The Wines of Germany 101

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White Grapes
There is no doubt that Riesling is the king of wine in Germany. Accounting for just under a quarter of all acreage under vine, and found in each of the 13 fine wine growing regions it’s established itself as the premier grape both domestically and internationally where German Riesling is accorded the same respect as White Burgundy in most wine circles. Truly one of the finest wines on earth. 
Until recently Germany consumed significantly more wine than they do today and that demand was generally for less expensive wines so it’s not surprising that the remaining varieties planted in Germany have generally been known more for their reliable yields rather than their fine quality. Muller Thurgau and Sylvaner have slowly moved beyond their bulk production roots as demand diminished and the vineyards were thinned leaving only the top site for these varieties. Today they help, along with expanding vineyards of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay, to satisfy Germany’s increasing thirst for crisp, dry white wines. 

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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 238,749

    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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