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Germany begins early wine harvest

Published:  23 July, 2008

GERMANY: The country's earliest harvest on record is expected to reap many rewards, the German Winegrowers Association said.

German wines enjoy considerable popularity in their home market, with a market share of just over 50%.

Exports are growing; In the period July 2006 to June 2007, German wine volume exports rose 18% while the value of exports increased by 24%.

There some 80,000 winegrowers in Germany, growing as many as 140 different varieties. The country still primarily grows white wines, although the area planted with red grape varieties has increased by nearly 40% in the past 15 years.

Riesling and Mller-Thurgau are the predominant white wines, while Sptburgunder (the German name for Pinot Noir) and Dornfelder are the main reds.