Every region is permanently defined first and foremost by its geography. The type of climate, soils, and location are fundamentally entwined with the types of wines a region is capable of producing. Germany is located at the heart of Europe and as such is quite insulated from the profound influence the Atlantic Ocean has to its west and the Mediterranean to its south.
The vast majority of Germany’s vineyards do take what little advantage there is to be offered by the warming influence of the Atlantic and lie within about 150 miles of the western border the country shares with Belgium, Luxembourg and France. This concentration of vineyards leaves the vast majority of the country vineyard free, with the cold climate that is no surprise. Though it is surprising to think of how densely planted most other famous wine producing countries tend to be. Germany’s grand reputation is mostly due to the incredible production from the vineyards that line the steep hillsides along the Rhine and Mosel rivers, which incidentally are among the northernmost wine producing regions in the world. Bested only by vineyards in the UK, British Columbia, and the eastern German region of Saxe and Saale-Untstrut.