Cold snap causes frost damage in vineyards


After a very warm first half of April, the cold snap hit many wineries in the regions hard.

  • DWI Aktuell

The nightly sub-zero temperatures of up to minus 2.3°C – örtlich even up to minus 5°C – caused great damage in the vineyards. Due to the high temperatures in recent weeks, the vines are on average two to four weeks ahead in their development. The DWI provides an up-to-date overview of the growing regions particularly affected by frost damage.


The frosty night from Tuesday to Wednesday hit winegrowers in the Enzkreis particularly hard: Among others, the Eisinger winery Otto Keller in the location „Eisinger Berg“ üreported 99 per cent damage due to night frost at minus 2.3 °C. The Bischoff winery in Dietlingen estimates the damage caused on an area of around seven hectares at 80 to 90 per cent. As of today, there is no information on frost damage in the Markgräflerland and Kaiserstuhl regions.


In Franconia, the frost damage varies greatly from region to region. The Franconian Winegrowers' Association estimates that 50 per cent of the vineyards throughout Franconia have been damaged, albeit to varying degrees. It is not yet possible to make any predictions about the damage. Vineyards in Ipsheim, in the southern Steigerwald area of Bad Kissingen and Karlstadt, where attempts were made to protect the vines with frost candles, were particularly affected by the persistently frosty temperatures. The Juliusspital in Würzburg is also concerned about vineyards and is expecting 100 per cent, 40 or 70 per cent losses, depending on the location.

Hessische Bergstraße

The Hessische Bergstraße has seen massive damage in the Groß-Umstadt area in particular, with night-time temperatures of minus 3.4 °C. According to the Eltville wine-growing office, three vineyards around Groß-Umstadt are almost 100 per cent damaged.


The frosty nights have also left their mark on the Moselle: Vintner Burens from Saarburg estimates that around 60 to 70 per cent of his vineyards have been affected. According to the farmers' and winegrowers' association in the Trier-Saarburg district, large areas of vineyards in the region have been damaged. It will only be possible to say exactly how large the losses are in a few days' time.


According to the Rheingau Winegrowers' Association, it is still too early to assess the situation. In typical frost locations, damage to the vines is expected, otherwise the frost has come through relatively lightly.  


The Saale-Unstrut winegrowers' association is concerned about the harvest. A drop in yields is definitely on the cards, but it is not yet possible to put a precise figure on this. Wineries such as Pawis and Beyer as well as many part-time winegrowers along the Unstrut are reporting significant losses, while some wineries in the Saale Valley are reporting total losses.


Temperatures below freezing have also caused major damage in Saxony's vineyards despite frost protection measures. The Saxony Winegrowers' Association is already expecting massive crop damage with losses of 90 to 100 per cent. Frost protection fires in the vineyards have not had the desired effect where they have been used in temperatures as low as minus 5 degrees. The Schloss Wackerbarth state winery expects significant yield losses depending on the location and grape variety.


In the wine-growing region of Württemberg, the thermometer slipped below zero degrees in the Heilbronn region at the beginning of the week. According to the Heilbronn cooperative winery, the extent of the damage varies greatly depending on the variety, location and stage of vegetation.

Sporadic or even extensive frost damage is also being reported from the other growing regions, although it is not yet possible to quantify this precisely.