The floods in July hit the Ahr Valley right in the heart – viticulture is the mainstay and economic pillar in this region, which is now no longer standing. “The masses of water have literally pulled the rug out from under the feet of almost all the wineries from the region. But we are currently experiencing an equally great flood of willingness to help and compassion,” says Peter Kriechel, winemaker and chairman of the Ahrwein e.V. association.
GERMANY (Bad Neuenahr/Ahrweiler) – After the flood disaster in the Rhineland-Palatinate Ahr Valley, the majority of the upcoming 2021 wine harvest is at risk. Of the total of 50 wineries in the Ahr, only four were not affected by the flood, Peter Kriechel told the press about the current status of the flood disaster. “All the others are damaged.” Ten to 20 farms were completely destroyed, he said. Very many winegrowers had lost everything.
The upcoming grape harvest is problematic, he said. In six to seven weeks, the first grapes would have to be brought to the cellars. “That keeps us enormously busy, how we can manage that,” Kriechel said. Not only equipment or buildings were swept away by the flood, but stored wine bottles from previous vintages, he said. According to Kriechel, this loss alone amounts to around 50 million euros. He described the loss as “cruel.” If the work of a complete year disappears, it is a financial and a psychological loss. He knew of colleagues who no longer wanted to continue.
However, he said, the help from other wine regions gives hope to the winemakers. “We don’t even know how to thank them in the aftermath,” Kriechel said. The region faces a long road ahead, he said, because it will take a long time to restore the infrastructure, including for viticulture.
One of the many helps is the #flutgwein initiative – read more in the article: “Mud-smeared wine bottles as a glimmer of hope in a dark hour“