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Germany Cuts Wine Production Estimate as Riesling Volume Slides

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Germany’s wine production, Europe’s fourth-biggest, probably fell 6.5 percent to the lowest in three years as output of white Riesling declined, the government statistics office reported.

The 2013 vintage is estimated at 8.49 million hectoliters (224 million gallons) from 9.08 million hectoliters in 2012, Statistisches Bundesamt wrote in an online report today, down from an October forecast for little-changed production.

Grapevine flowering was delayed in Germany’s biggest wine-growing region of Rhineland-Palatinate after a colder-than-usual May, hurting fruit set and cutting yields, the Deutsches Weininstitut wrote in a Nov. 29 report.

White wine from grapes including Riesling, Mueller-Thurgau and Silvaner is estimated to fall to 5.24 million hectoliters from 5.55 million hectoliters in 2012, the statistics office wrote, reversing its October outlook for higher production.

The volume of Riesling of the 2013 vintage is estimated to slide to 1.64 million hectoliters from 1.98 million hectoliters, a reduction equivalent to 45 million bottles.

Red wine production probably fell to 3.25 million hectoliters from 3.53 million hectoliters. Germany’s red wines include those from grapes such as pinot noir, locally known as the Spaetburgunder, and Dornfelder.

The volume in Rhineland-Palatinate is expected to fall to 5.58 million hectoliters from 5.99 million hectoliters, with output of whites sliding to 3.68 million hectoliters from 3.89 million hectoliters.

Rhineland-Palatinate’s growing area of Rheinhessen produced an estimated 2.44 million hectoliters of wine, while for Pfalz the volume is seen at 2.1 million hectoliters.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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