The Wines of Germany 101
Taking a look at the where, what, whys and whens of Germany
Pinot Noir accounts for the lion’s share of Germany’s fine red wines. With about 11,000 hectares or about 11% of the vineyards in Germany devoted to wine grapes it’s the most common red variety in the country. Germany’s plantings make it the third largest supply of Pinot Noir in the world. A surprising fact for a country that is almost exclusively associated with white wines.
The remaining red grapes, the likes of Dornfelder, Portugieser, and Trollinger have generally been used to produce the light, fresh red wines that are typically consumed young throughout Europe. Due to the climate it is doubtful that Germany will soon be home to the late ripening varieties that typically produce the big, age worthy wines that collectors covet but as far as bright and zesty reds, with the emerging success at the high end of Pinot Noir, Germany has a surprisingly robust red wine industry. To a large extent this reflects the domestic demand as it moved away from sweeter white wines in search of red table wines.