A shortage of glass bottles is hampering the German wine industry.

After the best harvest in a decade, vintners are struggling to find enough bottles, and waiting periods have increased to as long as three months.

The problem is particularly acute with transparent bottles in the 0.75 litre range, said the German Wine Institute’s Frank Schulz.

These bottles are typically used for Rose and Sparkling wines, he added.

Germany’s wine harvest in 2018 looks set to be more than 2 million hectolitres higher than in 2017. Provisional figures state 9.8 million hectolitres was produced in 2018, up from 7.5 million hectolitres in 2017.

Suppliers would typically resort to imports during production bottlenecks but that is proving difficult after Italy, Spain and France also reported strong wine production.

Mr Schulz said it was a serious issue for Vintners, who are increasingly selling by the bottle rather than the barrel.

One suggestion is the supply problem has been exacerbated by the closure of a number of former East German glassmakers since 1990.

They have been acquired by larger groups and relocated elsewhere.

Pic source: Wines of Germany, germanwines.de