The Wines of Germany 101
Taking a look at the where, what, whys and whens of Germany
To the East
To the east of the Rhine river there are major wine producing regions. Baden and the Wurttemberg are the third and fourth largest wine producing region in Germany, and Franken, further to the east, is the sixth, though possibly the best known of these three. The use of the Bocksbeutel (pictured), that flattened round wine bottle that you can’t lay down or stack has proven to be a bit of a marketing coup for the region.
Here Sylvaner is king, as opposed the Riesling that rules the regions further to the west. Historically Baden and Wurttemberg have supplied a large portion of the bulk wine consumed in Germany. Baden being home to the Pinot family of grapes, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, while Wurttemberg has produced lots of the fresh, easy drinking red wines from the red grape Trollinger, also known as Schiava in the Alto Adige.
To the northeast of Germany, and formerly behind the Iron Curtain, one finds Sachsen and Saale-Unstrut. Here one finds a truly northern climate and they tend to rely on varieties that reliable ripen in such conditions. Dry and elegant examples of Muller Thurgau and Pinot Blanc are the standout wines from these two small yet promising regions.