- Title: One month after deadly floods, German winegrower determined to stay positive
- Date: 13th August 2021
- Summary: ALTENAHR, GERMANY (AUGUST 13, 2021) (REUTERS) ARMY TRUCK DRIVING PAST SERMANN FAMILY'S WINERY WHICH WAS SEVERELY HIT BY FLOODS WRITING ON OUTSIDE OF HOUSE READING "SERMANN WINERY" LUKAS SERMANN LOOKING AT RUBBLE WORKERS PUTTING UP NEW ROOF GUTTERS (SOUNDBITE) (German) WINEGROWER, LUKAS SERMANN, SAYING: "All of us are not just tired but also mentally exhausted. We had a lot of really great moments which outweigh but there were also disappointments when for instance we found something and in the end, it turned out it didn't work anymore. There were also disappointments as far as official help is concerned. But overall, we are tired and content." WINE BARRELS OUTSIDE SIGN READING IN GERMAN "FLOOD WINE" (SOUNDBITE) (German) WINEGROWER, LUKAS SERMANN, SAYING: "When I took over the business I had a clear goal and I developed a vision and I won't back off from it. All I want is to produce the best possible quality wine and get people excited for the wines from our region. This is now a new period. I wouldn't say it set us back. It sped up certain processes. I am looking into the future very positively." VARIOUS OF MUD COVERED ELECTRIC CABINET INSIDE SERMANN'S WINERY VARIOUS OF ELECTRICIANS AT WORK (SOUNDBITE) (German) WINEGROWER, ELMAR SERMANN, LUKAS' FATHER, SAYING: "These bottles here we all cleaned carefully by hand. They almost look new apart from a few minor faults. But it's looking pretty good already. What we now need is the experts. Today and tomorrow we have electricians here and with some luck, we'll get the business back on its feet electrically to where it was before the floods. I am 95% sure that's possible." CLEANED WINE BOTTLES IN PLASTIC CRATES (SOUNDBITE) (German) WINEGROWER, ELMAR SERMANN, LUKAS' FATHER, SAYING: "Our next goal is to bottle the first wine in December which means we will have wine again in nice, new bottles with nice, clean labels the way we are used to it. And then we will see (folds his arms). I am kind of optimistic but I won't deny that everyone here has his bleak moments. When you talk to people it becomes clear that in the evening, there is a tear shed here or there when you think about it all." WALKING VIEW OF CLEANED BOTTLES IN PLASTIC CRATES IN BASEMENT BALCONY / AHR RIVER
- Embargoed: 27th August 2021 17:54
- Keywords: Ahrtal valley German deadly floods cleanup devastation economy progress wine grower winery
- Location: ALTENAHR & SCHULD & BAD NEUENAHR-AHRWEILER & NEAR SWISTTAL, GERMANY
- City: ALTENAHR & SCHULD & BAD NEUENAHR-AHRWEILER & NEAR SWISTTAL, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Environment,Europe,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA001EQ43GW7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A German winegrower whose almost 300-year-old family business was severely hit by deadly floods last month is determined to get back up on his feet one month on.
Lukas Sermann, who took over the winery from his father Elmar a while ago, says that while everybody is tired and "mentally exhausted," he was looking into the future "very positively."
The Sermanns have spent hours and hours cleaning wine bottles from mud which they rescued from their flooded cellars.
Lukas father Elmar Sermann said their next goal was "to bottle the first wine in December which means we will have wine again in nice, new bottles with nice, clean labels the way we are used to it."
More than 170 people died in last month's flooding, Germany's worst natural disaster in more than half a century.
Elmar Sermann said despite the hope to set up their business again as soon as possible, there were dark moments too.
"When you talk to people it becomes clear that in the evening, there is a tear shed here or there when you think about it all."
Insured losses from the floods may total 4 billion to 5 billion euros ($4.7-5.9 billion), according to the GDV insurance industry association.
Damage in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate is likely to exceed the 4.65 billion euros recorded after a deluge in August 2002, it said.
Only around 45% of homeowners in Germany have insurance that covers flood damage, according to the GDV, triggering a discussion about the need for compulsory insurance.
(Production: Andreas Kranz, Leon Kuegler, Michele Sani)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None