German Wine Regions
Germany has a total of 13 wine regions, 11 of which are located in Western Germany whilst the other 2 are located on the eastern side of the country. Most of the oldest and best vineyards in the country are situated along the Rhine and Mosel rivers. Some are also ideally located on sunny and steep slopes to temper the extremes of the weather and help the wine grapes ripen better.
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer is perhaps the most popular wine region in all of Germany. This is situated along the steep twisting slopes by the Mosel River. This gives the vineyard plenty of irrigation system which makes the growing of grapes relatively easier. The Riesling grape dominates most of the regions wine production with percentage of 57 percent. Most of the wine grapes growing in the region are fresh, delicate and charming. Furthermore, the region is also well-known to produce the lightest wines in the country. The wines produced here normally contain less than 10 percent of alcohol.
Rheingau is one of the country’s smallest wine regions but it produces some of the best wines in the country. The vineyards in the area are often located in the steeps bordering the River Rhine. As with all other wine regions in Germany, the major production in this region is the Riesling grape which dominates around 80 percent of the region’s total wine produce. The Riesling grapes planted along the south-facing slopes are special as they often have an extra edge of ripeness.
This is one of the few regions in Germany which produces both white wine grapes and red wine grapes. It is for this reason that it had earned a lot of respect and popularity among fine wine collectors. The wines produced here are fairly rich and the whites are full-bodied as a result of the region’s warm climate. Riesling is the most common type grown here but Silvaner, Muller-Thurgau and Kerner are also almost equally famous. On the other hand, Blauburgunder and Scheurebe are not widely grown but they are considered to be rare and important.
Rheinhessen is the country’s largest wine region. It produces vast quantities of simple wines for everyday leisure. Liebfraumilch also originated in this region, which is considered to be one of the most important wines not just in the region but also in the country, commercially speaking. The best quality wines in the area are from the Rheinterrasse vineyard which is situated along the river.
Nahe is another German wine region which got its name from the Nahe River. This is situated west of Rheinhessen and is widely known for producing Riesling wines that are intense and relatively full.
German Wine Grapes
In Germany, there are over 100 wine grape varieties but only 20 are in serious production since they make good numbers in the market. White wines are more popular in Germany and the most common grapes used in these wines are the Riesling and Muller-Thurgau. On the other hand, the most popular red wine grapes are Dornfelder and Spatburgender.
This is Germany’s signature grape and the most successfully planted one too. This is planted in all wine regions of the country and it occupies around 52,378 acres of land. This accounts for about 20.8 percent of Germany’s vineyards. The Rheinhessen and Pfalz region’s Rieslings are the most popular ones. Overall, the German Riesling is considered to be one of the best grape varieties in the world. They are typically light yellow in color and are produced in different ripeness levels to give it a variety of taste. Although, if you want Riesling to reach its maximum potential, you might have to wait several years for that to happen. There are several varieties of Riesling wines; the sweeter ones are perfect as desserts and appetizers whilst the dry and medium dry Riesling wines can be paired with pasta dishes, Asian dishes, seafood and meat dishes with light sauces.
Muller-Thurgau comes in second when it comes to the most planted variety in Germany. It is also planted in every wine region in the country and it covers a land area of 34,565 acres accounting to 13.7 percent of Germany’s vineyards. The largest portion of this variety can be found in the Baden and Rheinhassen regions. It is believed that this grape is a cross between Madeleine Royale and Riesling grapes. This variety is more pleasant as it is mildly acidic and it has this flowery and drinkable aroma. This showcases a color of pale to light yellow and is medium-bodied. Unlike other varieties, this type cannot be stored for a long period of time but instead should be drank immediately in the years following its production. Muller-Thurgau is paired perfectly with light dishes such as salads and other vegetable dishes.
Spatburgunder is known in different names such as Pinot Noir, Klevner, Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder. This is Germany’s most popular grape used in the production of red wines. This covers a total of 29,175
acres of land and is popularly grown in the regions of Ahr, Baden and Rheingau. This accounts to 11.6 percent of the German wine regions. Spatburgunder belongs to the Burgundy family which is one of the oldest varieties in Europe. This is best paired with hearty dishes like roasts and cheese platters. This also goes well with appetizers and other light meals.