Due to the high temperatures and the long drought, the grapes have ripened particularly early this year. The harvest has therefore started earlier than ever before.

Drauwelies op der Musel / Reportage Sabrina Backes

Last week saw the start of an early harvest period for several private winegrowers in the Moselle region. Among them is the Domaine Sunnen-Hoffmann from Remerschen, who have started collecting their Cremant grapes. Marie Kox, future manager of Sunnen-Hoffman, explains that due to the high temperatures and the drought, the grapes are relatively small. This means that they are less juicy, but much healthier, which indicates good quality. Because they are so small, the sugar concentration increases much faster. As a result, they have already reached a point where they are ready for Cremant production.

The Cremant grapes are ready to be harvested now already, given they need a little acidity in the fruit. In order to find out when the individual grapes are ready for harvesting, analyses of the sugar and acid levels are still carried out. The colour of the fruit also says a lot.

In addition, the winery operates via hand harvest as it allows for a much more careful selection. If there is a rotten grape in between, it can be sorted out quickly, which would be impossible with machines. And a bonus of the hand harvest is that it always allows for a great atmosphere amongst the pickers.

A number of harvesters have joined the farm this year. Among them are students, pensioners, cross-border workers, but also refugees from Ukraine.

Grapes intended for the production of Vin Cru 2022 are left a little longer so they become even sweeter. How much wine and Cremant this harvest will bring is difficult to predict, Marie Kox says.