In the German wine region of Ahr, known especially for Pinot Noir, the massive flood last week caused severe damage. Entire vineyards were destroyed, bottles and barrels lost along with machinery and equipment, and residential buildings were swept away or are permanently uninhabitable. Since the clean-up work is ongoing, the damage to the local wine scene is not yet measurable. Helpers are travelling from numerous other wine-growing regions, some with the appropriate equipment, because for many winegrowers one of the most urgent problems is to continue working in the vineyards so as not to lose the harvest as well.
Meanwhile, further support is being organised in many places and appeals are being made for donations. The Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter (VDP), the German association of premium wine producers, launched a fundraising campaign , the proceeds of which will benefit the winegrowers. Pauline Apell, who is responsible for public relations at the VDP, emphasised to Meininger's that the aid money will serve all winegrowers, including non-members.
"The response is very good, also internationally. Currently, we are also setting up a PayPal account so that the aid can be provided in an even more uncomplicated way", said Apell.
An initiative started by a winery collected 60,000 bottles of wine from winegrowers and traders within 48 hours to be sold for the benefit of winegrowers.
Meininger Verlag also helps: The proceeds from our annual charity wine sale, in the amount of €10,000, will be donated to Ahrtal winegrowers in crisis due to the floods.
The German Sommelier Union is organising a charity auction of wine bottles for the benefit of the winegrowers with the support of Meininger Verlag.
On the otherwise tranquil Ahr, there is a great willingness to help after the floods / Credit: DWI
The German Winegrowers' Association (Deutscher Weinbauverband, DWV) has also launched another appeal for donations. In a press release, it is additionally pointed out that the vintners urgently need help "not only for clean-up work, but also for work in the vineyard that is now necessary and cannot be postponed".
The hashtag #solidahrität is used in social networks to bundle which help is reaching the Ahr valley and how volunteers can lend a hand.
The German Wine Institute (Deutsches Weininstitut, DWI) has also posted the various aid campaigns on its homepage and lists accounts for donations from Germany and abroad: