A harvest helper empties a bucket with grapes during the earliest start of the grape harvest in history in Loerzweiler, some 50 kilometers south of Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, Aug.6, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

In scorching summer, Germany launches earliest grape harvest

August 06, 2018 - 9:01 am

LOERZWEILER, Germany (AP) — Germany's grape harvest is officially underway on its earliest date yet after a scorching summer that has many other farmers despairing but — so far — is promising to be good for vintners.

At a vineyard in Loerzweiler, near the Rhine River in southwestern Germany, workers started plucking white grapes off rows of vines on Monday.

The first grapes go to make Federweisser, a young wine that gives the first clues about the potential quality of a vintage. The main harvest is expected to start in late August or early September.

According to the German Wine Institute, Monday was the earliest start yet to the country's grape harvest. The previous record was on Aug. 8, in 2007, 2011 and 2014.

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