Höhnstedt / Freiburg – The higher the degrees of the positive, the greater the volume of the minus of the vault. For winegrowers in Saale and Unstrut, things have gone downhill since the first year of the drought in 2018. Now, in addition to more robust varieties, for example wells, storage basins and drip irrigation ensure survival.
“We had to deal with losses of up to 40 percent here in and around Honstedt as a result of the drought,” says Jochen Born, 40, reviewing the past four years. The fifth generation vintner, with his wife Elizabeth (37), is growing his wine exactly where conditions are getting harsher as a result of climate change.
“Höhnstedt is the driest in the entire wine region,” confirms Theo M. Lys (63), a spokesperson for the Freiburg Wine Growers Association. For this reason, there is now a start to improve the water balance with the retention basins.
Born, who grows about ten percent of Hohenstedt’s grape-growing area of nine hectares and about 40,000 vines, welcomes the plan. “That might take a while,” is the winemaker’s experience. That’s why precautions were taken long ago: “About 80 percent of our vineyards are already equipped with drip hoses.”
But they also need water. Bourne calculates: “With 2.3 liters of water per drip device, our company alone will be able to produce 10,000 liters per hour.” In order to achieve these dimensions, it will take more than just a few basins: “You have to check if – how in Israel – the treated sewage and precipitation are drained directly for irrigation.”
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