You are here
Stroll a German vineyard
Growing grapes in Germany
Photos in this slideshow differ from the usual Midwestern crops and farmers that I normally photograph for stories. Last month, I was invited by BASF to attend its annual media conference in Limburgerhof, Germany. Before the conference, BASF hosted a tour of a western Germany vineyard.
The Wiesenmuhle Weingut (vineyard) is near Monsheim in southwestern Germany. This is a sixth-generation farm that dates back to 1792 and is operated by the Gerhard Schilling family. Grapes are grown on 185 hectares (456 acres), with the balance in grain crops like winter wheat.
Battling fungal disease prompts the vineyard to apply fungicides 8 to 10 times during the growing season. Just as U.S. plant pathologists encourage row crop and grain farmers to do, the vineyard follows a strict resistance management strategy. It forestalls resistance by rotating different types of fungicides, notes Schottle.
A 15,000 kilograms per hectare (around 13,350 pounds per acre) yield is a good one, with yields sometimes extending up to 20,000 kilograms/hectare (aroun d 17,800 pounds per acre). Sometimes, though, a good yield isn’t always good because wine quality decreases. In a sense, it mimics high wheat yields accompanied by low protein levels.
Though an entirely different crop across the world, the challenges faced are similar.