• Germany's news in English

Rare grape harvest cancelled in Hamburg after thieves strip vines

The Local · 29 Sep 2010, 16:53

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.

Story continues below…

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


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd