On Tuesday night this week, unknown persons sprayed about 600 Spätburgunder vines with diesel. The vineyard belongs to Andreas and Nina Grimm, of Weingut Andreas Grimm in Schweigen in the Rheinland Palatinate. An area of 0.15ha is affected and Grimm estimates the damage at €12,000.
"This is one of our best sites and the grapes would have been primarily intended for our middle segment," says the stunned winemaker Nina Grimm. Since only the grape zone was affected, she assumes that the diesel was sprayed with a backpack sprayer.
Why the unknown persons destroyed their grapes of all things is a mystery to the couple. They have no suspicion and no clues to a motive, Grimm told Der Deutsche Weinbau magazine.
The winegrower sought advice from Weincampus Neustadt, the nearby viticulture and oenology school, which has a wine laboratory on site. The experts unanimously agreed that the danger of getting the harmful substances into the cellar - even during treatment and selection - was far too great. "The grapes are now no longer usable," says Andreas Grimm.
The Grimms have warned their local colleagues about the situation, though other vineyards in the vicinity are not affected. Unfortunately, there is no hope for compensation, because the insurance company will not pay for damage in the event of vandalism.
Deutsche Weinbau is published by Meininger Verlag, publisher of Meininger’s Wine Business International.