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Vineyards look forward to bumper harvest

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Vineyards look forward to bumper harvest
Photo:myswitzerland.com
10:35 CEST+02:00
The 2015 vintage could be a great one for many Swiss winegrowers, thanks to the hot, dry summer.

While fruit and vegetable growers complain about the lack of rain, vineyard owners canvassed by the 20 Minuten newspaper are very upbeat about this year's grape harvest.

They are reminded of the record-breaking summer of 2003 when the harvest was two weeks earlier than usual.

“If it continues to be so hot we will have a top vintage,” winemaker Andreas Stössel told the paper.

Other winegrowers across northern and eastern Switzerland agreed.

Barbara Koellreuter from Aesch in the canton of Basel-Country is delighted with the condition of her vines, saying she expects “very good wine” this year.

“2015 is going to be an excellent vintage,” said organic winemaker Bruno Martin from Ligerz on the Lake of Biel, adding that he couldn't wait for the harvest.

Far from damaging the vines, the hot and extremely dry weather of the past few weeks seems to have done them good.

The dryness has protected the plants from fungal infections and infestation by the spotted-wing drosophila fruit fly.

And winegrowers are less reliant on pesticides than usual.

“This year we have fewer problems with diseases like mildew,” Michael Teutsch from the Lake of Biel told 20 Minuten.

But it is too early to celebrate just yet. The weather between now and September will determine how good the vintage is.

As the grapes ripen the ideal temperature is around 20 C. If it is too hot the grapes will have a higher alcohol content but less aroma.

But Markus Hardegger of the St Gallen wine centre is optimistic: “Only hail can spoil things now,” he said.

Switzerland has 15,000 hectares of vines and produced 93 million litres of wine last year.

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