Embark on a journey of taste and terroir with our ‘Regional Styles – Germany’ section. Welcome to our exploration of Germany’s wine regions, a journey that takes us through the country’s rich viticultural heritage and diverse landscapes. Here, we delve into the unique characteristics of each region, from the steep, slate soil vineyards of Mosel to the sun-drenched, rolling hills of Baden. We’ll uncover the stories behind the noble Riesling, the Pinot varieties, and the lesser-known local varieties that make German wines so distinctive. This page is a treasure trove of information for both new and seasoned wine enthusiasts, offering insights into the factors that influence the flavor profiles of German wines. So, whether you’re a novice wine drinker or a seasoned connoisseur, join us on this exciting journey through Germany’s wine regions. Let’s raise a glass to the art of winemaking and the joy of discovery!

A Taste of Terroir: Exploring the World's Wine Regions
Emerging Stars: Exciting Wine Regions to Watch
The Grape's Journey
How Climate and Soil Shape Wine
Global Grapes: A Journey Through International Wine
Tasting Wine from Every Corner of the Globe
Previous slide
Next slide

Exploring the Vineyards of Germany:  A Journey Through the Country's Wine Regions

Embark on a journey of taste and terroir with our ‘Regional Styles – Germany’ section.  Germany, with its cool climate and diverse geography, is a unique wine-producing country. The country is known for its white wines, with Riesling and Müller-Thurgau being the most important grape varieties, accounting for a third of the vineyards. However, red wine varieties like Pinot Noir and Dornfelder are also significant.

Germany’s wine regions extend from the Elbe to Lake Constance, with some areas like Moselle, Saar, and Ruwer almost exclusively dedicated to white grape varieties. In contrast, regions in the south like Württemberg and Baden, and the Ahr in the north, have a longstanding red wine tradition. The trend toward red grape varieties has been significant in all growing areas over the past few years. The most extensive red grape cultivation is in the two largest growing regions of Rheinhessen and Pfalz.

Germany’s winemaking history is rich and dates back to Roman times. The country’s unique geography, climate, and soil types have contributed to the development of a wide range of grape varieties and wine styles. The shift towards white and red Burgundy varieties and the renaissance of classic grape varieties is a recent trend in German winemaking.

Here are some of the important grape varieties in Germany:

  • Riesling: Known as the “King of German wine,” Riesling is the most widely planted grape in Germany. It is known for its high acidity and aromatic, floral, and fruity flavors. Riesling wines can range from dry to sweet and are often aged for many years.
  • Müller-Thurgau: Also known as Rivaner, Müller-Thurgau is a cross between Riesling and Madeleine Royale. It is the second most planted grape in Germany and is known for its mild acidity and flavors of apple, pear, and tropical fruits.
  • Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder): Pinot Noir, known as Spätburgunder in Germany, is the most important red grape variety. German Pinot Noir wines are known for their elegance and complexity, with flavors of red fruits, earth, and spice.
  • Dornfelder: Dornfelder is a dark-skinned variety that produces deeply colored, full-bodied red wines with flavors of dark fruits and spice. It is the second most planted red grape in Germany.
  • Silvaner: Silvaner is an old variety that produces full-bodied, neutral wines that are often used as a base for blends. It is particularly well-suited to the limestone soils of the Franconia region.
  • Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) and Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder): These Burgundy varieties have been gaining popularity in Germany. They produce full-bodied, rich wines with flavors of apple, pear, and citrus.
  • Scheurebe: A cross between Riesling and Bukettraube, Scheurebe produces aromatic wines with flavors of blackcurrant, grapefruit, and peach. It is often used to make sweet wines.
  • Trollinger: Trollinger is a red grape variety that is particularly important in the Württemberg region. It produces light, fruity wines with low alcohol content.
  • Lemberger: Known as Blaufränkisch in Austria, Lemberger produces full-bodied, tannic red wines with flavors of dark fruits and spice. It is particularly important in the Württemberg region.
  • Kerner: A cross between Riesling and Trollinger, Kerner produces aromatic wines with high acidity and flavors of apple, peach, and citrus. It is often used to make sweet wines.

The 13 Wine Regions  of Germany

Germany’s wine regions are a delightful blend of beautiful landscapes, rich history, and diverse soil types, each contributing to the unique characteristics of their wines. From the steep, slate soil vineyards of Mosel to the sun-drenched, rolling hills of Baden, each region tells its own story through the wines it produces. Whether it’s the noble Riesling, the Pinot varieties, or the lesser-known but equally fascinating local varieties, exploring German wine regions is a journey of discovery, offering a fascinating insight into the country’s wine culture and tradition.

  • Ahr: This is one of Germany’s northernmost and smallest wine regions, with vineyards extending only 24 km along the Ahr River. It is famed for its red wines, particularly Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).
  • Baden: Baden is the southernmost of Germany’s wine regions. It is primarily a long, slim strip of vineyards nestled between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River, extending some 400 km from north to south. The southernmost wine region in Germany is known for its Burgundy-style wines.
  • Franconia (Franken): Franken wine has been grown on the hilly slopes lining the Main River and its tributaries for over 1200 years. It is traditionally bottled in a Bocksbeutel, making it easily recognizable and one of the hallmarks of Franken’s finest wines. Also, known for its dry white wines, especially Silvaner.
  • Hessische Bergstraße: The tiny wine region Hessische Bergstrasse takes its name from an old Roman trade route known as the strata montana, or mountain road. A small region is known for its Riesling.
  • Mittelrhein: This beautiful UNESCO region of steep, terraced vineyards and some of the wine world’s most stunning scenery stretches through the Rhine Valley between Bonn and Bingen.  Known for its Riesling wines.
  • Mosel: The Mosel Valley, a gorge the river carved between the Hunsrück and Eifel hills, and the valleys of its tributaries, the Saar and Ruwer rivers. It is steeped in 2000 years of wine history. Famous for its high-quality Riesling wines.
  • Nahe: The Nahe region is named after the river that traverses the valleys of the forested Hunsrück Hills as it gently flows toward Bingen on the Rhine. The region is small yet contains an extraordinary range of soil types. Known for its diverse range of wine styles.
  • Palatinate (Pfalz): Bordered by Rheinhessen on the north and France on the south and west, the Pfalz’s vineyards sweep across this remarkably pretty, peaceful land for nearly 80 uninterrupted kilometers. One of the warmest regions in Germany, known for its Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Dornfelder.
  • Rheingau: The Rheingau is one of the most distinguished wine regions of the world, famed for its wine history, prestigious estates, the discovery of delaying harvest times to produce noble sweet wines, riesling, and more. Known for its Riesling and Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).
  • Rheinhessen: Germany’s largest wine region, Rheinhessen, lies in a valley of gentle rolling hills. Varied soils and the favorable climate make it possible to grow many grape varieties, old and new. Germany’s largest wine region is known for its Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, and Silvaner.
  • Saale-Unstrut: Vines have been cultivated since AD 998 on the hillsides lining the Saale and Unstrut rivers which lend their name to this small region. It is among the northernmost of Europe’s traditional wine regions. One of the northernmost wine regions in Europe, known for its Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, and Weissburgunder.
  • Saxony (Sachsen): Sachsen is Germany’s easternmost and smallest wine-growing region. Its recorded viticultural history dates from 1161 when the Church and aristocracy were responsible for the development of the vineyards. There is also a wealth of art and architectural gems. Known for its Müller-Thurgau, Riesling, and Weissburgunder.
  • Württemberg: Württemberg is known as Germany’s premier red wine region. Nearly 70 percent of its vineyards are planted with red grape varieties, the most famous of which is still Trollinger. Known for its red wines, especially Trollinger, Lemberger, and Schwarzriesling.

Each of these regions has its unique climate, soil, and winemaking traditions that influence the style and character of the wines produced there. For more detailed information about each region, I would recommend consulting a comprehensive wine guide or visiting the websites of the respective regional wine associations.

Latest Wine Tasting Notes:  In Germany

Wine Tasting: Willm Alsace Gewurtztraminer

Wine Tasting Note:  Willm Alsace Gewurtztraminer 2021 Wine Region: Alsace, France My Rating: 5 out of 5  5/5 Varietal:  Gewurtztraminer Gewurztraminer is a white grape variety that is known for producing full-bodied, aromatic wines with high natural sugar and low acidity. The grape originated in the Alsace region of France, but

Read More »

Wine Tasting: Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Spätlese 2012

Wine Tasting Note:  Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Spätlese 2012 Wine Region: Mosel, Germany My Rating: 4.5 out of 5  4.5/5 Varietal:  Riesling  The Riesling grape is known for its versatility and ability to express the characteristics of the terroir in which it is grown. In the Mosel region, the slate soil imparts

Read More »

GERMANY

Regional Styles: Germany Embark on a journey of taste and terroir with our ‘Regional Styles – Germany’ section. Welcome to our exploration of Germany’s wine regions, a journey that takes us through the country’s rich viticultural heritage and diverse landscapes. Here, we delve into the unique characteristics of each region, from

Read More »

Explore More: Regional Styles Below

NOTE: We’re in the process of refreshing our wine-tasting notes from the past five years. Keep an eye out for these updated insights – they’ll be available soon!

🌏 ARGENTINA