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2000 Years of German Vintage Reports

We are greatly indebted to Peter Jordan for allowing us to repoduce this vintage information on our site. If you wish to copy this information, please honor Peter's copywrite.

If you enjoy German wine or just want to know more about it .. please visit Peter's wonderful site.

There are plenty of recent vintage charts around, in journals, books, and on the net. But what about previous centuries? Monastic records have preserved this remarkable information for us, although there are of course some gaps. The notes illustrate the relation between quality and quantity that holds for wine. The greatest vintages are set in bold face. We update the chronic regularly and are grateful for any new information that we get from our readers. Last update : 29.04.97

A request: we see that this page is frequently copied. Please do not make a copy of this page without stating the original authorship, and a link to the source. Without these qualifications we have to insist on copyright.

121 BC very good year "Opimianischer Wein", in honor of the consul L. Opimius Nepos. Still famed after decades.
291 rich vintage
300 failure
306 crop failure
312 crop failure
411 crop failure
545 crop failure
585 crop failure
604 crop failure
638 very good
8th and 9th century : Fuder price 50 - 90 Reichsmark
721 very good
742 very good, hot and dry summer, great heat
765 blessed vintage, service of thanksgiving by king Pippin
882 good and plenty
893 Fuder price at Prüm abbey : 1 carrada (Fuder) vini for 14 Denar = 90 Reichsmark
899 plentyful autumn
10th and 11th century : Fuder price 100 - 170 Reichsmark
984 very good
988 very good
995 very good, drought, great heat, warm summer
1004 very good, warm summer
1007 very good, hot summer
1076 total crop failure, strong frost from Nov. 1075 to March 1076
12th century: Fuder price 75 - 105 Reichsmark
1107 top vintage, excellent
1152 plenty of wine, lesser wine is given away for free
1185 plenty of marvelous wine, start of harvest 1st of August, musts sweet as sugar
1186 plenty and good, trees blossom in January, apple trees in Feb., harvest in August
1194 excellent harvest, great heat, drought, heavy hail storms
13th century (fist half) : Fuder price 130 - 165 Reichsmark
1220 bad and expensive wine, for the poor as well as for the rich
1239 failure, very expensive wine
13th century (second half): Fuder price 220 - 290 Reichsmark
1259 very good
1276 grapes already eatable at July 15th
1291 splendid, noble
1293 excellent wine in abundance
1295 plenty of a good and strong wine
1296 rich harvest
1297 mostly plenty of good wine
14th century 1st half: Fuder price 350 - 450 Reichsmark
1300 principal year
1303 principal vintage
1304 principal vintage
1318 very good
1326 principal vintage, excellent
1328 principal vintage
1333 principal vintage
1336 principal vintage
1337 very good
1343 very good - a 1343er Lindenfelser (Kurpfalz) was served to visitor of Schloss Heidelberg in the 17th century - tasting like "Holzapfelbrühe" according to witnesses
14th century 2d half : Fuder prices 260 - 400 Reichsmark
1358 ice wine ???
1362 very good
1371 poor and expensive
1376 principal vintage
1386 principal vintage, very large and good, especially cheap
1387 very good
1390 very good
1392 rich year, plenty and good, autumn frost damage between 21st and 29th of September
1394 very large and good, exceptionally cheap
1420 excellent, like 1326
1421 very good
1422 very cheap
1426 to drink wine for one heller it took two visits to the pub
1432 very large and good, for lack of barrels wine was used to prepare mortar
1437 cold winter destroyed the vineyards at the Weichsel
1472 good, long lasting vintage with high acidity
1519 good vintage
1522 very good
1525 good vintage, still served in 1730 in the Straßburger Spitalkeller
1529 very unfavorable, wet summer and autumn
1530 grapes very sour, almost unpalatable
1540 large and very good, extremely dry summer: the Rhine dried out. Warm period began at February 1st, harvest at August 24th. Famous Steinwein
1562 Riesling documented at the Mosel - Good "Rößlingstöcke" (riesling vines) at Trittenheim
1606 very good vintage, hot summer, grandiose Tokay
1628 the worst since a hundred years, even vinegar was spoilt with it
1630 early vintage and good bloom
1631 hot summer, very large and good
1639 sour, like crab apple cider
1668 very good year - long lasting good Tokayer
1676 very hot summer, plenty and very good, Fuder price 90 Taler
1682 very good year - famous Tokayer
1684 pretty largel and very good
1694 Fuder price 22 Taler
1706 very large and excellent
1701 bad
1703 very bad - the cellar man Hans Jakob Erni was executed in 1706 for "improving" his wines from 1701 and 1703 so that some customers died
1706 good vintage - decades later Goethe's mother still appreciated it
1712 very large and good
1718 early bloom, very hot and dry summer, plenty and very good
1719 very large and very good - the most precious wine of the first half of the 18th century
1721 153.000 vines yielded 11 Fuder of wine at the Ruwer- yield per vine on average 0,07 Liter
1726 exquisite vintage in small quantities
1727 very large and very good - the Rüdesheimer Apostelwein is still in the Bremer Ratskeller : alc 13.3 vol%, acid 13.1 g/l, sugar-free extract 42.7 g/l
1728 plentiful vintage overshadowed by 1727
1729 the fourth large crop in succession
1736 a blessed vintage
1737 good vintage
1738 very good vintage
1743 new main building at our estate, on the foundations of an older one
1748 plenty and very good - the best of the 40s, similar to 38 - a Fuder of St. Maximiner fetched 425 Reichstaler
1749 may frost damage, very favorable summer and autumn, small but very good, "a wine of kings"
1759 well above the average, like 1859 and 1959
1762 plenty and very good
1763 bad, the Kurfürst of Trier got rid of Zeltinger wine for 11 Taler per Fuder
1769 very bad, all sour
1772 plenty and good, better than expected
1774 small crop, quality all the better
1775 a glorious wine, very ripe - first Spätlese (late harvest) botrytis grapes at the Benedicts abbey Johannisberg in the Rheingau: "These 1775 wines in our grand cellar find applause from real conaisseurs to an extrordinary extent, such that one hears from these almost no other word than Such wines I have never had on my palate before."
1776 very good
1777 mostly undrinkable, grapes froze
1779 precious wine
1780 minor vintage
1781 very large and very good, very sweet grapes - a Fuder from St. Maximin fetched 30 Reichstaler
1782 bad weather, indifferent wine
1783 early spring, hot and dry summer, a vintage of the century, very large, exceptionally good, botrytis, better still than 1719
1785 bad, sour wine
1786 bad wine, "only good for the workers"
1787 "The wine turned out bad, only of use for servants and day laborers" - the Kürfürst of Trier, Clemens Wenzeslaus, decrees to turn 95% of the Mosel region to the Riesling grape
1788 good table wine, expensive
1791 good wine, but too little
1793 "of good, yet small growth" - a Fuder of Grünhäuser was sold for 1144 Gulden
1798 generous vintage
1799 bad, heavy frost
1802 very good vintage
1804 exceptionally good, ripe vintage
1805 our estate is secularized - until then it was owned by a Jesuite's college in Luxenbourg
1811 komet vintage (komet Halley), very large and very good - a vintage of the century
1812 minor vintage
1813 total crop failure
1814 bad year, almost no wine produced
1815 crop failure
1816 crop failure - cold autumn, frozen before harvest
1817 crop failure - frozen before harvest
1818 a "three quater" autumn with good wines
1819 very good at the Mosel, the first better vintage since 1811
1820 small year, little crop
1821 crop failure, almost no wine produced
1822 very good, almost like 1811 with plenty of botrytis, mostly sold out "en primeur" at the 10th and 11th of October
1823 small year
1824 small year, minor wines
1825 very nice vintage at the Mosel, surpassing 1822, approaching the quality of 1811
1826 full autumn, average quality
1827 minor vintage
1828 large crop, low quality
1829 small year - the lowest prices in 30 years
1830 minor, thin vintage, frost damage
1831 small crop, somewhat better wines
1832 bad
1833 generous crop, insufficient proceeds
1834 a full autumn - prices quadruple from the 1833 vintage
1835 good in sufficient quantities
1836 good, at falling prices - Verein zur Förderung der Weinkultur an Mosel und Saar was founded
1837 very bad. The Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung writes on November 11th: "Just started, our harvest was already almost over: the more the growers keep collecting and selecting the grapes, the more they come to the conclusion that the result is not worth the effort! In the Rheingau one had hoped that what the heat did not do the frost might, that is give the grapes some sweetness. All in vein. Instead of frost comes wet weather, and what was not collected early fell prey to rot." - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1838 mediocre quality and small quantity - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1839 very good - Fuder price in Saarburg 200 Thaler
1840 mediocre - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1841 minor vintage - nothing sold in Saarburg
1842 very good, it is said to have been the sweetest wine of the century
1843 average vintage - Fuder price in Saarburg 50 Thaler
1844 average vintage - Fuder price in Saarburg 50 Thaler
1845 bad vintage - Fuder price in Saarburg 50 Thaler
1846 very good, gorgeous autumn - Fuder price in Saarburg 600 Thaler
1847 bad wine - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler - Riesling from the Ockfener Geisberg was harvested at 59 Grad Oechsle and 17, 9 g/l acid
1848 good vintage - Fuder price in Sarburg 100 Thaler - Analysis of Piesporter : 10.8 vol% alcohol, 22.3 g/l sugar-free extract, 5.2 g/l residual sugar, 5.8 g/l acid, 2.0 g/l ashes - Forster Auslese : 11.4 vol% alcohol, 24.7 g/l sugar-free extract, 6.3 g/l residual sugar, 4.8 g/l acid, 1.3 g/l ashes
1849 good vintage - Fuder price in Saarburg 100 Thaler
1850 minor vintage - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1851 minor vintage - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1852 good quality at low yields - Fuder price in Saarburg 170 Thaler
1853 first appearance of oidium in the Mosel - Fuder price in Saarburg 170 Thaler
1854 mediocre wine - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1855 minor vintage - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1856 minor vintage - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1857 exceptionally hot summer without any rain, a true sunshine full of power and bouquet - Fuder price in Saarburg 1200 (!) Thaler
1858 very good with particularly good bouquet, not as powerful as the 1857 - Fuder price in Saarburg 500 Thaler
1859 very good - in line with the famous 59s from three centuries - Fuder price in Saarburg 480 Thaler
1860 small after three exceptional years - Fuder price in Saarburg 40 Thaler
1861 very good vintage with sufficiently large crop
1862 blessed vintage
1863 minor vintage
1864 plenty of rain and cold, bad wine
1865 a wine of the century, plenty and good, heat up to 30C in June, grapes turned red on June 24th, start of harvest in mid october - normal must weights at Mosel and Saar with 88-92 Oechsle, better musts at 95 Oechsle, jounf Rieslings from very good sites up to 105 Oechsle
1866 average year - Mosel table wine is sold per Ohm a 140 Quart at 24 Thalern
1868 very good, tropical heat in the summer, begin of harvest 5th of october - Mosel table wine is sold per Ohm (160 Liter) at 36 Thaler, the finer ones at 48 Thaler
1869 very good
1870 above average vintage
1871 crop failure
1872 minor vintage
1873 bad wine, failure
1874 very good
1875 good year
1880 a "miserable" year. Average yield 4,2 hl/ha. Total harvest 365.000 hl in Germany. For comparison, German harvest in 1994 was 10.347.710 hl - 28 times as much.
1881 average vintage with higher yields of 21 hl/ha - phylloxera at the Ahr
1882 wet summer, cool autumn, bad quality
1883 bad year, thin and sour wines
1884 good vintage with good yields. very good Mosel wines. 3.750 ha at the Mosel yield 142.000 hl
1885 average vintage
1886 first very good vintage after many years, small crop, first appearance of Peronospora at the Mosel
1887 average vintage, good harvest quantity
1888 dreadful - described in a German poem der 88er Wein
1889 good vintage with low yields. Mosel-yield 165.000 hl, at the Saar 18.000 hl - the average of recent years
1890 good vintage and a rich autumn filled the barrels
1891 crop failure with strong frosts
1892 very good vintage, elegant wine - the first German wine law
1893 a wine of the century with outstanding botrytis, competition for 1811 - barrel price for Scharzhofberger 5.50 Goldmark / Litre - Wiltinger 3.15 - Bocksteiner 4.2. Just how much money is this ? The house keeper of a student society Pomerania earned 300 Mark per annum. The house, a beautiful building located in Greifswald, with a flat for the house keeper and working areas, four additional flats, pub, hall, fencing room, reception room, and a separate minor building, cost 27.500 Mark - the price of 5 Fuder of Scharzhofberger!
1894 average vintage im Schatten des overshadowed by 93
1895 good vintage. Price from the barrel for a litre Scharzhofberger 5,00 Goldmark - Wiltinger 3,05 - Bocksteiner 4,00
1896 below par vintage with a generous yield of 3.000.000 hl
1897 good vintage, wines with good bouquet. Price from the barrel for a litre of Scharzhofberger 5,31 Goldmark - Wiltinger 3,36 - Bocksteiner 2,82
1898 average year, cool summer
1899 plenty of rain and cold weather spoil the vintage. Hence rice from the barrel of a litre of Scharzhofberger 2,47 Goldmark - Wiltinger 1,75 - Bocksteiner 1,90
1900 a very good and sought after vintage. Glorious summer. Price from the barrel for a litre of Faßpreis Scharzhofberger 5,53 Goldmark - Wiltinger 2,91 - Bocksteiner 3,92

( 1 Goldmark is approx 7-9$ )
( 1 Fuder = 1.000 Liter )

From 1900 you will have other records. If you have any information about earlier times I would be glad for any help you can offer me to fill this list.

Version 2.0 d - copyright 1997 by Peter H. Jordan / JORDAN&JORDAN

© 1996,97,98,99,2000Art & Betsy Stratemeyer

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