• Germany edition
 
Rare grape harvest cancelled in Hamburg after thieves strip vines
What's left of the white Phoenix grapes. Photo: DPA

Rare grape harvest cancelled in Hamburg after thieves strip vines

Published: 29 Sep 2010 16:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Sep 2010 16:53 GMT+02:00

Thieves stole between 80 and 90 percent of the small crop of premium grapes destined to become this year’s “Stintfang-Cuvée” wine on Tuesday evening, just one day ahead of the traditional harvest.

"I had hoped I could still save something," said Fritz Currle, the vintner who has guided the blend of red Regent and white Phoenix grapes for the last 15 years. "But I can’t save anything if there’s nothing there."

The name of the wine comes from the vineyard’s location on the Stintfang, the hill above the landmark St. Pauli Landing Bridges over the Elbe River. In 1996 the organisers of the annual Stuttgart wine festival Stuttgarter Weindorf gave the vines to the city as a gift to celebrate their 10-year partnership with the city in staging a Hamburg version of the event in front of city hall each year.

But Stuttgarter Weindorf organiser Axel Grau discovered on Tuesday night that the thieves had left only enough of the grapes to fill a laundry basket.

Twenty-five new vines had been planted in early August on the south-facing slope, making a total of 100. The city had been optimistic about the 2010 harvest, which was expected to yield the yearly average of between 40 to 50 bottles of the highly-exclusive, not-for-sale wine. The grapes are usually transported to Stuttgart for pressing, then presented to Hamburg officials to celebrate the next wine festival. Bottles are often given to prominent visitors to the city.

But this year the pitifully few remaining grapes neglected by the unknown thieves will now be donated to a homeless shelter, vineyard organisers decided.

Although police have begun conducting interviews, they have no leads at present, they said.

DAPD/rm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:28 September 29, 2010 by parografik
mmm....mmm.., huh? You mean we're not supposed to eat these?
19:05 September 29, 2010 by DinhoPilot
What a blommer... ^^
Today's headlines
Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?
A Russian tank at a military parade in Moscow in May. Photo: DPA

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?

A foreign policy expert in Chancellor Angela Merkel's own party said on Thursday Russia was fighting a "war" in Ukraine. Despite dozens of phone calls to President Vladimir Putin, Merkel's policy of restraint seems to have completely failed. READ  

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos
Passengers look at messages about the damage this morning at Ostkreuz. Photo: DPA

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos

Travellers in southeast Berlin can expect disruption on the S-Bahn until Sunday morning after an arson attack damaged a cable duct on Thursday morning, affecting services on six lines. READ  

Germanwings' pilots will strike on Friday
Photo: DPA

Germanwings' pilots will strike on Friday

UPDATE: Pilots at Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings are set to strike on Friday, after talks between management and a union broke down on Thursday. READ  

Germany posts weaker job figures
Photo: DPA

Germany posts weaker job figures

Unemployment in Germany remained steady in August, official data showed on Thursday, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy and the eurozone as a whole. READ  

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire
The facade of the Mevlana mosque was badly damaged by smoke from the fire. Photo: DPA

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire

UPDATE: Investigators now believe a fire which damaged a mosque in Berlin earlier in August was started deliberately. READ  

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa
The Haus am Bogensee. Photo: DPA

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa

After two failed attempts, Berlin is trying again to sell the sprawling estate and villa once known as Joseph Goebbels' illicit love nest, but so far, nobody's buying. READ  

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis
Cem Özdemir empties a bucket of water over his head next to a cannabis plant. Photo: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis

What looked like just another ALS ice bucket challenge video has become a political statement after the leader of Germany's Green Party Cem Özdemir confirmed he filmed his clip next to a cannabis plant. READ  

What's next for East Berlin?
Photo: Gehry Partners LLP/Timo Hermann - bbz landschaftsarchitekten/DPA/Living Bauhaus/DPA

What's next for East Berlin?

In the second of a two-part series on Berlin’s future, The Local looks at the major developments in former East Berlin. From palaces to bridges, what’s next for the East? READ  

Germany sends six soldiers to Iraq
A transport plane which carried German aid in Erbil. Photo: DPA

Germany sends six soldiers to Iraq

Germany has sent six soldiers to northern Iraq to coordinate deliveries of aid and military equipment to Kurds fighting Islamist terror group Isis. READ  

Berlin's most expensive flat sells for €5.7 million
Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most luxurious addresses in the city. Photo: DPA

Berlin's most expensive flat sells for €5.7 million

A Berlin property firm has set a city-wide record for the most expensive apartment sold, closing a deal for €5.7 million on a centrally-located penthouse. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,497
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd