Volkach/Würzburg (dpa/lby) – Whether with water from reservoirs or from the Main: Only a fraction of Franconia’s winegrowers can artificially irrigate their vines. According to Franconian wine-growing president Artur Steinmann, there are only around 300 of the approximately 6,300 hectares of wine-growing area systems for optimal irrigation. In dry summers like this year, the water from the reservoir is dripped onto the vines via a long pipe system. Ideally, the reservoir is above the vineyard and fills up with rainwater and meltwater in winter and spring.
For another 1,000 hectares, water is transported from the Main to the vineyard with tractors, with regard to the environment, according to Steinmann, this is not ideal. Not everyone is allowed to take water from the river without further ado – this requires a permit. On the Main loop near Volkach (Kitzingen district), winegrowers sprinkle the vines with Main water. “We can’t irrigate at all on 5,000 hectares,” said Steinmann.
Where can I get water from? This question is also asked by fruit growers, allotment gardeners, tree nurseries, sports clubs and communities, especially in low-rainfall Lower Franconia. According to information from district offices, they can also apply for water to be taken from the Main – the authority determines the amount as required.
“The months of irrigation and the period per day are also specified,” said a spokesman for the Schweinfurt district office. In the authority’s area of responsibility, 12 winegrowers are allowed to take a total of 9,800 cubic meters of water per year from the Main, “whereby two winegrowers also water fruit trees in addition to the wine”.
In the area of the Würzburg district office, four winegrowers have permission to use a total of 5410 cubic meters of water per year from the Main. “When the Main is low, no water may be taken from the Main,” as the Kitzingen District Office explained. “Low water is present when a water level of 150 centimeters or less is reached at the Main gauge in Trunstadt.” The Main is more than 520 kilometers long, almost 408 kilometers of which run through Bavaria.
In hardly any other German wine region is it as hot and dry in summer as in northern Bavaria. “It will be very important for us how August develops,” said the managing director of the Franconian Winegrowers’ Association, Hermann Schmitt, with a view to the weather in the next few weeks. Only the plants with young vines still have problems because the plants do not have as deep roots as vines older than ten years. But if it stays this dry, yield and quality could drop.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220721-99-99840/2