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Rains Souring German Wine

Associated Press

This year’s wines may have a sour taste because of the rains that are drenching West Germany’s vineyards, the agriculture minister said Friday.

Rain and below-normal temperatures prevail in much of the country.

Experts say that the blossoming of the vines is two weeks behind and that the rain, cool weather and lack of sunshine are retarding their growth. They are predicting a 20% to 25% drop in the yield, and without sun, the natural sugar content of the grapes also will be down.

“The consumers of 1985 German wines may find them sour,” Agriculture Minister Ignaz Kiechle said Friday.

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Kiechle said an exceptionally cold winter and hailstorms had already severely damaged vineyards along the Rhine.


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