The Wines of Germany 101

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Who: Riesling
Because Germany’s producers bottle so many wines, from different vineyards and at different sweetness levels it’s really challenging to compile a list of the best wines to try to learn about the region. The easiest path to take is to compile a list of the top affordable producers and then try and pick out their best or most distinctive wines. While that does help one gain an understanding of the producers, it’s the wine styles that one must understand first. To that end I would suggest that you first try a range of Spatlese level wines. These tend to be fairly rich and noticeably sweet. They age spectacularly well and are a great jumping off point for the world of Riesling, which after all continues to be Germany's flagship wine. Below I list a top ten producers, of sorts, and on the following pages I offer suggestions of wines from their portfolios to sample. 
J.J. Prum
Willi Schaefer
Dr. Loosen
Fritz Haag
J.J. Christoffel
Josef Leitz

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  • Snooth User: Zuiko
    Hand of Snooth
    540750 833

    Nice article there GDP. What is amazing about Germany is that there are so many producers and so many great wines. Unknown producers (to US consumers) can make as great a wine as the famous producers. Exploring the wine country to find these gems is a real thrill. Finding a great wine outside of the classic Mosel and Rheingau areas is quite common and rewarding. There have been some great wines produced from the co-ops (Winzergenossenschaft & Winzerverein) as well. My favorite German producer? Frank Schiffmann, Brauneberg. But there are about 20 others that would be a close second.

    Nov 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM

  • Seems a little strange that you didn't list Frits Ritter, since their kabinet is one of the top selling German wines in the US, Also, Vereinigte Hospitien is one of the oldest, and in my opinion finest, vineyards in Germany. Their Scharzhofberger Auslese is, again in my opinion, in a class of it's own and easily the equal of any of the producers you have listed.

    Nov 18, 2013 at 5:33 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 233,910

    Zuiko, Thank you for the kind words. There are indeed many great producers in Germany, far too many to list in such a short overview.

    American Storm, Perhaps in my follow up articles on Germany 201 we'll dive deeper and cover some of the producers I've missed on this first pass.

    Nov 18, 2013 at 6:24 PM

  • The Pinot Noir wines from the Ahr valley are generally from the Fruhburgunder rather than the Spatburgunder. This is an earlier ripening version more suited to the cooler climate.

    Stephen Freeland

    Nov 22, 2013 at 5:23 AM

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