The Wines of Germany 101
Taking a look at the where, what, whys and whens of Germany
Certainly the most famous vineyards in Germany are those that follow the course of the Rhine, in order of decreasing acreage the Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Rheingau, and Mittlerhein. The Rheinhessen and in particular the more southerly and warmer Pfalz are both home to a significant percentage of red vines in addition to the more familiar whites, accounting for roughly 30% and 40% of acreage under vine respectively, while the Rheingau and Mittelrhein have only about 15% of their vineyards planted to red varieties.
Also in this corner of Germany, farther to the northwest, one finds two additional wine valleys. The Mosel, which is home to a disproportionate number of top quality sites considering it accounts for roughly 9% of Germany’s land under vine. It is here that Germany’s reputation for producing fine wines was established, almost exclusively with Riesling, though the aforementioned Scheurebe and varieties like Rieslaner also have their proponents.
A little further to the northwest there is the Ahr river, home to a tiny proportion of Germany’s vineyards. The Ahr has the distinction of being Germany’s red wine region, even if there are fewer acres of red vines here than in other regions they account for some 85% of land under vines and produce some of the county’s top Spatburgunders AKA Pinot Noir.