Austria celebrates bountiful harvest

Austria’s 2018 harvest is the earliest ever recorded and also large enough to offset the losses last year in most regions.

Initial reports from Statistik Austria indicate the harvest will be around 3.2 million hectolitres, helped along not only by the fine weather this year but also by the nationwide increase in the maximum yield per hectare, which was granted to help growers compensate for the shortfall in 2017.

More moderate harvests were recorded in places, notably Niederösterreich where there was a drought and Südsteiermark where there was (conversely) an occasional excess of rain.

In general, a cold February and March led to a later than usual budding, which allowed the majority to escape late frosts.

The rest of the spring however was the second warmest since 1767, which caused the vegetative cycle to catch up considerably so that flowering was done by the end of May.

June was warm with some rainfall while July continued the hot streak and with a mix of either drought or indeed heavy rains in places.

Harvesting began in some areas in August and was helped along by the onset of some cooler weather although also with some rather less welcome localised storms.

September was dry and fine for the rest of the harvest which was largely concluded by the beginning of October.

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