completed their 2021 harvest.