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5 Soil 52 The Regions 85 Work in the Vineyard
6 Climate and Weather 90 Work in the Cellar
8 Grape Varieties

4 52 84
ANNEX Recognizing
98 Quality Category
103 Types of Wine
104 Styles of Wine
105 The Wine Label
108 Official Quality Control Testing
110 Awards, Quality Profiles and

154 96
114 Organic Wine and Organic


25 Sales-oriented Product Ranges
126 The Hospitality Trade WINE APLEASURE

129 The Retail Business 17 The Sparkling Wine Market

131 Well-chosen Words 117 Production
133 Pairing Wine and Food 120 Sparkling Quality
137 Water and Wine
138 Enhancing Potential Pleasure

142 124 116

141 The Right Glass


Today, German Riesling is an integral part of the wine At this writing, the USA is by far the most important export market for German
lists of the finest restaurants wordwide. At the same wine. Nearly 100 million euros, equal to nearly 30% of all export earnings, are
time, interest in other German grapes, such as Pinots achieved in this market alone, followed by Great Britain and the Netherlands.
(Sptburgunder, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder), Scandinavian countries show increasing growth. Asian markets, particularly
Silvaner, and Gewrztraminer, is growing. High time to China, Japan, and India, are promising markets for the future, not least due to
publish this handbook to help wine enthusiasts learn the perfect pairing of Asian cuisines with the cool climate wines of Germany,
more about our wines from their beginnings 2,000 white and red.
years ago to the present. Germanys new generation
of young winemakers has vision and a goal: to make This handbook provides fundamental, comprehensive knowledge about Ger-
some of the best white and red wines of the world. man wines. More information can be found on and in the
German Wine Institutes many publications in numerous languages. We hope
When it comes to quality and image, German wines have earned high marks, youll enjoy reading and using this handbook. Please dont hesitate to contact us
especially in recent years. Only a century ago, German Rieslings were as highly ( if you need additional information or have any ques-
acclaimed and as expensive as the wines from the leading chteaux of Bor- tions. Our multilingual team is always pleased to be of assistance.
deaux. In the course of the turbulent 20th century, German wines fell out of
fashion internationally. There has been a great turnabout during the past dec- Monika Reule
ade, marking one of the most successful periods in the history of winemaking Director of the German Wine Institute
April 2012
along the Rhine, Mosel, and their tributaries. Fewer than 2% of the worlds
vineyards are located in Germany; the majority of German wines are consumed
domestically. Yet, demand from other countries is growing. On average, some
20% of Germanys wine production is exported.

2 3
und Witterung

SOIL The soil types that are most prevalent in our wine-
growing regions include:

In general, only soils that have sufficient depth and QQ colored sandstone
a concomitant amount of fine earth lead to satisfac- QQ gneiss and granite
tory results in viticulture. Suitable soil conditions QQ graywacke
enable vine roots to penetrate and spread out in QQ Keuper (colored marl, gypsum marl)
order to supply the vine with water and nutrients. QQ loam (clayish, sandy, and stony)
Soil not only governs vine growth, but also influ- QQ marl
ences the taste of the grapes, and the character of QQ loess
the resultant wines. QQ shell-limestone
QQ slate, weathered slate
13 wine-growing regions with different soils and From a physical point of view, the aeration, porosity, QQ gravel
and water supply of a vineyards soil are measures QQ primary rock
climatic conditions. ca. 160 collective and 2,650
of its potential for viticultural success. Wet soil QQ volcanic tuff.
individual vineyard sites. Thousands of grow- tends to be cold; moderately moist and dry soil,
ers and winemakers who shape the distinctive warm. Dark soil absorbs thermal radiation; light- Of course, the list above is not exhaustive. Many
colored soil reflects it. As such, dark soil warms soils are in transition. Rootstocks and their specific
profiles of their wines and offer them in different
up more quickly and retains more heat than light- demands on soil play an important role. Last but
quality categories and styles these are the colored soil. not least, the influence of soil can only be seen in
factors that guarantee the special diversity of conjunction with the overall makeup of a particular
In practice, a wide variety of soil types support viti- location.
German wines, their typicality as well as tradi-
culture, with one exception: soil consisting solely
tional and innovative wine styles. Three topics of humus. Its too acidic to provide vines with opti-
are covered in this chapter: sites and suitable mal growing conditions. Suitable soil must have
a balanced proportion of primary nutients, such
locations; soil and climate; and above all, grape
as calcium, potassium, nitrogen, phosphoric acid,
varieties. and magnesium. Yet, choice of grape refines these
general parameters, i.e., optimal soil conditions
vary from varietal to varietal the key is finding
the right fit. Sustainable land use can be fostered
by implementing remedial measures to restore
nutrients depleted by vines and through efforts to
increase biodiversity by sowing plants that retard
erosion and supply nitrogen.

4 5

CLIMATE AND precipitation enable grapes to ripen slowly and

benefit from nutrients in the soil. This fosters the
WEATHER development of fruity, well-structured acidity that
enhances the longevity of white wines, in particular.

Climatic factors (sunshine duration, precipitation, Slopes facing south, southeast or southwest in
and temperatures) play a key role in all biological protective valleys provide particularly favorable
and biochemical processes of a vine. Furthermore, climatic conditions for viticulture. Solar radiation
they influence the buildup and depletion of the sub- is more intense in sites on slopes or steep hillsides
stances in a berry during ripening and thus, the than in flatter sites. Slopes with a southern expo-
quality status of the grapes and the resultant wines. sure also profit from increased sunshine duration.
As a reservoir for water, nutrients, and warmth, The microclimate of a vineyard also depends on
soil more or less shapes the character of a wine the soils ability to retain heat, the presence of
depending on grape variety. flora, vine density, as well as how vines are trained
and cared for. Too much wind can have a negative
As one of the most northerly viticultural areas impact on a vineyards microclimate.
of the world, Germany numbers among the cool
climate wine-growing countries. That grapes are Successful grape cultivation greatly depends on
MINIMUM CLIMATIC even able to grow and ripen here is primarily due climate. Weather conditions affect the outcome of
REQUIREMENTS OF to the Gulf Stream that favorably influences the cli- every vintage, whereby some years are qualitatively
A VINE: mate in western Europe. Nevertheless, the climate better than others. In general, though, the farther
and weather in Germanys wine-growing regions south one goes, the lower the likelihood of vintage [Terroir]
QQ 1,300 hours of sunshine annually pose ecological challenges that are unknown to fluctuations.
Mediterranean vintners. The fundamental differ- Terroir is neither a clearly defined nor a universally
ences are as follows: understood concept that can be measured accord-
QQ average annual temperature of at
ing to objective criteria. Not even renowned special-
least 9C (48.2F); during the growing ist authors, wine writers, and growers agree on a
QQ There is considerably less sunshine in Ger-
season, at least 18C (64.4F) uniform interpretation of terroir. On the one hand,
manys wine regions than in wine-growing
it is described as the sum of all natural factors (soil
countries in southern Europe. and climate) and the human factor (e.g., pruning,
QQ minimum temperature of 15C (59F)
QQ Average temperatures in Germany are also vine training or soil management) that lend a wine
during blossoming
lower. its unmistakable identity. This takes into account
QQ Rainfall in Germanys wine regions occurs not only environmental conditions, but also vine-
QQ average temperature of between 15 yard and cellar practices, knowledge handed down
primarily as the grapes develop in summer.
and 20C (59 and 68F) during the from generation to generation, and the cultural
QQ Southern wine-growing countries suffer from
ripening phase heritage of the grower. Another school of thought
a lack of precipitation as the grapes ripen. maintains that the elements that constitute terroir
QQ As the grapes increase in ripeness, rainfall are determined primarily by Mother Nature and
QQ annual precipitation of at least 400 to decreases in Germany. scarcely subject to the influence of humans or vari-
500 mm (15.6 and 19.5 in) QQ In southern Europe, there is a sharp increase ous winemaking techniques. Suffice it to say that
in rainfall at harvest time. there is no scientific evidence to show that terroir
is more than just a site-specific or regional trait.
Others view the concept of terroir as an overblown,
The effects of these climatic factors are significant philosophical, and intangible approach that lacks
for German wine. The temperate climate and high foundation.

6 7

majority of the very successful new crossings of and uncomplicated wines for everyday enjoyment.
the 1960s and 1970s are steadily losing market Silvaner, with its expressive earthiness, is the third THE MOST IMPORTANT GRAPE
significance, traditional varietals are winning back most popular white varietal. It can be viewed as VARIETIES IN GERMANY (TOP 15)
lost terrain. a link with the white Pinots Weissburgunder and
Grauburgunder. Both varieties continue to gain
Market globalization also influences viticulture. Va- ground. Thanks to their versatility, their wines Vineyard
rietals with a large international following, such are prized as ideal food wines. Grape Varieties area
as Chardonnay, have been added to the list of of- 2010 in ha 2010 in %
GRAPE VARIETIES ficially approved varieties, as have promising new
red wine grapes with Mediterranean flair, such as Riesling 22,601 22.1
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In the course of
The great diversity of grape varieties in Germany growing demand for German red wine, many grow- Mller-Thurgau 13,554 13.3
is impressive and ranges from A, as in Acolon to ers replaced white varietals that were generating
Sptburgunder 11,334 11.1
Z, as in Zweigeltrebe. The data compiled by the little interest with red wine grapes. Although the
Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) lists some 140 red wine boom that began in the mid-1980s has
Dornfelder 7,952 7.8
grape varieties, some of which are still waiting to be already slowed down, the area planted with red
added to the list of varietals officially permitted for varieties has doubled since then and now accounts
Silvaner 5,217 5.1
quality wine production. Of those permitted, about for 36% of Germanys total vineyard area. With more
35 are suitable for producing red wine; more than than 11,300 ha, Sptburgunder is clearly the leading Grauburgunder 4,705 4.6
100, for white wine. However, only about two dozen red wine grape, followed by Dornfelder with about
have any real market significance, above all, the 8,000 ha, Portugieser (ca. 4,000 ha), Trollinger, and Weissburgunder 4,106 4.0
white wine grapes Riesling and Mller-Thurgau, Schwarzriesling (also known as Mllerrebe and Pi-
also known as Rivaner. These two varieties account not Meunier), with 2,400 and 2,300 ha, respectively. Portugieser 4,098 4.0
for a good third of Germanys total vineyard area. Regent, which has spread considerably in recent
Riesling (ca. 22,600 ha) and Mller-Thurgau (ca. years and now covers more than 2,000 ha, and Kerner 3,474 3.4
13,600 ha) are cultivated in all 13 German wine- Lemberger (ca. 1,700 ha) also number among the
growing regions. The third most widely planted top reds cultivated in Germany today. The lucrative Trollinger 2,403 2.4
varietal is the red wine grape Sptburgunder, or red wine business has inspired the young genera-
Pinot Noir (ca. 11,300 ha). Nearly half of Germanys tion of growers to return to traditional vineyard Schwarzriesling 2,263 2.2
vineyard area is devoted to just these three varie- and cellar practices, as well as adapt international
Regent 2,090 2.0
ties. An individual varietals rank (area and percent- wine styles.
age) on the overall list is not only an indicator of
Bacchus 1,943 1.9
its popularity, but also a measure of its economic Germanys contemporary wine scene is rich in
importance and marketing success. In general, the excellent red wines. Their only drawback:
Lemberger 1,768 1.7
majority of German growers have realized that it due to the small quantities available, they are at a
pays to replace varietals that are not in demand competitive disadvantage on the international mar- Scheurebe 1,624 1.6
with those that are more popular. ket. The real strength of the German wine industry
lies in white wine production. German Riesling Total vineyard area 102,197 100.0
Among white wine grapes, Silvaner ranks third be it a filigree Kabinett, a fruit-driven Sptlese or
(ca. 5,200 ha), followed by Grauburgunder, or Pinot a botrytized wine with great aging potential is White varietals 65,557 64.0
Gris, (ca. 4,700 ha), Weissburgunder, or Pinot Blanc, world famous. Juicy Mller-Thurgau, or Rivaner,
(ca. 4,100 ha), and Kerner (ca. 3,500 ha). While the ensures a sufficient supply of reasonably priced Red varietals 36,639 36.0

8 9

of flintstone; mature growths can show interesting

WHITE Significance petrol overtones. Rieslings natural acidity makes

VARIETALS In all, 22% of Germanys vineyard area is planted it a promising candidate for sparkling wine produc-
with Riesling. As such, it is the most important tion. Lusciously sweet Beerenauslese and Eiswein
German wine grape. Riesling is grown in all 13 (ice wine) number among the most highly sought-
German wine-growing regions, but the extent of after German wines on the international market.
its presence varies from region to region. In the Rieslings benefit from at least a year of bottle aging,
Rheingau, for example, the ca. 2,400 ha of Ries- yet many need several years to reach their peak.
ling are equal to 80% of the regions vineyard area. The very finest Rieslings have tremendous aging
Other Riesling strongholds are the Pfalz (5,500 potential.
ha), the Mosel (5,300 ha), Rheinhessen (3,900 ha),
Riesling Wrttemberg (2,100 ha), Baden (1,100 ha), and the Food affinities
Nahe (1,100 ha). Light, young Rieslings whether dry or with fruity
sweetness are ideal summer wines. More ma-
Cultivation ture Rieslings are better food partners, and in fact,
Slow to ripen, Rieslings hallmark is fruity acid- some Riesling Sptlese wines with considerable
Riesling ity. As such, it is predestined for northerly wine- age show some of their youth when enjoyed with
growing regions, where it can finish ripening food. Dry and off-dry Rieslings go especially well
Riesling is doubtlessly Germanys most celebrated completely under the late autumn sun. It is very with light dishes, steamed salt- and freshwater fish,
grape variety and numbers among the economic demanding of site, yet able to thrive in a wide meat with light sauces, and small poultry. An off-
mainstays of the German wine industry. With 22,600 range of soils. Depending on site (type of soil and dry to slightly sweet Sptlese harmonizes well with
ha, Germany is the home of the worlds largest microclimate), it yields grapes from which wines fresh, unripened cheese. Sptlese with natural,
vineyard area devoted to Riesling, well ahead of with extremely diverse nuances can be produced. fruity sweetness and lusciously sweet Auslese
Australia and France, which rank second and third, Heat-retaining, steep, stony sites along river valleys are excellent with fruit-based desserts. Mature,
respectively. provide optimal conditions. lusciously sweet Auslese and Beerenauslese are
ideal apritifs at the start of a festive meal.
The origin of the variety remains obscure. It prob- Vinification/Style
COLOR AROMA ably evolved from a natural crossing of Weisser The spectrum of Riesling wines ranges from simple
Heunisch (in French, Gouais Blanc) x Vitis vinifera to sublime, from dry to to lusciously sweet. Some
sylvestris or Weisser Heunisch x Traminer. Equally are vinified in traditional oak casks. In addition to
greenish yellow to reminiscent of apple, ambiguous is the origin of the name itself. Perhaps uncomplicated everyday wines, there is a wealth of
light golden yellow peach, apricot a derivation of the German words verrieseln (poor Prdikat wines available. Wines with varying levels
fruit set after blossoming), Russling (dark wood), of natural, ripe sweetness are frequently found
reissende Sure (harsh acidity) or edles Reis in the higher Prdikat levels. Numerous QbA or
(noble scion)? The earliest documented mention Kabinett wines, particularly from the more north-
TASTE BODY, of Riesling is an invoice from 1345 in Rsselsheim, erly regions, also have some sweetness, which
SUBSTANCE just east of Hochheim/Rheingau. Authentic Ries- helps compensate for their higher acidity and thus,
delicately fruity, ling is known worldwide as Rhine Riesling, or in achieve a well-balanced wine. A typical Riesling
light to medium- Baden, as Klingelberger. The varietal Welsch- is pale to greenish yellow in color; reminiscent of
usually pronounced
bodied riesling, which is cultivated in Austria, Italy or Slo- peach or apple on the nose; and has a pronounced
venia, for example, is neither synonymous with, nor acidity. Rieslings from grapes grown in slaty soils
related to, genuine white Riesling. are often said to have mineral notes; some smell

10 11

Mller-Thurgau is cultivated in all 13 German wine-
growing regions. Rheinhessen, with 4.400 ha, and
Baden, with 2,700 ha, are foremost, followed by the
Pfalz with 2,300 ha. There are also considerable
plantings in Franken (ca. 1,800 ha), the Mosel (ca.
1,200 ha), and the Nahe (ca. 550 ha). The yield limi-
tations introduced in the 1980s had a very positive
effect on Mller-Thurgau, which tends to be prolific
if left unchecked. Stringent pruning brings out the
potential quality of this varietal.

The grape ripens early and yields uncomplicated
wines with a light Muscat tone and sometimes, a
Mller-Thurgau (Rivaner) Mller-Thurgau (Rivaner)
flowery bouquet. The acidity is usually mild, and
somewhat higher in the wines from more north-
These are usually uncomplicated wines for every- erly regions. Normally, fermentation takes place in
day drinking...easy on the palate, youthful, light, stainless steel tanks, which helps preserve fresh-
and refreshing. ness and varietal aromas. The majority of wines
The varietal was named after Professor Hermann are QbA wines vinified either dry or sweet. Mller-
Mller (1850-1927) from the Swiss canton Thurgau, Thurgau, with few exceptions, has little aging po-
who bred it at the research institute in Geisenheim/ tential and tastes best in its youth. Occasionally,
Rheingau in 1882. Originally assumed to be a cross- sur lie versions are offered, i.e., the wines remain
ing of Riesling x Silvaner, a theory that has been on the lees until shortly before bottling.
disproved by genetic profiling, Mller-Thurgau is
actually a crossing of Riesling x Madeleine Royale Food affinities
(a Gutedel seedling). The wines are popular because they are easy on the COLOR AROMA
palate and harmonious in character. Theyre usually
Significance medium-bodied and pale yellow in color. If mar- reminiscent of
Mller-Thurgau played a leading position in the keted under the synonym Rivaner, one can expect pale yellow delicate herbs, apple,
German wine industry in the 1980s and most of a fresh, light, dry, youthful wine. The majority of pear
the 1990s, but was supplanted by Riesling shortly Mller-Thurgau wines are uncomplicated, everyday
before 2000. Nevertheless, it still accounts for a wines and go well with delicately aromatic dishes.
respectable 13.3% of Germanys vineyard area, or
13,550 ha, not least because of its versatility and TASTE BODY,
its appeal even to wine novices. It is not terribly SUBSTANCE
demanding with regard to site and yields are con-
sistently reliable. The shift to young, light, refresh- light to medium-
mild acidity
ing, dry Mller-Thurgau wines labeled under the bodied
synonym Rivaner have been a marketing success,
not least with ambitious restaurateurs.

12 13

In terms of soil conditions, Silvaner is even more
demanding than Riesling. It does not do well in dry
or stony soils and is susceptible to winter frost
often, a challenge for wine-growers in Franken.
If left unchecked, it is a prolific bearer of grapes
suitable for uncomplicated everyday wines. With
quality-oriented vineyard maintenance, including
stringent pruning, Silvaner grapes can produce
very good and excellent Prdikat wines.

In frost-free sites, Silvaner yields are reliable. It
ripens later than Mller-Thurgau, but earlier than
Riesling. The wines are fairly neutral and compared
with Riesling, mild in acidity. Wine color is pale
to deep. Aromas are fairly restrained, sometimes
Silvaner Silvaner
earthy. Neither light nor heavy somewhere in
between Silvaner wines are prized for being juicy
SILVANER and mouth-filling, and if produced from grapes
Subtle in aroma and mild in acidity, hearty Silvaner grown in deep soils, powerful. They are usually
wines go well with down-home country cooking; vinified in stainless steel tanks; Sptlese and
more elegant versions enhance many dishes with a Auslese, sometimes in oak casks.
refined touch. It is probably the offspring of a spon-
taneous crossing of Traminer and sterreichisch- Food affinities
Weiss (literally, Austrian white). Silvaner is an excellent food partner. Depending on
origin and vinification, it goes well with freshwater
Significance fish, mussels, potato or vegetable casseroles, COLOR AROMA
The widespread cultivation of Silvaner dates from asparagus or mild cheese.
the early 19th century. It displaced old, inferior
varieties, but also Gutedel and Elbling, for example, very pale reminiscent of apple,
in the Pfalz. By the middle of the 20th century, it to deep yellow pear, fresh hay
was the most important grape variety in Germany:
more than half of the countrys vineyard area was
planted with Silvaner. In the decades since then
not least due to the upswing of Mller-Thurgau TASTE BODY,
this area continually declined and now stands at SUBSTANCE
five percent, but holding steady at 5,200 ha. Silvaner
has long been a traditional variety in Rheinhessen mild to average light to
and Franken, today, with some 2,500 ha and ca. acidity medium-bodied
1,300 ha, respectively. About 800 ha of Silvaner
are also cultivated in the Pfalz.

14 15

yields, including bunch pruning, can be imple-

mented to improve quality, and are widely practiced.

Grauburgunder is vinified in stainless steel tanks or
large oak casks, as well as in small barriques for a
malolactic fermentation. Usually, Grauburgunder
denotes a dry, medium-bodied wine with a fairly
lively acidity, while Rulnder often signifies a richer,
fuller-bodied wine with considerable sweetness.
Depending on method of vinification and quality
level, wine color ranges from pale to golden yellow
or even amber. Grauburgunder is often associated
with the scent of green (unripe) walnuts, almonds,
Grauburgunder Grauburgunder (PINOT GRIS) fresh butter or, on a fruitier note, pear, dried fruit,
raisins, pineapple, and citrus fruits.
Grauburgunder numbers among the finest varietals
cultivated in Germany. It was more often known Food affinities
by its synonym, Rulnder, in the past. Although it A young, light, dry or off-dry Grauburgunder is a reminiscent of
intense, pale
is a mutation of Sptburgunder (Pinot Noir), it is great summer wine. Dry Kabinett or Sptlese wines mango, nuts, almonds,
to golden yellow
a white wine grape. harmonize well with seafood, hearty saltwater quince
fish, pasta, game birds and young game, as well
Significance as soft, ripe cheese. Barrique wines go well with
Grauburgunder has increasingly resumed impor- lamb dishes with intense flavors and light game
tance in Germany, which now ranks third worldwide dishes, such as game birds or venison. Sptlese TASTE BODY,
after Italy and the USA in terms of vineyard with a naturally ripe, fruity sweetness or lusciously SUBSTANCE
area devoted to this Pinot. With more than 4,700 ha, sweet Auslese are especially tasty with high-fat
mild to average powerful,
Grauburgunder now accounts for nearly five per- blue cheese or desserts made with honey, almonds acidity full-bodied
cent of Germanys entire vineyard area. In Baden, or marzipan.
it is cultivated in 11% of the regions vineyards, with
more than 1,700 ha. Rheinhessen and the Pfalz
have 1,200 and 1,100 ha, respectively, and there
are 200 ha in the Nahe region.

The grape yields decent quantity and is capable of
achieving high must weights. Its dense clusters
foster the development of noble rot, which is key to
producing lusciously sweet wines. Grauburgunder
grows particularly well on loess terraces, as well
as in chalky soils and sites with stony subsoils.
Loamy soils are less suitable. Measures to reduce

16 17

ous soils that are as deep as possible, as well as

sites with good exposure that are warm and dry.
Weissburgunder is not difficult to grow and can
achieve high must weights if the ripening period
is long.

In a glass, Weissburgunder is pale to straw yel-
low in color, and delicate, restrained on the nose.
A slightly nutlike aroma is typical. Vinified dry, its
medium to full body and fine acidity complement
many types of food. Aging in barrique casks is not
unusual for wines of high quality. In addition, lus-
ciously sweet wines as well as refreshing sparkling
Weissburgunder are available in limited quantities.
WeiSSburgunder (pinot blanc)
Food affinities
A dry Weissburgunder wine with fresh acidity and Dry Weissburgunder wines with fresh acidity and
delicate fruitiness is not only an ideal food wine, delicate fruitiness are ideal food wines. In addition
but also a light summer wine. If Grauburgunder is a to light summer wines, there are fuller, richer ver-
lighter-berried mutation of Sptburgunder, Weiss- sions up to dry Sptlese. Not overly high in alcohol,
burgunder can be regarded as a white mutation Weissburgunder has a delicate aroma that is of-
of Grauburgunder. ten reminiscent of unripe nuts, apple, pear, quince,
apricot, citrus fruits or fresh pineapple. It pairs
Significance well with seafood, fish, veal and pork, as well as
Among white wine varietals, the area planted with poultry. Well chilled, its also a wonderful sipping
Weissburgunder and Grauburgunder has increased wine on the terrace. Weissburgunder wines that
the most in recent years. More than 4,100 ha, or are high in extract or have been aged in barrique COLOR AROMA
nearly 4%, of Germanys vineyards are planted with are delicious with lamb or delicate dishes prepared
Weissburgunder, which grows in sites that are too with young game. reminiscent of apple,
Weissburgunder warm for Riesling. The grape has shown a steady pale to
pear, mango, nuts,
upswing for several decades; its area has doubled straw yellow
within the past ten years. In the meantime, Germany
has the second highest number of plantings after
Italy, concentrated in Baden with about 1,200 ha,
as well as the Pfalz and Rheinhessen with more TASTE BODY,
than 950 ha each. Significant amounts are also SUBSTANCE
cultivated in the Mosel and Nahe regions.
somewhat pronounced
Cultivation acidity
Like its relative, Sptburgunder, it makes high de-
mands on soil and climate. It prefers warm, vigor-

18 19

well as Sptlese, and sometimes, sparkling wine.

Kerner wines are usually pale yellow in color, pro-
nounced in acidity, and more aromatic than Riesling.
Its fine, fruity aromas are reminiscent of pear, apple,
currant, apricot, menthol candy, and occasionally,
theres a hint of Muscat.

Food affinities
Dry or off-dry Kerner wines go well with light and
subtly seasoned appetizers, such as fish or vege-
table terrines/pts. It also pairs well with summer
salads, fish, poultry, and veal as well as asparagus
dishes, mild semihard cheese, and fresh or cream
cheese. A Kerner Sptlese with the sweetness of
natural, ripe fruit is particularly tasty with apple-
Kerner Kerner based desserts.

The Trollinger x Riesling crossing is named after

the poet and physician Justinus Kerner (1786-1862)
from Weinsberg/Wrttemberg.

Wine-growers and consumers took interest in the
distinctive new crossing in the early 1970s. Start-
ing in the Pfalz, the varietal spread to all German
wine-growing regions. Its popularity peaked in 1992
with 7,826 ha. Since then, the number of plantings
has declined. Today, there are still about 3,500 ha COLOR AROMA
of Kerner, with ca. 1,150 ha in Rheinhessen; 1,100
ha in the Pfalz; and 330 ha in Wrttemberg. reminiscent of
pale yellow apple, peach,
Cultivation menthol candy
Kerner thrives in soils that are neither too wet nor
too dry. A long ripening period, well into late au-
tumn, enables it to achieve higher must weights
than Riesling. Yields are good and reliable; must TASTE BODY,
weights are usually sufficient for Prdikat wines. SUBSTANCE
Vinification/Style pronounced light to
Rieslings little cousin is produced and sold in acidity medium-bodied
all quality categories up to Sptlese. There is un-
complicated Qualittswein for everyday drinking as

20 21

does best in deep, chalky, and warm soils. Like

Weissburgunder, it ripens relatively late and can
be harvested shortly before Riesling. Must weights
are on a par with Weissburgunder, and even higher
if yields are low. If planted in good sites, acidity
levels are quite good.

Most Chardonnays are vinified dry. In addition to
stainless steel, barrique casks are widely used
for fermentation and/or aging, especially for the
finest wines. Fresh, fruity wines are also used
for sparkling wine production. Melon, grapefruit
Chardonnay Chardonnay or overripe gooseberry are aromas typically as-
sociated with Chardonnay. Top-quality wines are
Like many other ancient varieties, the Chardonnay usually full-bodied, and rich in alcohol and extract.
grape traces its beginnings to the Middle East. As Barrique-aging imparts an additional dimension
viticulture spread, it came to France and found a to the primary fruit aromas.
new home, particularly in Burgundy. Chardonnay,
a village near Tournus/Mconnais, might have lent Food affinities
its name to the grape. In Germany, the grape was The broad range of Chardonnay wine produced in
added to the list of officially permitted varietals Germany, from fresh Qualittswein to powerful,
in 1991. dry Sptlese, makes it quite versatile. Light, young
versions go well with fish and shellfish, while the
Significance more powerful and/or oak-influenced wines are
Chardonnay, one of the most popular grape varie- good partners with roasted foods or full-flavored
ties in the world, is cultivated in virtually all wine- cheese.
growing countries. In all, there are some 180,000 ha COLOR AROMA
planted worldwide. Slowly but surely it has gained
ground in Germany, and with more than 1,300 ha reminiscent of
in 2010, it now accounts for more than one percent pale to
gooseberry, grapefruit,
of Germanys total vineyard area. Thus far, results bright yellow
exotic fruits
have been particularly good and even impressive
in areas where members of the Pinot family have
traditionally played an important role, such as the
Kaiserstuhl district in Baden or in the southern TASTE BODY,
half of the Pfalz. SUBSTANCE
medium acidity,
Cultivation medium- to
often mellow,
Chardonnay is no less demanding than Weissbur- full-bodied
gunder (Pinot Blanc) or Riesling when it comes to
choice of site. Marginal sites are not suitable. It

22 23

Scheurebe is nearly as exacting as Riesling with re-
gard to site selection. It can grow in moderately dry,
barren soils, but does better in loess and thrives
in sites with chalky subsoils. The medium-sized
grapes ripen shortly before Riesling; drops in acid-
ity occur relatively late.

The vast majority of Scheurebe wines are Prdikat
wines, a considerable number of which are vinified
mild or sweet, styles that are more prevalent with
this varietal than with other grape varieties. In re-
cent years, however, there has been an increasing
tendency to produce drier-style Scheurebe, which
is quite similar to wine produced from the inter-
Scheurebe Scheurebe nationally popular Sauvignon Blanc. Depending on
quality level, the wine is pale or straw yellow or an
Originally assumed to be a crossing of Silvaner intense golden yellow. Light Kabinett and medium-
and Riesling, DNA profiling in the late 1990s re- bodied Sptlese wines have a harmonious balance
vealed that Scheurebe (pronounced shoy ray beh) of stimulating acidity and delicate fruitiness, as well
is probably a crossing of an unknown wild grape as a a pronounced varietal aroma that is usually
and Riesling. Its intense bouquet is reminiscent reminiscent of black currant; sometimes, mango,
of black currant, peach or ripe pear. Scheurebe mandarin, lime, peach or very ripe pear. Lusciously
wines go very well with aromatic, spicy foods, from sweet versions have great aging potential and with
appetizer to dessert. age, show impressive aromas of peach or rose.

Significance Food affinities COLOR AROMA

The new crossing gained recognition in the 1950s Produced in numerous styles and from grapes of
when growers realized it could ripen sufficiently various ripeness levels, Scheurebe wines are quite
to produce Beeren- and Trockenbeerenauslese. versatile. Light Kabinett wines are great for social pale to straw yellow; reminiscent of black
It was bred in 1916 by Professor Georg Scheu in get-togethers. Dry to off-dry Sptlese are delicious intense golden yellow currant, exotic fruits
Alzey/Rheinhessen, and Germanys largest wine- partners with Asian cuisine and aromatic, spicy fish
growing region became a stronghold for the va- or poultry ragouts. Lusciously sweet Sptlese and
rietal. It boomed in the 1970s; its vineyard area Auslese go well with fruit-based desserts and rich,
doubled. Of the 1,600 ha currently planted with blue-veined cheese. TASTE BODY,
Scheurebe, ca. 900 ha are in Rheinhessen, 400 SUBSTANCE
ha in the Pfalz, ca. 130 ha each in the Nahe and
Franken regions, and a small amount in Baden. In pronounced, fruity
all, Scheurebe has lost significance in recent years acidity
and now accounts for less than 2% of Germanys
total vineyard area.

24 25

Many Bacchus wines reach Prdikat levels of ripe-
ness and are vinified with some residual sweetness.
The wines are rich in extract, fruity, and have a dis-
tinctive bouquet which is sometimes similar to that
of Scheurebe. Those with high must weights and
sufficient acidity share Riesling traits. In general,
the wines have a floral Muscat note. In color, usu-
ally light yellow. Alcohol content is low to medium.

Food affinities
With its fine, spicy aroma, Bacchus is terrific with
Asian cuisine and fruit-based desserts.

Bacchus Bacchus

Bacchus, a crossing of [Silvaner x Riesling] x

Mller-Thurgau, was bred by Peter Morio and
Professor Dr. Husfeld at the Institute for Grape-
vine Breeding Geilweilerhof in Siebeldingen/Pfalz
in the 1930s. Its floral Muscat tone is reminiscent
of Scheurebe.

Like Scheurebe, Bacchus was a rising star in the
1970s, reaching its peak in the 1990s, and continu-
ally declining in vineyard area ever since. In 2010, COLOR AROMA
there were barely 2,000 ha still being cultivated,
primarily in Rheinhessen and Franken. Part of its reminiscent of black
popularity with growers stems from the fact that greenish yellow
currant, orange,
unlike Riesling, it is an early ripener that achieves to pale yellow
high must weights. As such, it can be planted in
sites that arent really suitable for Riesling.

Cultivation TASTE BODY,

Bacchus is not terribly demanding on site and does SUBSTANCE
best in deep, vigorous, nutrient-rich soils. Its a
prolific varietal, achieving yields just under those of light to
fruity, crisp
Mller-Thurgau. Although it ripens early, Bacchus medium-bodied
shouldnt be harvested too early. It needs time to
achieve good quality.

26 27

Gutedel Vinification/Style
The special appeal of its wines is the rather neutral
Gutedel has been grown for 5,000 years, making it character of the Gutedel grape. This also means
one of the oldest cultivated grape varieties of the that site-specific traits (terroir, soil, microclimate)
world. It is presumed to have originated in Pal- are unmistakably reflected in every wine. Most
estine; cultivation in the Middle Nile Valley has Gutedel wines are light, pleasant quaffing wines.
been verified. From there it was probably spread Increasingly, though, there are specialties in the
by the seafaring Phoenicians. It arrived in French Prdikat wine range: dry wines with a particularly
wine-growing regions in the early 16th century. It mild, harmonious character, thanks to malolactic
was planted, for example, near the village of Chas- fermentation. In all, Gutedel wines are regarded
selas southwest of Mcon, which would explain as light and easy to drink.
the origin of the Gutedel synonym Chasselas in
French-speaking areas. Its advent in Germany Food affinities
dates from the early 17th century, where it was The wines are best enjoyed in their youth. Gutedel
originally planted in Wrttemberg and Franken; wines are popular with brunch or light dinners of
a century later, in Sachsen and south of Freiburg/ cold cuts and cheese. More refined versions are
Baden in todays Markgrflerland district. Greater tasty with light foods, such as fish dishes or mild
expansion began in 1780, when Margrave Friedrich cheese.
von Baden imported plantings from Vevey, a well-
known wine-growing village on Lake Geneva.

White (and red) Gutedel is cultivated as a tasty table
grape all over the world. In Germany, plantings
are now concentrated almost exclusively in Mark-
grflerland between Freiburg and the Swiss border,
where 1,100 ha of the total 1,140 ha are located.
Here, the southern Baden specialty has maintained COLOR AROMA
its vineyard area for decades. In addition, there are
still 24 ha of Gutedel in Saale-Unstrut.
from nutlike
pale yellow
Cultivation to buttery; earthy
Average sites that are sheltered from cold winds
are sufficient for Gutedel. It prefers deep soils that
arent too dry, but also ripens in shallow, weathered
stony soil and chalky soils. A medium-early ripener, TASTE BODY,
it can achieve average must weights of 100 hl/ha SUBSTANCE
in fertile sites. Because the berries are not prone
to fungal diseases, Gutedel can be left on the vine light to
fruity, crisp
longer in autumn, which helps improve quality. medium-bodied

28 29

Roter Traminer
ROTER TRAMINER its more reliable counterparts. Reason enough to
(Gewrztraminer) regard German Traminer as a high-quality specialty.

Roter Traminer (Red Traminer) is one of the oldest Vinification/Style

grape varieties still cultivated. Some researchers Very fine wines can be produced from the very aro-
trace the grapes origin to Greece; the premise that matic, perfumed varietal. They are usually high in
its true home is the village of Tramin in southern extract and voluminous. Very mild in acidity, typi-
Tyrol is controversial. Nevertheless, it is a fact cal Traminer wines depending on ripeness level
that Traminer wine was being used for Holy Com- are straw to golden yellow in color and exude
munion in monasteries there as early as the 15th a fragrance reminiscent of fading roses, ranging
century. It was documented in Germany in the from restrained to exuberant. Aromas of acacia
16th century, a time when it was a recommended blossoms, violets, honey, marzipan, quince jelly,
variety. Reports on clones of the variety from the bitter orange or passion fruit are other frequent
18th century confirm that even then, grape selec- associations. Lusciously sweet versions have su-
tion was being implemented successfully. Tradi- perb aging potential.
tionally, Roter Traminer, Riesling, and a prolific
variety were planted side by side in vineyards to Food affinities
minimize crop loss. Yet, even in the past, the area Those who love aromatic wines appreciate Traminer
devoted to this grape remained small because of for its fragrant bouquet, enhanced by a fruity, herbal
its unreliable yields. spicy taste. It goes well with goose liver pt, roast
According to EU wine regulations pertaining to offi- duck and goose, and high-fat blue cheese. Mature,
cially approved varietal names, Roter Traminer may lusciously sweet versions are prized as appetizers;
also be designated by its synonym, Gewrztraminer, sweet Sptlese and Auslese are popular comple-
in Germany. Furthermore, the designation Clevner ments to desserts prepared with marzipan, choco-
is also permitted in Baden. late or brandies.

Although plantings have increased slightly during COLOR AROMA
the past few years, with ca. 860 ha, Roter Traminer
accounts for less than one percent of Germanys
total vineyard area. Some 350 ha lie in the Pfalz; straw to reminiscent of roses,
in Rheinhessen and in Baden (primarily in the golden yellow raisins, quince
Kaiserstuhl district), 150 ha each. Although there
are only ca. 30 ha in Sachsen, it is considered to
be a traditional, regional specialty.
Cultivation SUBSTANCE
The thick-skinned, light red Traminer grape can
reach high levels of ripeness, even the highest Aus- full-bodied
very mild acidity
lese categories. Yields are variable from year to and rich
year and often low, due to its propensity to coulure;
the long-term average is seldom more than half of

30 31

The Elblings prevalence along the Upper Mosel is
not by chance: it thrives in the shell-limestone soils
here. The early ripening variety is undemanding
concerning site. Shell-limestone soils best bring
out the grapes typical, fresh character. Yields are
usually sufficient, sometimes high, particularly in
the Qualittswein category. Only occasionally are
Elbling Kabinett or Sptlese wines produced.

The basic wines are marked by an acidity that is
about as high as that of Riesling, yet is somewhat
Elbling Elbling softer on the palate. The grapes are vinified into
light, fresh, fairly neutral still or sparkling wine.
Elbling numbers among the oldest white varietals Some 80% of Elbling grapes and/or wines are sold
cultivated in Europe. The Romans aptly called it to large wineries where they receive their spar-
Vitis alba (literally, white grape). Etymologists kling touch. Estate-bottled, varietal still wines and
assume the name Elbling derives from the Latin traditionally produced sparkling wines are virtual
albus, meaning white. The majority of historians rarities. The red mutation Roter Elbling, also con-
feel that the Romans brought Elbling to Germany sidered a white wine grape, is seldom found.
more than 2,000 years ago, possibly via Gaul. For
centuries, from the Middle Ages to the 19th cen- Food affinities
tury, was widespread in Germany and neighboring Still and sparkling Elbling wines are light, fresh,
regions, as well as in eastern Europe. Its likely and slightly effervescent. Theyre uncomplicated
that the abolishment of the tithe contributed to wines for patio sipping on beautiful summer days
the grapes decline. In Germany today, Elbling is a and tasty with simple meals of cold cuts and cheese,
specialty cultivated almost exclusively in the Mosel as well as fish and seafood. COLOR AROMA
region. Particularly growers in the upper Mosel
Valley, near the border with Luxembourg, point
to a 2,000-year-old tradition of Elbling viticulture. very pale to delicate,
greenish yellow reminiscent of apple
Statistically, there are about 560 ha of Elbling in
Germany, or well under one percent of the countrys
overall vineyard area. Yet, in the Mosel, it accounts TASTE BODY,
for about 6% of the regions vineyards, making it SUBSTANCE
the third most important variety there. Plantings
are concentrated along the southern portion of the pronounced acidity very light
Mosel River southwest of Trier and along the slopes
of the Sauer River. In all, the area devoted to the
grape is declining somewhat.

32 33

The demanding grape only ripens completely in
warm sites. It should be planted in good, south-
facing sites that are not too high in altitude. It pre-
fers somewhat barren ground to heavier soils, but
thrives best in good, deep soil. Yields are average.
It achieves ripeness levels on a par with Silvaner.

Sauvignon Blanc numbers among the wines that
have a wealth of aromas and flavors. Dry versions
are redolent of bell pepper, black currant, citrus
fruits, and gooseberry. In general, they have a
fairly pronounced acidity that lends them a fresh
Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc character.

Although this white grape is grown primarily in Food affinities

southwestern France, it has made great inroads The wines are excellent with fish, seafood, and veg-
in recent decades and is now cultivated around etable dishes, as well as pasta in creamy sauces.
the world, from Argentina or Chile to Italy to New Highly recommended is a glass of Sauvignon Blanc
Zealand. Its particularly successful in California with goats milk cheese. It is also popular solo, as
and South Africa. With ca. 80,000 ha worldwide, an apritif.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted
white grape varieties. Historical documents show
that it was in France by at least A.D. 280, where it
was cultivated in the Loire Valley before spreading
elsewhere. The grape has been planted in Durbach/
Baden since around 1830. The then-owner of the COLOR AROMA
Grflich Wolff Metternichsche Weingut, Graf Zorn
von Bulach, planted vines from Chteau dYquem reminiscent of bell
in the site Schloss Grohl. The estate had special pepper, black currant,
pale yellow
permission to market the wines as white Bordeaux citrus fruits,
until the 1980s. In 2006, the estate produced its first gooseberry
Sauvignon Blanc Trockenbeerenauslese.

Significance TASTE BODY,

In the meantime, there are now ca. 600 ha of Sau- SUBSTANCE
vignon Blanc vines in Germany, primarily in the
Pfalz, Rheinhessen, and Baden, and to the suprise somewhat medium-bodied,
of some, a number of these wines have received pronounced acidity rich in extract
very high marks at international tastings in recent

34 35

(380 ha) and the Ahr (more than 340 ha). Among
RED German red wines, Sptburgunder frequently

VARIETALS fetches the highest prices. Even high-priced Spt-

burgunders (some are barrique aged) sell well in
the specialty trade and restaurants.

This very old varietal needs much care and makes
high demands on climate and soil. It thrives best
in so-called Riesling sites, i.e., very good sites. If
SPTBURGUNDER (Pinot Noir) growing conditions are right, it reaches top form
and rewards all efforts with the most wonderful
If Germanys finest white wines are produced from red wines in the world.
Riesling, its red wine counterpart is the Sptbur-
gunder grape. Both are synonymous with top Vinification/Style
quality. Burgundy is the acknowledged home of Although there are Sptburgunder wines with some
Sptburgunder, where it might have been culti- residual sweetness, the majority are vinified as
vated since the 4th century or earlier; the earli- dry red wines. Occasionally, ros wines and spar-
est documented mentions date from the late 14th kling wines are produced. Traditionally, the finest
century. The precise parentage of the grape is wines are made from completely ripe grapes. Many
controversial, even in light of DNA profiling that growers age their premium wines, such as Grosse
points to a spontaneous crossing of Traminer x or Erste Gewchse, in barriques. Ranging in color
Schwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier). Other experts from ruby to garnet red, Sptburgunder wines are
rule this out, contending that Pinot Meunier is a slightly tannic, mild in acidity, and have a long finish,
mutation of Pinot Noir. Another school of thought with aromas reminiscent of blackberry and cherry.
suggests that one or both parents of Pinot Noir
may have been wild vines. Food affinities
Sptburgunder red wines are ideal during the cooler COLOR AROMA
Significance seasons of the year. They should be served at room
Germany ranks third worldwide after France and temperature between 18 and 20C (64.4 and 68F). reminiscent of
the USA in area devoted to Sptburgunder. With Powerful, full-bodied Sptburgunder is best with ruby red blackberry, cherry,
some 11,300 ha of Sptburgunder vines, an area roasted meat or game and aged hard cheese. As to garnet red strawberry, elder,
equal to 11% of the countrys vineyard area, the a varietal ros, Sptburgunder Weissherbst goes pepper
grape has a clear following among wine-growers well with appetizers and white meats.
and consumers alike. Since the early 1990s, the
area planted with Sptburgunder has increased by TASTE BODY,
more than 4,000 ha. The majority of plantings are SUBSTANCE
in Baden (nearly 5,750 ha) concentrated in the
Kaiserstuhl district and in the Pfalz (ca. 1,600 slightly tannic full-bodied to rich
ha). Other important growing regions include
Rheinhessen (more than 1,300 ha) and Wrttem-
berg (more than 850 ha), as well as the Rheingau

36 37

sion that brings forth the grapes intense aromas

of sour cherry, blackberry, and elder. They are
meant and marketed to be consumed while fresh
and young. Other growers ferment and/or age their
Dornfelders in large casks or small barriques, fo-
cus on tannins and structure, and downplay the
fruit aromas. These are usually rich, smooth, and
harmonious wines. The wines have an unmistak-
ably deep color.

Food affinities
Like other full-bodied reds, Dornfelder wines par-
ticularly those with some age are enjoyable during
Dornfelder Dornfelder the cooler seasons of the year, when theyre deli-
cious with full-flavored roasts, game, and cheese.
A relative newcomer, bred in 1955, Dornfelder is
already considered a German red wine classic and
has been in great demand for years. Originally de-
veloped for use as a blending wine to add color to
pale red wines, it is a crossing of Helfensteiner x

From small beginnings in the mid-1970s until
then, there were only about 100 ha of Dornfelder it
began to take off and now covers some 8,000 ha or
8% of Germanys total vineyard area second only
to Sptburgunder. Dornfelder was particularly well COLOR AROMA
received by growers in the Pfalz and Rheinhessen,
but is also cultivated in most other regions. violet to deep red
reminiscent of elder,
verging on black,
Cultivation blackberry
very dense
This is a hearty grape variety, which is not particu-
larly susceptible to disease but prone to prolific
yields if not judiciously pruned. It is somewhat de-
manding of site, preferring soils that are neither TASTE BODY,
sandy nor stony. SUBSTANCE
Vinification/Style tannic full-bodied to rich
Dornfelder is vinified in all styles, but primarily
as a dry red wine. Two quite distinctive types of
wine are produced. The first is a very fruity ver-

38 39

herbst. The pale red color is well-suited for such a

varietal ros. Portugieser red wines usually have
less alcohol than other reds. However, if yields are
strictly controlled, the grape is capable of produc-
ing deep red, full-bodied red wines of substance.

Food affinities
Portugieser is prized as an uncomplicated, pleas-
ant, medium-bodied, and fresh quaffing wine. Mild
in tannins, it doesnt need aging in order to be a
Portugieser Portugieser harmonious, accessible wine. On the nose, it is
fairly restrained, with hints of berry (red currant,
Portugieser wines are uncomplicated, fruity, and raspberry, or strawberry), sour cherry or pepper.
fresh easy drinking for everyday enjoyment. Be- Portugieser is enjoyable with quite a number of
cause they arent overly tannic, theyre ready to foods. The ros version is a popular summer wine.
drink during the spring after the harvest. There are
no conclusive findings on the origin of the grape,
but it made its way from Austria (18th century) to
Germany (19th century).

In terms of vineyard area, Portugieser is the third
most important red wine grape of Germany, after
Sptburgunder and Dornfelder. The nearly 4,100
ha planted with Portugieser, or 4% of the countrys
vineyard area, are concentrated in the Pfalz (more
than 2,000 ha), Rheinhessen (1,550 ha), and the Ahr
(40 ha). In all, the number of plantings has slightly COLOR AROMA
declined in recent years.

Cultivation pale red reminiscent of red

The grape makes no particular demands on soil or to ruby red currant, strawberry
site. Although damp and heavy soils are not suitable,
it manages to grow in sandy soils that are low in
nutrients. If there is no damage from winter frost,
yields are reliable, even prolific. The grapes ripen TASTE BODY,
early and achieve ripeness levels sufficient for QbA SUBSTANCE
wines by the first half of September.
light to
mild tannins
Vinification/Style medium-bodied
The grape must is usually pressed immediately or
after a brief period of skin contact to produce Weiss-

40 41

The majority of Trollinger wines are meant to be
fresh, uncomplicated wines for everyday drinking.
The harmonious wines are even more pleasant with
a touch of residual sweetness. The light, fruity wines
need no aging; they can be enjoyed the year after
the harvest. Their delicate scent is reminiscent of
strawberry or cherry. Usually light brick red to the
eye, and in good years, even pale ruby red. Troll-
inger Weissherbst, a varietal ros version, is also
Trollinger Trollinger produced. Trollinger is often blended with Lem-
berger, another traditional grape of Wrttemberg.
Trolllinger is Wrttembergs premier red grape Last but not least, the juicy berries are also very
variety. In fact, these agreeable wines are known tasty table grapes.
as the Swabian national drink. The grape prob-
ably originated in southern Tyrol or neighboring Food affinities
Trentino, where it is known as Vernatsch. It is pos- It goes without saying that a wine popular enough
sible, though, that Lombardy was its original home. to be consumed nearly every day must be quite
agreeable. The bread-and-butter wine goes down
Significance easily with a light dinner of cold cuts and cheese,
Between 1960 and 1990, the area planted with Troll- but its also a good choice for white meat or pasta in
inger in Germany grew by ca. 1,000 ha, reaching its tomato sauce. Lightly chilled Trollinger is a refresh-
peak at about 2,500 ha, a level it basically retained in ing wine during the warmer seasons of the year.
the decade thereafter. Today, there are some 2,400
ha. Trollinger is the number one red wine grape in
Wrttemberg, followed by Schwarzriesling (Pinot
Meunier) and Lemberger. Except for a few growers
in the Pfalz and Baden regions, with only about COLOR AROMA
30 ha, varietal statistics confirm that Trollinger is
grown almost exclusively in Wrttemberg. reminiscent
brick red
of strawberry,
Cultivation to pale ruby red
red currant, cherry
The grape prefers warm soils, particularly those
based on marl and shell-limestone formations.
Because it ripens late, even later than Riesling,
it requires good sites that arent prone to frost TASTE BODY,
damage. As a prolific grape with yields of 100 hl/ SUBSTANCE
ha, it can also thrive in alkaline soils that are low in
nutrients and in vineyards with widely spaced rows. light to
mild tannins
Must weights usually remain in the QbA range, ca. medium-bodied
70 Oechsle on average. Total acidity ranges from
7 to 10 g/l, which is relatively high for a red wine.

42 43

Compared with Sptburgunder, Schwarzriesling is
less demanding of soil and site. Fairly uncompli-
cated to grow, it thrives in powerful fertile loess-
loam soils. Yields and must weights are average.
Yields are similar to the relatively low yields of
Sptburgunder; must weights, slightly lower. Never-
theless, it reaches 70 to 80 Oechsle in normal
years. Acidity levels are sometimes rather low.

Schwarzriesling wines are ruby red in color; have a
fruity aroma similar to that of Sptburgunder; and
in terms of body, fairly delicate. They are vinified
in both dry and sweet styles. QbA wines predomi-
Schwarzriesling (Mllerrebe) SCHWARZRIESLING (Pinot Meunier) nate, but Kabinett and Sptlese qualities are also
This varietal is quite popular in Wrttemberg, but
also has fans elsewhere. It is registered in the Food affinities
official list of varietals as Mllerrebe. The name As an uncomplicated red wine for everyday drink-
derives from Mller and meunier, the German ing, the wines are especially popular in Wrttem-
and French equivalents of miller, in reference to the berg, where theyre often sold in liter-sized bottles.
hairy underside of the grapes leaves they look Fuller-bodied versions go well with pork or lamb
like theyve been dusted with flour. It is assumed as well as mild cheese. As a wine with meals, it
to have originated in Burgundy, where it has been can be served as an alternative to Sptburgunder.
known for well over 400 years.
DNA profiling points to a spontaneous crossing
of Traminer x Schwarzriesling as the parents of COLOR AROMA
Pinot Noir. Other experts rule this out, contending
that Pinot Meunier is a mutation of Pinot Noir. In reminiscent of
France, the grape is a component in the traditional red currant, cherry,
ruby red
three-varietal Champagne cuve. raspberry,
In Germany, the majority of plantings are in Wrt-
temberg. Nevertheless, the grape accounts for TASTE BODY,
some two percent of Germanys total vineyard area. SUBSTANCE
In the 1980s, Schwarzriesling grew from 1,000 to
2,000 ha; since then, this area has increased to medium-bodied,
moderately tannic
2,250 ha 1,650 ha of which are located in Wrt- rich
temberg. It is of secondary importance in northern
Baden, in Rheinhessen, in the Pfalz, and in Franken.

44 45

Lemberger potential is good, thanks to well-structured acidity
and tannins. Lembergers aged in barrique some-
For years there has been a gradual increase in the times have a Mediterranean charm and warmth.
vineyard area devoted to this varietal. A specialty Ambitious growers and cooperatives also produce
of Wrttemberg, it achieves top quality in good cuves of Lemberger and Trollinger, labeled either
sites. The official designation is Blauer Limberger, as Lemberger with Trollinger or Trollinger with
but the synonyms Lemberger and Blaufrnkisch Lemberger depending on the prevalent varietal
are permitted in Germany. The late-ripening Lem- component. The sparkling version, Lemberger
berger grape probably traces its origins to the Sekt, is a real rarity.
lower Danube valley.
Food affinities
Significance A light, fruity Lemberger (perfect for the proverbial
Lemberger has enjoyed increasing popularity in Wrttemberger Viertele the typical, regional,
recent years as evidenced by its growing vineyard quarter-liter serving of wine) is just right with a
area. In the 1980s, there were only about 400 to light dinner of cold cuts and cheese or for sum-
500 ha of plantings; by the mid-1990s, statistics mer barbecues. A Lemberger rich in tannins goes
showed nearly 1,000 ha; in 2010, there were more well with hearty pts, grilled foods, Swabian roast
than 1,750 ha. It is cultivated almost exclusively beef smothered in onions, roasted poultry or game
in Wrttemberg, where it accounts for more than birds, game with intense flavors, pot roast, and
14% of the regions vineyard area. lamb dishes.

Lembergers propensity to bud very early and ripen
late account for why it does best in warm sites shel-
tered from the wind. The grape is very demanding
of site, somewhat less so in terms of soils. It thrives
particularly well in deep, fertile loess-loam soils.
Yields are average. In very good sites, the Wrt- COLOR AROMA
temberg specialty achieves top quality.
dark ruby red reminiscent of black
Vinification/Style to deep red verging currant, blackberry,
Various styles are produced. There are light, fruity on black cherry
versions as well as wines produced from grapes
of Sptlese and Auslese concentration that yield
reds that are rich in extract and tannins. Usually,
the wines are intense in color: deep red verging on TASTE BODY,
black. On the nose, aromas range from restrained SUBSTANCE
to powerful, often reminiscent of blackberry,
cherry or sour cherry, plum, currant, elder, and medium-bodied,
banana -or- vegetal notes, such as bell pepper. rich
Depending on how vinified, the wines are either
fruity in style or tannic, with a long finish. Aging

46 47

Early to ripen, above-average must weights, and
high frost resistance enable Regent to be planted
even in sites that are marginally suitable for red
wine grapes. It shows good resistance to downy
and powdery mildew.

Regent achieves must weight that even surpass
those of Sptburgunder, with similar, moderate
yields. As such, the wines are rich in substance.
They are marked by pronounced tannins, fine acidity,
and aromas reminiscent of cherry or blackberry.
Regent wines are very intense in color, ranging
from garnet red to deep red verging on black. The
finest grapes are also vinified in barriques.

Food affinities
The wines are fairly accessible even in their youth.
Regent partners well with meats that are intense
Regent Regent in flavor, such as leg of lamb, oxtail ragout or game.

A new crossing officially permitted since 1996, Re-

gent posted enormous increases in vineyard area
up to 2005. It is a crossing of Diana (Silvaner x
Mller-Thurgau) and Chambourcin that was bred at
the Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof
in Siebeldingen/Pfalz. It is prized by organic wine- COLOR AROMA
growers for its resistance to botrytis and mildew
(downy and powdery). garnet red reminiscent of black
to deep red verging cherry, blackberry,
Significance on black currant
Initially, Regent was planted in numerous experi-
mental vineyards; today, it can be found in every
German wine-growing region. Varietal statistics
bear witness to growers great interest in the grape, TASTE BODY,
particularly at the outset, and to some extent today. SUBSTANCE
From 1997 to 2005, the area devoted to Regent
grew from 70 ha to more than 2,100 ha. and has rich
remained stable since then. In all, it acccounts for to full-bodied
2% of Germanys total vineyard area, and is planted
primarily in Rheinhessen, the Pfalz, and Baden.

48 49

Given its high must weights and good levels of extract
and acidity, the grape is capable of yielding power-
ful red wines with a fresh fruitiness. Occasionally,
wines in the higher quality range are fermented
and/or aged in barriques. The wines are deep red
in color. Some of the fruitier versions have aromas
reminiscent of cherry or wild cherry.

Food affinities
Fruitier style Saint Laurent wines go well with lighter
dishes. Those with greater firmness or grip can
stand up to heartier foods, including game and
aged cheese.

Saint Laurent Saint Laurent

Based on DNA profiling, Saint Laurent or Sankt

Laurent is a spontaneous crossing of a yet un-
known variety and a Pinot. It was introduced into
Germany from Alsace some 150 years ago and
until 1990, the area under vine was very small.
The name probably derives from St. Laurentius,
whose name day (10 August) falls 10 to 12 days
before Sptburgunder begins to ripen.
Since 1997, the grape variety has soared to great
heights. The 670 ha planted in Germany are bascially reminiscent
ruby red
confined to the Pfalz and Rheinhessen. of wild cherry

Bud burst is early (danger of May frost) and the
grape develops quickly. As such, it can be cultivated TASTE BODY,
in average sites. However, cool sites can lead to SUBSTANCE
acidity levels that are too high. The grape grows
well in deep or chalky soils. Yields are average, medium-bodied
mild tannins
falling into the 70 to 80 hl/ha range. On average, to rich
Saint Laurent reaches a remarkable must weight
of 80 Oechsle.

50 51


Apart from the Saale-Unstrut and Sachsen regions climate to the east. The long growing season (the
in the east, Germanys wine-growing regions are harvest sometimes extends into November) and
concentrated in the southern and southwestern the moderate warmth of summer make for wines
part of the country. They number among the most that are more delicate and less alcoholic that those
northerly wine-growing regions of the world, right in southern wine-growing countries. Different soil
in the border zone between the warm, moist Gulf types and grape varieties also contribute to the
Stream climate to the west and the dry continental diversity of German wines.

Crisp and slightly effervescent,

fruity, hints of mineral these are
the traits that distinguish German
white wines from their counterparts
in other countries. This profile is
shaped by the special climatic and VITICULTURE WORLDWIDE

soil conditions of Germanys wine-

growing regions.


52 53


Wine-growing Vineyard area Proportion
region in ha in ha white : red in %
Rheinhessen 26,523 69.2 : 30.8 The 13 wine-growing regions for quality wine pro-
duction are located primarily in the southwestern
Pfalz 23,445 61.7 : 38.3 part of Germany. Different types of soil, consider-
able differences in regional climate, as well as a
Baden 15,837 56.4 : 43.6
regions traditional grape varieties all contribute to
Wrttemberg 11,421 28.7 : 71.3 the proverbial diversity of German wines. A closer
look at Germanys viticultural geography quickly
Mosel 8,871 90.8 : 9.2 shows that wine-growing is not confined solely
to the southwest. The northernmost vineyards
Franken 6,109 80.6 : 19.4
for quality wine production are near Potsdam, in
Nahe 4,155 75.1 : 24.9 the Werderaner Wachtelberg site, an exclave of
the Saale-Unstrut wine-growing region. Due to
Rheingau 3,107 85.1 : 14.9 climate change, the frontier of viable viticulture
has been moving northward in recent years. In the
Saale-Unstrut 735 73.3 : 26.7
meantime, there are even vineyards planted on
Ahr 559 14.8 : 85.2 the island of Sylt in the North Sea, although these
grapes have been approved only for the production
Sachsen 478 81.0 : 19.0 of Landwein, not quality wine. The easternmost
German vineyard, the Kniglicher Weinberg, lies
Mittelrhein 456 85.1 : 14.9 in a suburb of Dresden, in the Sachsen region.

Hessische 436 79.1 : 20.9


54 55


The Ahr Valley lies within the Rhenish Massif (a Location bordered by the Ahr Hills in the
Vineyards near Altenahr Ahr group of forested, low mountain ranges also re- northwest; protected by the Eifel
ferred to as the Rhenish Slate Mountains). Slate
The Ahr is the northernmost wine-growing region provides vines an excellent basis for ripening: it Climate mild and favorable (Cologne
Lowland); very hot and humid in
in the western part of the country and one of Ger- retains heat during the day and gently releases it
certain parts of steep sites
manys smaller regions. Its red wines, in particular, during the night. The soil also consists of gray-
Soil deep, rich in loess in the lower
are appreciated well beyond the regions borders. wacke, loess-loam, gravel, and volcanic stone.
valley; stony, with some slate
The protective Eifel Hills, the heat buildup within From Ahrweiler into the Rhine Plain, the valley and volcanic stone in the central
the narrow valley, and the flow of mild air from the widens and the soils are less barren. The river valley
Koblenz-Neuwied Basin enable red wine grapes, terraces are covered with fertile loess. Vineyard area ca. 560 ha/1,400 acres; 1 district;
particularly Sptburgunder, to ripen well here. Ahr 1 collective site; 43 individual
wines are sold at good prices as a specialty in wine Grape varieties sites
shops and restaurants. The majority of the wines With only about 560 ha of vines, the Ahr numbers Grape varieties Sptburgunder, Riesling, Por-
are purchased directly from the producer, thanks among the smaller regions. Some 85% of the tugieser, Frhburgunder
to the Ahrs thriving tourist trade and proximity to vineyards are planted with red wine grapes a
the heavily populated Rhine-Ruhr area. proportion higher than that of any other region.
Various red varietals are cultivated, but above all,
Location Sptburgunder, which accounts for more than 60%
Some 40 km south of Bonn, the Ahr River flows of the regions total vineyard area. Portugieser and
into the Rhine. From its source in Blankenheim to Frhburgunder, a strain of Sptburgunder that rip-

its confluence with the Rhine near Sinzig, it flows ens two weeks earlier (and a rarity in Germany),

for 89 km through the wildly romantic, pristine are also grown in the Ahr. Riesling is the primary
landscape of the Ahr Valley. The Ahr flows from white wine grape.
west/southwest to east/northeast, providing south-
facing slopes. It passes through the wine villages of
Bad Neuenahr-
Ahrweiler Altenahr, Mayschoss, Rech, Dernau, Walporzheim,
Altenahr and Heimersheim as it approaches the Rhine.


r Climate
The Ahr is sheltered by the Eifel Hills. As such, an-
nual precipitation is relatively low: the long-term
average is 650 mm/25 in. The average annual
temperature, 9.8C/49.6F, is also fairly low for a
wine-growing region. Winters are comparatively
mild, yet the danger of a spring frost is always
possible. Thanks to its proximity to the Cologne
Lowland, warmth generated by the Gulf Stream
also reaches the Ahr and helps temper the cli-
mate. The microclimatic pockets that develop in
the narrow part of the valley also have a positive
effect on viticulture.

56 57

the Kraichgau district and along the Tauber River.
Farther south, in the Kaiserstuhl, Tuniberg, and Location from Lake Constance north-
Markgrflerland districts, the soils range from ward into the Upper Rhine Plain;
along the Badische Bergstrasse/
Vineyards in the Ortenau district Baden chalky or clayish marl deposits to rich loess and
Kraichgau, all the way north to
loam soils that are interspersed with volanic soils. Tauberfranken
Baden is the southernmost and the third largest Heat-retaining moraine deposits predominate near Climate sunny and warm; the Kaiserstuhl
German wine-growing region, with ca. 15,800 ha. Lake Constance. is the warmest region of Ger-
The region stretches from the Tauber Valley in the many
north to Lake Constance in the south. It is divided Grape varieties Soil moraine deposits near Lake
into nine districts, each with a geological and cli- Be it Sptburgunder, Grauburgunder or Weiss- Constance; Tertiary chalk, clay
matic profile as diverse as the wines they produce. burgunder, the Pinot family thrives in Baden, and marl soils, enormous loess
deposits, and volcanic soils in the
Overall, the region is one of the warmest in all of particularly in the Kaiserstuhl and Tuniberg dis-
Kaiserstuhl and Markgrflerland
Germany, a fact reflected in the typical grape varie- tricts, where warmth and ideal growing conditions districts; shell-limestone and
ties grown here. About 75% of all Baden wines are prevail. Yet, other varietals are cultivated as well. marl in the Kraichgau and along
marketed by large and small cooperative wineries. Markgrflerland is known for Gutedel, an ancient the Tauber River
variety that yields neutral, harmonious wines. The Vineyard area ca. 15,800 ha/39,000 acres; 9
Location Rieslings from the Ortenau are unmistakably mild districts; 16 collective sites; 306
individual sites
Badens vineyards are in the southwest corner in acidity. Rivaner, Riesling, and Schwarzriesling
of Germany, stretching more than 400 km/250 (Pinot Meunier) predominate farther north, in the Grape varieties Sptburgunder, Mller-Thurgau,
Mai Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder,
n mi through nine districts (from north to south): Tauberfranken, Badische Bergstrasse, and Kraich-
Riesling, Gutedel
Tauberfranken, Badische Bergstrasse, Kraich- gau districts. For the most part, the vineyards near
Heidelberg gau, Ortenau, Breisgau, Kaiserstuhl, Tuniberg, Lake Constance are planted with Sptburgunder
Markgrflerland, and Bodensee (Lake Constance). and Mller-Thurgau grapes. Badisch Rotgold is
Karlsruhe a regional specialty. Pale to light red in color, it
Climate is made from Grauburgunder and Sptburgunder
Baden has the sunniest ( 1,700 hours of sun) and grapes.

Stuttgart warmest ( 11C/52) climate of Germany. As such,

Offenburg it is the only German wine-growing region that


ka r
Nec belongs to EU climate zone B, which is reserved for
relatively warm regions. The climate is influenced
by the regions location between the ridges of the
Freiburg Palatinate Forest and the Odenwald, and between
Meersburg the Vosges Mountains and Black Forest. They offer

protection from cold winds and keep heavy rains
at bay. Between the southern Vosges and the Jura
lies the so-called Belfort Gap (Burgundian Gate)
through which warm Mediterranean air can flow
into the Rhine Plain.

The variform Baden region includes all kinds of soil
profiles. Shell-limestone and marl are typical in

58 59

days; an average of 1,600 to 1,750 hours of sun; an
average annual temperature of 8.5-9.0C/47-48F; Location between Aschaffenburg and
and an average annual precipitation of 500-600 Schweinfurt on the south-facing
slopes of the Main River and its
mm/19.5.-23.4 in.
Climate predominantly continental: dry,
warm summers and cold winters
From west to east, the principal soils of Franken are
Soil weathered primary rock and
weathered primitive rock and colored sandstone
colored sandstone in the west
Franken near Aschaffenburg; shell-limestone and loess (Mainviereck); loam-loess and
near Wrzburg; and colored and/or gypsum marl shell-limestone in the center
Franken is the home of the Bocksbeutel, the flat, in the Steigerwald district. Wind-borne sand and (Maindreieck); and marl in the
east (Steigerwald)
round-shaped bottle with a short neck. Of all Fran- heavy, clayish marl are found along the Mains loop
Vineyard area ca. 6,100 ha/15,100 acres;
conian wines, the best-known are the powerful, near Volkach. Over the course of 60 million years,
3 districts; 23 collective sites;
earthy Silvaners or Mller-Thurgau wines, which these soils developed as layers of earth from the
216 individual sites
are usually vinified dry. For wine connoisseurs, Sil- deposits of a Triassic sea.
Grape varieties Mller-Thurgau, Silvaner,
vaner and Franken are an inseparable whole. The Bacchus, Riesling, Domina,
variety reaches top form in the shell-limestone soil Grape varieties Sptburgunder
along the Main River and brings forth very concen- Some 80% of Frankens vineyard area is planted
trated, earthy aromas. Red varietals are cultivated with white varietals. Silvaner is the classic Fran-
primarily in the western section of the region, in conian grape. Delicately aromatic Mller-Thurgau
and around Brgstadt and Klingenberg. Frankens predominates, though, and is enjoying a renais-
image is enhanced by its moderate size and the sance at the hands of young growers who make
recognition value of the Bocksbeutel. and market it as an uncomplicated, youthful, fresh
Vineyards in Escherndorf wine. Bacchus is the third most imporant white
Location varietal and is regarded as a regional specialty.
The regions 6,100 ha of vines lie on the northern There is a red wine enclave in the western part of
border of the state of Bavaria, and are contained the region, where Sptburgunder thrives in the
Aschaffenburg Main within the area lying between three forested, low colored sandstone soil.
mountain ranges the Rhn in the north, the
Steigerwald in the east, and the Spessart in the
west and the Tauber Valley in the south. The re-
gion stretches from Aschaffenburg to Schweinfurt
(from west to east) along the W-shaped course of
the Main River. All vineyards are planted on south-
facing slopes of the Main River or in side valleys
of its tributaries.

Franken lies within the continental climate zone,
i.e., summers are dry; winters can be very cold.
Under these climatic conditions, there is an annual
frost-free growing season of between 160 and 190

60 61

Vineyards near Zwingenberg THE Hessische BergstraSSe AT A GLANCE

Hessische BergstraSSe Soil
Although the soils in the Hessische Bergstrasse Location nestled between the Neckar,
With 440 ha of vineyards, the Hessische Berg- are dry and low in nutrients, there is wind-borne Rhine, and Main Rivers; pro-
tected by the forested hills of the
strasse is one of the smallest wine-growing re- sand that heats up quickly and fine-grained, deep,
gions of Germany, and somewhat smaller than the water-retaining loess. The subsoil is very old, thick,
Climate optimal solar radiation and suf-
Mittelrhein, Sachsen, and the Ahr. The old Roman and weathered. Loess is a mineral-rich, fertile sub-
ficient rainfall
trade route strata montana (mountain road) strad- soil that brings forth powerful wines with a wealth
Soil light soils with varying amounts
dles the border between the states of Hessen and of aromas. In the steep slopes near Heppenheim,
of loess
Baden-Wrttemberg. The Hessian portion became there is also colored sandstone that was formed
Vineyard area ca. 440 ha/1,100 acres; 2 districts;
an independent wine region under the German wine by detritus from the Rhine. 3 collective sites; 23 individual
law of 1971; the vineyards farther south were incor- sites
porated into the Baden region, the district known as Grape varieties Grape varieties Riesling, Sptburgunder, Grau-
the Badische Bergstrasse. In the Hessische Berg- The majority of Bergstrsser wines are vinified in burgunder, Mller-Thurgau
strasse, Riesling is the most important grape variety, a dry or off-dry style. Nearly half of the vineyard
covering nearly half of the regions vineyard area. area is planted with Riesling, the regions typical
A high proportion of the wines are dry or off-dry in grape. This is supplemented by Mller-Thurgau,
style, and are purchased directly from the producer. Grauburgunder, and Sptburgunder.

The heart of the region runs parallel to the Rhine in
Darmstadt the foothills of the sheltering forested hills known
Gro-Umstadt as the Odenwald, nestled between the Main and
Neckar Rivers. The vineyard area begins near
Zwingenberg (south of Frankfurt and Darmstadt)
and extends south to Auerbach, Bensheim, and
Heppenheim Heppenheim, where the slopes are thickly clad
with vines and orchards. There is also a small

island of vines near Gross-Umstadt (southeast
of Darmstadt).
As he traveled from Frankfurt along the Berg-
strasse in April 1764, Emperor Josef II romantically
enthused: This is where Germany transforms into
Italy. The regions mild climate is due primarily to
the Odenwald, which protects it from cold northerly
and easterly winds. The Rhine, Main, and Neckar act
as heat reservoirs. The average annual tempera-
ture is about 10C/50F, with nearly 1,600 hours of
sun, and 720 mm/28 in of precipitation. These are
the marks of a climate with a long growing season
and a region predestined for cultivating grapes.

62 63


The average annual temperature is 9.3C/48.7F. All
of these factors provide a long growing season that Location 100 km/620 mi on both sides of
often extends into late autumn excellent condi- the Rhine, from the Nahe to the
Siebengebirge Hills near Bonn
tions, particularly for Riesling.
Climate lots of sun hours; sites protected
from the wind; the Rhine serves
as a heat reservoir
The soils from Bingen to Koblenz are primarily
Soil weathered slate and graywacke;
Vineyards near Bacharach Mittelrhein slate or a variation thereof: slate of the Hunsrck
isolated pockets of loess; in the
Hills; dark slate; and loam or loess-loam with slate north, soils of volcanic origin
The Mittelrhein is the spectacular stretch of the debris. The typical acidity and mineral tones of the Vineyard area ca. 460 ha/1,100 acres; 2 districts;
Rhine River between Bonn and Bingen known as wines derive from the soil. Graywacke, a type of 10 collective sites; 111 individual
the Rhine Gorge. Here the river has carved its sandstone, is another component of the soil make- sites
course through the stone hills to form a steep, nar- up. North of Koblenz, volcanic elements enter the Grape varieties Riesling, Sptburgunder, Mller-
row valley. Most of the vineyards line steep slate picture. Pumice and tuff, as well as loess, lend the Thurgau
cliffs that are dramatically beautiful, but extremely wines body and strength.
labor-intensive. The 65-km/40-mi stretch of the
Mittelrhein between Bingen and Koblenz was added Grape varieties
to the UNESCO World Heritage list (Upper Middle Mittelrhein wine-growers favor traditional grape
Rhine Valley) in 2002. The climate is mild, with varieties. Thanks to the regions climate and soil,
many sunny days, and the Rhine acts as a giant growing conditions are ideal, particularly for Ries-
heat reservoir ideal conditions for Riesling, the ling. Delicate aromas, racy acidity, and pronounced
regions main grape. The character of the wines is mineral tones are the hallmarks of a Mittelrhein

influenced primarily by the weathered slate soil. As Riesling. It is the premier white varietal, planted in
e in

Knigswinter in the Ahr, the region and its wine-growers benefit 70% of the regions vineyard area. Kerner, Mller-
from a thriving tourist industry, and the majority of Thurgau, and Pinots are also cultivated. Sptbur-
small and medium-sized growers sell their wines gunder is the leading red varietal.
Neuwied directly to consumers.

Koblenz Location
The region extends for more than 110 km/70 mi be-
Boppard tween Bingen and the Siebengebirge (seven hills)
south of Bonn. From Bingen to Koblenz, most of the
Bacharach vineyards are on the left bank of the Rhine; from
Koblenz to Bonn, on the right bank.

The Rhine Valley enables mild air flow into the re-
gion. Winters are mild; the Rhine acts as a heat
reservoir; and there are seldom hard frosts. Spring
is timely, and summer weather provides constant
warmth and sufficient rainfall. The steep slopes
also play a role: cold air quickly flows downward.

64 65

Vineyards near Krv THE MOSEL AT A GLANCE

Mosel the suns warmth during the day and gently release
it at night. Fluctuations in temperature are mini- Location between the Hunsrck and Eifel
The region comprising the valleys of the Mosel River mal. Moderately cold winters and pleasantly warm Hills (within the Rhenish Mas-
sif); along the Mosel River and its
and its tributaries, the Saar and the Ruwer, is regard- summers with sufficient rainfall are the norm. The
tributaries, Saar and Ruwer
ed as the oldest wine-growing region of Germany. average annual temperature is ca. 10C/50F. The
Climate optimal balance of warmth and
The Romans introduced viticulture to the Mosel on a moderate climate along the 50th degree of latitude
rainfall in the steep sites and
large scale. The Mosel is a traditional Riesling region blesses the Mosel with an extremely long growing valleys
with a high recognition level. Its reputation and large season, from April through October. In some years, Soil near Luxembourg (Obermosel),
international following are largely due to the regions grapes can continue ripening well into November. shell-limestone and marl; in the
high-quality Riesling wines. No less renowned are Saar and Ruwer Valleys, Devoni-
the steep vineyard sites themselves. With an angle Grape varieties an slate; south of Zell, soft shale
and silica-rich graywacke
of inclination of 65, the Bremmer Calmont is the Riesling, in particular, thrives in the slaty soil of
Vineyard area ca. 8,900 ha/22,000 acres; 6
steepest vineyard of Europe. Nowhere else in the the Middle and Lower Mosel, where vines must
districts; 19 collective sites; 524
world are there more steep slopes than in Germanys penetrate deeply to absorb minerals and other
individual sites
fifth largest wine-growing region. elements lying beneath the barren soil.
Grape varieties Riesling, Mller-Thurgau, Elbling,
Koblenz The region also offers other varietal wines. Rivaner Kerner
Location is the second most important grape. In the Upper
l The region extends along the German portion of the Mosel, the ancient variety Elbling is at home, where
M o se
Mosel River for some 243 km/150 mi, from Perl to it may have already been cultivated 2,000 years ago.
Cochem Koblenz. The vineyards along its tributaries, the It brings forth fresh, fruity, and uncomplicated dry
Saar and Ruwer, also belong to the region. It is white wines, as well as sparkling wines. Plantings
divided into six districts. The Burg Cochem dis- of Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Auxerrois, and
trict on the Lower Mosel, from Koblenz to Zell, is Chardonnay are increasing. They do quite well in
often referred to today as the Terrassenmosel the the chalky soils of the Upper Mosel and yield excel-
slopes are so steep that they have been terraced to lent wines. Since the late 1980s, red wine grapes
enable vines to be cultivated. Bernkastel lends its mostly Sptburgunder and Dornfelder have been
Trier name to the district between Briedel and Trier. Also cultivated again in all three valleys.
known as the Middle Mosel, it is the heart of the re-
Perl gion, with world-renowned wine villages and sites,
such as Bernkasteler Doctor, rziger Wrzgarten
or Trittenheimer Apotheke. South of Trier, between
Igel and Palzem, is the Obermosel district or Up-
per Mosel. The final stretch of vineyards along the
German Mosel is known as the Moseltor (literally,
gateway to the Mosel) and ends in Perl. The two
other districts, Saar and Ruwer, are named after
their respective rivers.

Thanks to its sheltered valley location, the region
enjoys one of the warmest climates in Germany. The
steep slate slopes soaring up from the rivers retain

66 67


Protection from cold winds by the Hunsrck Hills, Location primarily in the side valleys of the
mild temperatures, low rainfall, and lots of sun- Nahe River, from its confluence
with the Rhine opposite Bingen
shine provide excellent conditions for viticulture in
westward toward Kirn
the Nahe Valley. The climate in the Upper Nahe and
Climate balanced, mild, and frost-free
its side valleys is influenced by cooler air masses,
whereby the grapes tend to ripen later. In turn, Soil quartzite and slate in the lower
the aromas and acidity structure of late ripening valley near the Rhine; porphyry,
grapes, such as Riesling, have more time to develop. melaphyre, and colored sand-
The resultant wines are racy, fruity, and elegant. stone in the central valley;
weathered soils and overlapping
layers of clay consisting of sand-
Soil stone, loess, and loam near Bad
Vineyards on Rotenfels cliff Nahe In the turbulent course of its geological evolution, Kreuznach
the Nahe was endowed with a wealth of soil types: Vineyard area ca. 4,100 ha/10,000 acres; 1
Situated between the Mosel and Rhine, the Nahe quartzite and slate in the lower valley near the district; 6 collective sites; 284
is one of Germanys medium-sized wine-growing Rhine; prophyry, melaphyre, and colored sandstone individual sites
regions. Although vines have been cultivated here in the central valley; weathered soils and overlap- Grape varieties Riesling, Mller-Thurgau, Dorn-
since Roman times, it was only under the German ping layers of clay consisting of sandstone, loess, felder, Silvaner, Sptburgunder
wine law of 1971 that the Nahe was declared an and loam near Bad Kreuznach. With some 180 dif-
independent region. Soil structures vary consider- ferent soil types that quickly vary within a small
ably here, giving rise to an equally diverse number area, the Nahe holds the record for soil diversity
of flavor elements in the wines. Riesling is the most in Germany. This is matched by an equally broad
important variety, and those from the regions steep spectrum of grape varieties and styles of wine.
slate slopes number among the finest of Germany.
Grape varieties
Location Some 75% of the regions grape varieties are white,
The region lies within the forested Hunsrck Hills in led by Riesling, Mller-Thurgau, and Silvaner.
the temperate southwestern portion of Germany. It Plantings of Weissburgunder and Grauburgunder
is ringed by the Soonwald-Nahe nature park in the have increased considerably in recent years. Dorn-

north, the North Palatine Upland in the south, the felder is the primary red variety, followed by Spt-

Upper Nahe Upland in the west, and opens up to- burgunder, Portugieser, and Regent.
ward the rolling hills and plateaus of Rheinhessen Pinots and particularly demanding red varietals do
in the east. The area under vine primarily follows especially well in the lower Nahe between Bingen
the course of the Nahe River from its confluence and Bad Kreuznach, where they develop high must
with the Rhine at Bingerbrck for about 60 km/36 weights and a moderate acidity.
mi south and west as far as Kirn. It is roughly di-
Bad Sobernheim Bad Kreuznach
vided into three zones (from east to west): the Lower
he Bad Mnster-
Na Ebernburg Nahe, from Bingerbrck to Bad Kreuznach, the
regions largest town and main wine center; the
Middle Nahe, from there to Schloss Bckelheim;
and the Upper Nahe, upstream from Schloss Bck-
Gl an

elheim to Martinstein near Kirn.

68 69

Vineyards near Neustadt THE PFALZ AT A GLANCE

Forest, which protect the vines from cold winds
Pfalz and excessive rainfall. Even almonds, figs, lemons, Location from south of Worms to the
sweet chestnuts, and olives thrive in the Mediter- French border; between the
foothills of the Palatinate Forest
With 23,400 ha of vines, the Pfalz is one of Ger- ranean climate of the Pfalz.
eastward into the Rhine Plain
manys largest regions, second only to Rheinhes-
Climate lots of sun hours; mild, variable
sen. In the domestic market, every third bottle of Soils
German wine purchased comes from the Pfalz. The northern and southern Pfalz vary consider-
Soil colored sandstone, chalky loam
Like Rheinhessen, the Pfalz has a large number ably in their soil makeup. Light clays, sandstones,
and clay, as well as marl, inter-
of small, family-operated wine estates, renowned loams, marl, and combinations thereof prevail in spersions of shell-limestone;
large estates, and cooperatives, who successfully the Mittelhaardt-Deutsche Weinstrasse district. To isolated pockets of granite,
market their wines in wine shops and restaurants. the south, the soils are loamier and thus, heavier porphyry, and slate
The proximity to Alsace, a flourishing tourist trade, and more fertile. In both districts, though, there Vineyard area ca. 23,400 ha/58,000 acres; 2
and the self-confidence of successful winemak- are pockets of shell-limestone, granite, porphyry, districts; 25 collective sites; 323
individual sites
ers have left their marks on the many styles of and forms of slate.
Grape varieties Riesling, Dornfelder, Mller-
wine produced in the Pfalz. With about 9,000 ha
Thurgau, Portugieser, Sptbur-
of red varietals, more than 3,000 ha of which are Grape varieties gunder, Grauburgunder, Kerner,
Dornfelder, the Pfalz is Germanys largest red Wine-growers in the Pfalz tend to focus on tradi- Weissburgunder
wine region. tional grape varieties, above all, Riesling. The king
of white grapes is indisputably the regions leading
Ludwigshafen Location varietal, with more than 5,500 ha of vines. Further-
The Pfalz is bordered by Rheinhessen to the north, more, the Pfalz has been the number one Riesling
Bad Drkheim Alsace to the south, and the Saarland to the west. region in the world since 2008. Weissburgunder
To the east, on the opposite side of the Rhine, lies and Grauburgunder are also on the rise. Additional
Neustadt northern Baden. For ca. 80 km/50 mi, a thick ribbon white wine grapes cultivated in the Pfalz include
of vines runs parallel to the foothills of the forested Mller-Thurgau, Kerner, Silvaner, and Scheurebe.
Haardt Mountains, an extension of the Vosges. The Nearly 40% of the vineyard area is devoted to red
northern portion of the region, the Mittelhaardt, wine grapes. Dornfelder predominates, but Spt-
Landau stretches from Zellertal (west of Worms) and Bock- burgunder and Portugieser are also important.

enheim southward to Neustadt in the heart of the


region. This is the home of renowned wine villages,

such as Bad Drkheim, Wachenheim, Forst, and
Deidesheim. The southern portion of the region,
the Sdliche Weinstrasse, extends from Maikam-
mer and Landau to Schweigen on the border with
France. It is by far the largest Bereich (wine dis-
trict) in Germany.

The Pfalz is one of the warmest regions of Ger-
many, with an average of 1,800 hours of sun and
an average annual temperature of 11C/52F. The
mild climate is due to the slopes of the Palatinate

70 71


There are three soil zones in the Rheingau. In the Location from near the confluence of the
west (Rdesheimer Berg sites, Lorch, and Ass- Main River with the Rhine near
Wiesbaden, stretching westward
mannshausen), heat-retaining slate and/or phyllite
to Rdesheim and Lorchhausen
slate prevail. In the central and eastern Rheingau, (right bank of the Rhine)
sandy loam and loess, both of which retain water Climate protected by the Taunus Hills;
well, are found in sites at a low altitude not far from mild winters and warm summers
the Rhine; sites at a higher altitude some distance Soil slate, quartz, gravel, and
from the river contain Taunus quartzite (Lorch) as sandstone; deep, mostly chalky
well as sericite gneiss (Hallgarten, Kiedrich, Wies- soils consisting of sandy loess
baden) over a layer of loess and Tertiary sediments. or loess; phyllite slate (for red
Vineyard area ca. 3,100 ha/7,700 acres; 1
Grape varieties
district; 11 collective sites; 129
The Rheingau numbers among the regions with the In contrast to their colleagues to the south, Rhein-
individual sites
highest percentage of Riesling (nearly 80%) and gau growers focus primarily on two traditional va-
Grape varieties Riesling, Sptburgunder
exports a high portion of its wines. The region is rieties: Riesling and Sptburgunder. Nearly 80%
known for dry and off-dry Rieslings with a healthy of the Rheingaus vineyard area is planted with
acidity and full-bodied Sptburgunder red wines. Riesling vines. The demanding, late-ripening va-
Grapes can fully ripen here, thanks to the geologi- rietal thrives in the Rheingau, where it develops
cal structure of the soil and the optimal climate typical mineral notes and a well-structured acidity.
along the Rhine. Even during the summer, sufficient Sptburgunder is the second mainstay of Rheingau
moisture is available to the grapes. growers. It is cultitvated throughout the region, but
above all, in Assmannshausen. Very small quanti-
Location ties of Mller-Thurgau wines are produced, and
The region extends from the Lower Main east of consumed primarily as the everyday wines of the
Wiesbaden to Lorchhausen north of Rdesheim. growers themselves.
Eltviller Steinberg In this stretch of the the Rhine, the river interrupts
its south-north course and flows from east to west,
thereby creating south-facing slopes that enable
the grapes to take full advantage of solar radia-
tion. Reflections from the waters surface and the
heat-retaining soils create ideal growing conditions.

The Taunus Hills provide natural protection from
cold winds and torrential rainfall. With an average

annual temperature of 10.6C/51F, the climate is

Lorch Wiesbaden quite mild. Figs, olives, and apricots are often found
Eltville Hochheim
Rdesheim growing in Rheingau gardens, underscoring the

Mainz Main Mediterranean nature of the climate. Average an-

nual precipitation of ca. 500 mm/19.5 in and 1,600

hours of sun round out the mild climate profile.

72 73

The red slope of Nierstein RHEINHESSEN AT A GLANCE

Rheinhessen Soil
Rheinhessens soil profile is diverse. Loess and Location the rectangle between Mainz,
In terms of size, Rheinhessen is the largest wine- wind-borne sand are widespread; quartzite, por- Bingen, Alzey, and Worms
growing region of Germany. Its 26,500 ha of vines phyry, slate, and volcanic stone are also present, Climate mild average temperatures with
are situated to the west of the great bend of the as are various clays, sandstones, and gravels. lots of sun hours and sufficient
Rhine at Mainz. The region is associated with a great Rotliegend(es), a bright red mix of slaty clay and
Soil loess, sediments/weathered
number of grape varieties. Its motto land of a sandstone, is found around Nierstein in the east
soils, fine-grained sand with
thousand hills reflects its landscape of gentle, and in the western portion of the region.
marl, weathered quartzite and
rolling hills. Rheinhessen wines belong to the core porphyry
product range in the retail and hospitality business. Grape varieties Vineyard area ca. 26,500 ha/65,500 acres; 3
The region is also very export oriented. The wine vil- The various soils and microclimates enable a great districts; 24 collective sites; 432
lages Nackenheim, Nierstein, and Oppenheim along number of grape varieties to be cultivated in Rhein- individual sites
the Rhine Terrace are highly regarded in interna- hessen. The proportion of white to red varietals is Grape varieties Mller-Thurgau, Riesling,
tional circles. Its mineral-rich slopes and proximity 70 to 30%. Although the area devoted to red wine Dornfelder, Silvaner, Portugieser,
to the Rhine provide ideal growing conditions for grapes has more than doubled in the past decade, Sptburgunder
Riesing and other late-ripening varietals. While focus has started shifting back to white varietals.
the majority of large, self-marketing and exporting Rheinhessen is home to the worlds largest area

wine estates are at home in the Rhine Terrace, the devoted to Silvaner (over 2,450 ha). Nevertheless,
Mainz estates in the rural heart of the region are medium- Mller-Thurgau is the leading grape, followed by
sized family operations and bulk producers. Riesling and Dornfelder. More Dornfelder is planted
in Rheinhessen than in any other German wine-
Location growing region. Together with the Pfalz, Wrt-
The wine-growing region takes its name from an temberg, and Baden regions, Rheinhessen is one

administrative area of the same name in the state of Germanys largest red wine regions. Ingelheim,

Alzey of Rheinland-Pfalz. It is not geographically related in particular, is known as the red wine village.
to the state of Hessen. Historically, the province
of Rheinhessen belonged to the the Grand Duchy
Worms of Hessen from 1816 to 1919. The rolling hills of
Rheinhessen are situated between Mainz, Worms,
Alzey and Bingen. The eastern boundary is the
Rhine, which is where the villages of Oppenheim
and Nierstein are located.

The climatic conditions for viticulture are optimal.
Sheltered by the Odenwald, Taunus, Hunsrck, and
North Palatine Upland, the region has a mild aver-
age annual temperature of 11C/52F. With warm
summers, mild winters, little rainfall, and 1,700
hours of sun each year, the region is one of Germa-
nys warmest wine-growing regions. Rheinhessen
numbers among the driest regions of central Europe.

74 75

Saale-Unstrut AT A GLANCE
the river valleys, where pockets of warmth develop
and ensure a mild microclimate. Location in the valleys of the Saale and
Unstrut Rivers
Soil Climate average annual temperature of
The colored sandstone that is widespread in the over 9C/48.2F and little rainfall
region retains water well. Vines also thrive in the Soil shell-limestone, colored sand-
heat-retaining shell-limestone soils. Rich copper stone
schist, a fairly rare claystone, is found in the vine- Vineyard area ca. 735 ha/1,800 acres; 3
yards near the Mansfeld Lakes (north of Freyburg). districts; 4 collective sites; 39
individual sites
Vineyards near Freyburg Saale-Unstrut
Grape varieties Mller-Thurgau, Weissbur-
Grape varieties
gunder, Riesling, Silvaner, Dorn-
The region is named after its two main rivers, and Some 30 varietals are cultivated, providing quite felder, Portugieser
the vineyards most of which are terraced lie a diversity of wines to taste and compare. The
in the narrow valleys of the Saale and the Unstrut. leading variety is Mller-Thurgau, which brings
Situated along the 51st degree of latitude, Saale- forth wines with a remarkable finesse here, thanks
Unstrut is the northernmost region approved for to low yields. Saale-Unstrut growers are particu-
quality wine production in Germany. The northerly larly proud of their Weissburgunder wines, but
location and continental climate bring forth wines also their Rieslings and Silvaners, varietals that
of great finesse with a lively acidity. With ca. 735 are also traditional in the region. One fourth of
ha of vines, it is considered to be one of Germanys the vineyard area is planted with red wine grapes,
smaller wine-growing regions. Traditionally, most above all, Dornfelder, Portugieser, Sptburgunder,
of the wines are vinified dry. and Zweigelt. These are rarities that usually sell
out very quickly.
Vineyards are primarily cultivated around Frey-
burg and Naumburg in southern Sachsen-Anhalt
and near Bad Ksen in northern Thringen, al-
though there is a pocket of vines near Potsdam
in Brandenburg. The lions share (600 ha) lies in
Saale-Unstrut is sheltered by the Harz Mountains
a le

and forested hills of the Thringer Wald. With an

average anual precipitation of 500 mm/19.5 in, it
Freyburg is one of the driest regions of Germany. The influ-
ences of the continental climate dont make life
r ut
Unst easy for wine-growers: hard frosts in the winter
and spring are not unusual; considerable fluctua-

tions in temperature lead to a natural reduction

in yields. In order for grapes to ripen at all, vines
must be planted in protected sites, particularly in

76 77

stone Mountains of Saxon Switzerland, and the
Lusatian Highlands. The vines benefit from the tem- Location in the valleys of the Elbe River
perature fluctuations of mild days and cool nights. and its tributaries between Pirna,
Dresden, Meissen, and Diesbar-
The ca. 1,600 hours of sun every year also have a
Seusslitz (ca. 55 km/34 miles);
positive influence on wine quality. The average an- Bereich Elstertal
nual temperature is about 9C/48.2F. The terraces Climate mild average temperatures,
overlooking the Elbe retain heat and water well. medium rainfall
Terraced vineyards in Radebeul Sachsen Soil weathered granite and granite-
Soil porphyry, loam, loess, and
Where viticulture comes to an end near Bonn on The special character of a Saxon wine depends sandstone
the 51st degree of latitude viticulture on the Elbe upon the different types of soil in its vineyard of Vineyard area ca. 480 ha/180 acres; 2 districts;
begins. Sachsen is the most northeasterly wine- origin. The Elbe Valley has numerous geological 4 collective sites; 17 individual
growing region of Germany. That top-quality wines, formations. During the main phase of folding in sites
particularly white wines, can even be produced the Ore Mountains, which took place in the Lower Grape varieties Mller-Thurgau, Riesling, Weiss-
here bears witness to a very favorable climate, Carboniferous Period, rocks of the Meissen Granite burgunder
which in Sachsen is the strong influence of a con- Syenite Massif were forced to the surface. Layers
tinental climate. Provided there is sufficient rain- of sandstone and spongolite dating from the Up-
fall, the continental climate brings with it a high per Cretaceous Period partially cover the layers of
average annual number of sunny days that provide syenite. These, in turn, are partially overlayered by
optimal conditions for grapes to develop and ripen. loess and wind-borne sand deposits formed during
The regions vineyards are located primarily on the and after the (Pleistocene Epoch) Ice Age.
northeastern slopes of the Elbe. The wines have
less acidity and are more neutral than the wines Grape varieties
of Saale-Unstrut. White wine grapes prevail in Sachsen. The propor-
tion of white to red varietals is about 80 to 20%.
Location Mller-Thurgau, Riesling, and Weissburgunder are

The majority of Sachsens vineyards lie east and the main white grapes. The Riesling x Courtillier
west of Dresden, on the stretch of the Elbe be- Musqu crossing Goldriesling, classified (per-
tween Meissen and Pirna. There are also small mitted) only in Sachsen, is a regional specialty. In
Radebeul areas of vines cultivated farther north, in Schlieben addition, there are a few plantings of the ancient
(Brandenburg) and in Jessen (Sachsen-Anhalt) in varietal Elbling otherwise found only in the Up-
the Elstertal district. per Mosel. Saxon wines account for less than one
percent of total German wine production. As such,
Climate these wines are seldom found in wine shops or
The continental climate is the primary influence on restaurants outside the region.
viticulture in Sachsen, which specifically means
warm summers and cold winters. The danger of
frost in winter is extremely high and can effect
a natural reduction in yields. There is sufficient
rainfall during the long growing season. The vines
are sheltered by the surrounding Central Uplands,
such as the ridges of the Ore Mountains, Elbe Sand-

78 79

The loop of the Neckar River near Mundelsheim WRTTEMBERG AT A GLANCE

Wrttemberg region to marly soils along the Upper Neckar, which
can contain sediments of sand, clay, and marl. In Location between Reutlingen and Bad
Wrttemberg is the fourth largest, and together the Remstal Valley and around Stuttgart, volcanic Mergentheim; Stuttgart and Heil-
bronn are main wine centers
with Baden, most southerly German wine-growing stone is widespread. Sediments of Tertiary deposits,
region. It is known for its broad range of red vari- vestiges of glacial shifting, prevail around Lake Climate mild average temperatures; val-
ley sites along the Neckar River;
etals seldom found elsewhere in Germany, such as Constance.
protected by the Black Forest and
Trollinger, Lemberger, and Schwarzriesling. Today, Swabian Jura
about 80% of the regions wines are produced by Grape varieties Soil various marl formations and
cooperatives. In former times, sales were primarily Trollinger, the regions leading variety, feels very shell-limestone
regional; today, the wines are increasingly avail- much at home on the slopes lining the rivers. The Vineyard area ca. 11,400 ha/28,000 acres;
able in the overall domestic market, but seldom fresh, juicy red wine is known as Wrttembergs 9 districts; 17 collective sites;
exported. national drink. Riesling is number one white wine 210 individual sites
The Swabians are a thirsty folk: their average an- grape and second only to Trollinger in area under Grape varieties Trollinger, Riesling, Schwarz-
nual per capita wine consumption is about double vine. The majority of vineyards are planted with riesling, Lemberger, Spt-
that of elsewhere in Germany, not least because of red varietals: Schwarzriesling, Lemberger, and burgunder
their love of Trollinger, the quaffing wine of choice. Sptburgunder. Wrttemberg specialties, such as

Bad Mergentheim Lemberger and Trollinger, are seldom cultivated
Location elsewhere.
Wrttembergs vineyards line the valleys of the
Neckar River and its tributaries, the Rems, Enz,

Kocher, Jagst, and Tauber, in the area between

Stuttgart Reutlingen (near Tbingen) and Bad Mergentheim.
Esslingen Theres also a Wrttemberg wine exclave between
N e ck Reutlingen Ravensburg and Kressbronn and includes the vine-
yards on the shore of Lake Constance in the Bavar-
ian Bodensee district near Lindau, Wasserburg,
Nonnenhorn, und Hattnau.

Meersburg Climate
The Black Forest and Swabian Jura buffer the vine-

yards from strong, cold winds and excessive rain.
Vineyards near Lake Constance and the Neckar
and its tributaries receive plenty of sunshine. Sum-
mers can be hot and dry; winters, sometimes frosty
enough to damage the vines. Red wine grapes, in
particular, benefit from the pockets of warmth that
can develop along the rivers in conjunction with
heat-retaining soils.

The soils vary from steep, rocky slopes inter-
spersed with shell-limestone in the heart of the

80 81


13 bestimmte Anbaugebiete 41 Bereiche 26 Landweingebiete The German Wine Atlas is an ideal reference book
for anyone interested in knowing the precise ori-
gin of the quality and Prdikat wines of Germa-
Ahr Walporzheim/Ahrtal Ahrtaler Landwein,
Landwein Rhein nys wine-growing regions. On its 267 pages, the
standard work affords a complete overview for
Baden Bodensee, Markgrflerland, Kaiser- Taubertler Landwein,
the first time ever, based on aerial photos on a
stuhl, Tuniberg, Breisgau, Ortenau, Badischer Landwein,
Badische Bergstrasse, Kraichgau, Landwein Oberrhein, scale of 1:70,000 of all 2,660 individual sites, 160
Tauberfranken Landwein Rhein-Neckar collective sites, and 41 districts of Germanys 13
wine-growing regions.
Franken Mainviereck, Maindreieck, Landwein Main,
Steigerwald Regensburger Landwein
Readers will appreciate the clear structure of the
Hessische Bergstrasse Starkenburg, Umstadt Starkenburger Landwein,
wine atlas. All regions are alphabetically ordered,
Landwein Rhein
with vineyard sites listed from north to south and
Mittelrhein Loreley, Siebengebirge Rheinburgen Landwein,
marked in different colors. The site register in the
Landwein Rhein
appendix lists all vineyard sites, making it particu-
Mosel Burg Cochem, Bernkastel, Landwein der Mosel,
larly easy for readers to locate a specific appellation
Obermosel, Moseltor, Saar, Saarlndischer Landwein,
of origin within the series of maps.
Ruwertal Landwein der Ruwer,
From Abenheimer Klausenberg to Zwingenber-
Landwein der Saar,
ger Steingerll, every site is listed alphabetically
Landwein Rhein
according to the name of its respective wine
Nahe Nahetal Nahegauer Landwein,
village. In addition, theres a register of all indi-
Landwein Rhein
vidual sites listed according to region, district, and
Pfalz Sdliche Weinstrasse, Pflzer Landwein,
collective site.
Mittelhaardt/Deutsche Weinstrasse Landwein Rhein
Rheingau Johannisberg Rheingauer Landwein, The atlas is available in bookshops or the German
Landwein Rhein
Wine Institutes online shop at:
Rheinhessen Bingen, Nierstein, Wonnegau Rheinischer Landwein,
Landwein Rhein Additional details for readers outside of Germany
Saale-Unstrut Thringen, Schloss Neuenburg, Mitteldeutscher Landwein are available by contacting:
Mansfelder Seen
Sachsen Meien, Elstertal Schsischer Landwein

Wrttemberg Remstal-Stuttgart, Oberer Neckar, Schwbischer Landwein,

Wrttembergisch Unterland, Bayer. Bodensee Landwein*,
Wrtt. Bodensee, Bayer. Bodensee, Landwein Neckar,
Kocher-Jagst-Tauber Landwein Rhein-Neckar
not within a specified region Mecklenburger Landwein

not within a specified region Brandenburger Landwein

not within a specified region Schleswig-Holsteinischer

* Bavarian portion of Wrttemberg

82 83


The path from vine to bottle involves many working

steps. Innovations in vineyard and cellar tech-
niques during the past few decades have been vital
to viticulture in Germanys wine-growing regions.
Extensive scientific research has contributed to
definite improvements in wine quality. It can be
The wine-grower must tend to many tasks in the
rightly said that never before has there been as
vineyard throughout the entire year pruning and
much good and truly excellent German wine pro- training the vines, soil care, plant protection and
duced as today. At the same time, the caliber of pest control, and not least, harvesting the grapes.

German oenologists and viticultural specialists has

In January or February, the old wood is pruned
never been higher its no coincidence that these away, a procedure that definitely influences the
experts are in demand at leading wine enterprises potential yield and ultimately, the quality of the wine.
The number and length of canes and their shoots
worldwide. Their know-how in all areas of viticul-
also play an important role. Quality-conscious
ture and winemaking are highly prized. growers generally reduce the number of canes
per vine to two short ones or one long one. Simply
letting vines go wild in order to produce as much
fruit as possible is fairly uncommon, not only due to
legal yield restrictions. Many growers have come to
realize that today, with a worldwide surplus of wine,
quality is a vital competitive factor and quality
begins in the vineyard. Vine prunings are usually
mechanically chopped or crushed, then worked
back into the soil to improve the humus supply. To
this day, the very labor-intensive task of pruning
by hand remains the norm, although mechanical
measures have been developed. Large estates need
two to three months to complete this work.

84 85

Trellis training
Vineyard activities peak in the springtime (from Between June and August, a thick leaf wall de- increase sun penetration and improve air circula-
March to April). Before bud burst, the vines shape velops that is kept in shape by tying or binding the tion. Leaf pruning in July and August also regulates
takes form through bending and typing the canes in shoots. Healthy, i.e., green, foliage is very impor- the height of the vine. Today, this work is usually
order to ensure an adequate nutrient supply to the tant for assimilation in the leaves. Nevertheless, done by machine.
shoots. The usual systems of training, pendulum some of the leaves must be removed in order to
or half bow, involve stretching and fastening canes
along a wire. Following this step, soil cultivation
begins in order to optimize growing conditions for
the vine. Mechanical plowing and seeding for green
cover, as well as the natural growth of plants in
the vineyard, bring the soil to life and support the
natural, biological activity of the soil. Organic nu- YEAR-ROUND WORK IN THE VINEYARD
trients, e.g., manure, straw or compost, as well as
supplementary minerals, e.g., magnesium, lime or Thin out

phosphate, are also added at this time. Today, eco-

nomical and environmental factors play a great role
in how vineyards are fertilized. Modern methods of
soil analysis easily help determine where there are
deficits. Carefully planned fertilization and green
cover also help avoid ground water pollution.
Fasten canes
Prune leaves
As little as possible, as much as necessary is
the motto of modern wine-growers with regard to
spraying to combat vine pests and fungus disease.
Starting wtih healthy vines, i.e., planting vines that
have been grafted onto suitable rootstock, for ex-
ample, also helps reduce the incidence of disease Remove
Foliage treatment and damage. To help keep grapes healthy, growers un-
spray them from four to seven times between May shoots
and August, depending on the weather. Pinch
Another labor-intensive phase begins after blos-
soming in June. Ideally, the blossoming period (the
self-pollination phase that leads to berry formation) Prune Tying up Spray Harvest grapes

is not prolonged. That could lead to coulure (blos- Chop prunings Plow
and work into Sow green cover
soming without fertilization) or millerandage (de- the soil
velopment of uneven-sized berries). Insufficiently Add nutrients

fertilized blossoms wither and/or drop off in windy

or rainy weather, thereby seriously reducing po-
tential yield. Removing unwanted shoots promotes
growth. Growers also prune clusters in order to Jan FEB MAR April MAY JUNE JulY Aug SepT OCT NOV DEC
reduce yields and improve quality.

86 87
Vom Rebstock TOFlasche
im Weinberg

e.g., quantity and origin of harvested grapes, type

of harvest, and must weights, which are recorded
in a Herbstbuch (harvest diary). Type of harvest
refers to how selectively the grapes were harvested
and is expressed as a Prdikat. This is one of the
Until the beginning of August there are still prerequisites as is meeting minimum must weight
Measuring must weight with a refractometer
means of influencing the quantity and quality of requirements for a wines potential quality clas-
20C (68F)
the grapes. Thinning out some of the pea-sized sification (see the chapter Recognizing quality).
berries strengthens those left on the bunch. More
and more growers are using this method to im- In flat or gently sloping sites, vines are often har- Mechanical harvester
prove quality. Starting in mid-August, the grapes vested mechanically. The grapes for Beeren- and
clearly begin to ripen (veraison). The amount of Trockenbeerenauslese, however, must be picked by
sugar in the berries rapidly increases as the acidity hand. The law also requires all growers to submit a
decreases (particularly the malic acid; the tartaric final harvest report by 15 January of the year after
acid is retained). the harvest. This enables the authorities to monitor
Depending on the summer weather and the physi- total production and, if necessary, deal with surplus
ological ripeness of the grapes, the harvest tradi- production. Each wine-growing region has specific
tionally begins in mid- or late September. Rainfall yield limitations. In general, if a grower exceeds
at this time is not desired, because at this stage the limit, the surplus quantity cannot be marketed.
of ripeness, the grapes would absorb the water However, there are exceptions.
and the wetness would encourage rot. Growers
can measure how ripe the grapes are with the aid In order to maintain wine quality and avoid surplus
of an optical instrument, a refractometer, which yields, European Union wine law requires maxi-
helps determine the optimal time to begin picking. mum yields to be established; the individual state
The actual start of picking depends on the grape governments set the limits.
variety, vineyard site as well as ripeness. The so-
called physiological or optimal ripeness level of
the grapes factors in the condition and/or color of
the berry skin, elasticity of the pulp, ripeness of
the seeds, and actual taste of the berry. When as
many of these criteria as possible have been met,
the ideal time to harvest has arrived. Physiological
ripeness, then, is an essential component of the
inner quality of a wine.

In the past, the start of the harvest was regulated

by local authorities who set the dates for the main
harvest and, somewhat thereafter, the Sptlese
harvest. This regulation was abolished in autumn
1993. Today, the individual grower is responsible for
deciding when to begin. Growers are still required
to supply the government with harvest-related data,

88 89

WORK IN THE According to German wine law, wine is the prod- The production of white wine
uct obtained exclusively by the complete or partial In theory, the production of white wine is a simple
CELLAR alcoholic fermentation of fresh or crushed grapes matter: white grapes are pressed and the juice is
or grape must. It sounds so simple, but before a allowed to ferment. In praxis, however, there are
bottled wine finds it way to the consumer, the cellar numerous ways and means of producing wine. The
master has much to accomplish. overall process is outlined below.

Crushing and Pressing

Horizontal grape press
After picking, the freshly harvested grapes are
mechanically stemmed and crushed. This yields
THE PRODUCTION OF WHITE WINE a stem-free mash consisting of pulp, skins, seeds,
and juice. The mash can then be left standing to ex-
1 2 3 tract aroma/flavor substances, color (phenols and
STEMMING PRESSING SETTLING flavonoids), and tannins. Whether or not the wine-
maker opts for standing time, the mash ultimately
heads for the wine press, where it is gently pressed.
This yields must, or simply put, grape juice.

During the past few years, some wine estates have
stems decided to dispense with stemming, crushing, and
FERM E N TAT I O N mash settling, and proceed directly to pressing.
Whole cluster pressing is particularly gentle and
results in less cloudy must that contains fewer

Must treatment, chaptalization, and fermentation

FERMENTATION The solids that remain behind in the press af-

4 5 6 ter pressing skins and seeds is referred to

as Trester, or grape pomace. After pressing, the
AGING must is very cloudy and still contains a number of
grape solids that are removed prior to fermentation
since they could adversely affect the taste of the
final wine. There are a number of ways to remove
YOUNG WINE these solids. The traditional method is to simply
let the must clarify itself through sedimentation
(settling), i.e., gravity forces the heavy particles
to fall to the bottom of the tank. Filtration is an-
other option.

Now the relatively clear must can ferment into

wine. Usually, the must is seeded or inoculated
with specially selected cultured yeasts to ensure

90 91

Barrique casks
a clean, even fermentation. Some growers prefer The length of fermentation varies. It depends on Aging and bottling
to rely upon the indigenous yeasts that are found fermentation temperature and sugar content (must After racking, wine is stored and/or aged. The
naturally in vineyards and cellars to start a spon- weight). Yeast converts sugar into alcohol and car- length of storage and type of container (old oak,
taneous fermentation. The cloudy, yeasty product bon dioxide in simple, average-quality musts at new oak, stainless steel, glass bottle) can decisively
still in the process of fermentation is known as temperatures between 18-20C (64.4-68F) within influence the quality and flavor of a wine. Consum-
Federweisser (depending on region, also called seven to ten days. Fermentation that takes place at ers today seem to prefer young, fresh wines. As
Bitzler, Rauscher or Sauser). A wine is referred temperatures of 12-15C (53.6-59F) is referred to such, white wines are often bottled and marketed
to as young or fresh wine once fermentation has as cold fermentation. It can last several weeks or after minimal aging. On the other hand, high- and
stopped, but prior to racking. months and often results in wines with a fine fruiti- highest-quality wines are aged much longer before
ness. The fermentation of higher-quality musts being bottled. Red wines and white Pinots (Grau-
Sugar can be added to the must of Deutscher Wein, with a greater concentration of sugar also takes burgunder, Weissburgunder) are increasingly aged
Landwein or Qualittswein (QbA) before or dur- longer (Trockenbeerenauslese, for example). in small, new oak casks (barriques).
ing fermentation. France and other large wine- Depending on the size of an estate, most bottling
growing countries also make use of this method After fermentation is completed, the lees (dead today takes place on semi- or fully-automated bot-
known as enrichment or chaptalization to in- yeast cells, insoluable tartrates, and other solid tling lines that vary in size and capacity. Bottles
crease the the alcohol content of a wine, i.e., the matter) fall to the bottom of the cask or tank and are sterilized to ensure total cleanliness and after
added sugar (usually sucrose or rectified concen- are separated from the young wine by filtration. filling, immediately closed with natural corks or [Barrique]
trated grape must) is converted into alcohol during This procedure is known as racking. alternative closures, such as screw caps or glass or
fermentation. plastic corks. After this, the wine should be stored Long popular in France, it wasnt until the 1990s
To produce a wine with a certain amount of natu- at a moderate temperature for a few weeks before that the barrique cask was used in Germany. Bar-
Enrichment and alcohol levels are defined by law: ral sweetness (in German, Restzucker, or residual being shipped. Capsules and labels are added right rique casks are made of oak and in contrast to con-
sugar), the cellar master can interrupt fermenta- after bottling or when orders are placed. ventional oak casks, they are smaller. The orignal
Climate zone A: 3.0% by volume tion by means of temperature control (heating or barrique cask had a capacity of 225 liters; the wine
Climate zone B: 2.0% by volume cooling) or filtering to prevent the yeast from com- law permits a capacity of up to 350 liters. Unlike
pletely converting all the sugar in the must (which the traditional German oak cask, which is shaped
For quality wines, the amount of additional alcohol would produce a dry wine). Quite often, the very into form with steam, the staves of a barrique are
achieved through chaptalization is limited to 15% high sugar content of rich musts (e.g., Beeren- or bent and toasted over a wood- or gas-burning fire.
of the total alcohol content. Since vintage 2002, Trockenbeerenauslese or Eiswein) overwhelms Toasting imparts roast aromas to the wood. Depend-
must concentration by means of vacuum evapora- the yeast and it is unable to convert all of it. These ing on the length and intensity of toasting, these
tion or reverse osmosis has been permitted. Must wines retain their residual sugar naturally. aromas can smell like vanilla (usually in lightly
concentration is regarded as enrichment. Certain Adding unfermented, naturally sweet grape juice toasted casks) or tobacco (usually in strongly toasted
analytical limits apply when cellar techniques are (Sssreserve, or sweet reserve) to the finished wine casks). Wines that are aged in these casks often,
used to increase the alcoholic strength of a wine. prior to bottling is another way to produce a wine full-bodied reds, such as Sptburgunder and Cab-
The basic parameters set forth in European Union with sweetness. ernet Sauvignon, but also powerful whites, such
law are more narrowly interpreted in Germany than as Grauburgunder or Chardonnay reflect these
in other member states: aromas that develop through toasting. Not only the
degree of toasting, but also the length of storage
QQ Chaptalization is strictly forbidden for Prdikat and origin of the wood influence the wines aroma.
QQ The addition of concentrated grape must and
freeze concentration are only permitted for
Deutscher Wein.

92 93

Fermentation on the skins

The production of red wine stemmed and crushed grapes on the skins. The Another method of producing red wine involves
Red wine and white wine production have different alcohol produced during fermentation releases thermal treatment, i.e., the mash is heated to 45-
priorities. With few exceptions, the pigments in the pigments from the skins. Yet, not only color is 85C (113-185F). This procedure also releases
red wine grapes are found primarily in the skins. extracted, but also the tannins in the skins. If the the pigments from the skins, but in contrast to
The color must be released into the juice for the grapes are pressed immediately, with little or no fermentation on the skins, the resulting red wine
wine to take on color. For this reason, produc- skin contact, the result is a ros wine, a single is fruitier and has fewer tannins. Today, many pro-
tion of red wine follows a path that varies from varietal ros (in German, Weissherbst) or a so- ducers use a combination of both methods in their
that of white wine. One method is to ferment the called Blanc de Noir(s). red wine production.

The fermented and/or heated mash is then pressed

THE PRODUCTION OF RED WINE and the young wine is stored and/or aged.

1 2 3 Most red wines undergo malolactic fermentation

STEMMING FERMENTA- PRESS I N G during or after alcoholic fermentation. In this proc-
ess, lactic bacteria convert malic acid into milder
SKINS lactic acid, resulting in a red wine with a smoother,
rounder taste.



4 5 6



94 95
Recognizing Recognizing quality


Quality in the glass

In Latin countries, quality is based largely on origin
(born quality). Depending on origin (indication of
origin), extremely varied quality standards apply.
Quality assessment is usually the responsibility
of regional regulatory organizations. In Germany,
officially controlled quality (quality in the glass)
is what counts. Quality standards are largely the
same in every region. Quality assessment is in the
hands of government quality control boards (official
quality control examination). The establishment of
quality categories and quality control testing are
key elements of the German wine law.
In addition to its legal, objective dimen-
sion, quality has an individual and sub- Over the course of many years, official quality control
jective aspect. Subjective impressions of testing has proven itself in assessing wine quality.
quality are not bound by legal regulations Since 1971, every German quality wine has been
or scientific criteria. They are shaped subject to a chemical analysis and sensory examina-
tion conducted by a testing panel. The examination
by personal preference with regard
number (A.P.Nr.) must appear on the wine label.
to origin, grape variety, and style, and Another basic priniciple set forth in the wine law
influenced by exogenous factors, such Briefly put: From a subjective point of view, quality pertains to the clarity of designations. Terms and
as mood and setting at the time of con- is a composition of sensory impressions and sub- descriptions that are misleading or deceptive are
sumption. jective assesssment, as well as appreciation for explicitly forbidden.
wine. The legal (objective) dimension of quality is
defined by generally binding standards. It can be
measured and verified. The legal concept of quality
is anchored in the wine law and regulations related
to it. The wine law of the European Union sets gen-
eral parameters, and in certain cases, transfers
competence to the wine-growing countries of the
EU. EU wine law addresses issues that affect all
members, but also takes national differences into
consideration. The The EU area devoted to viticul-
ture is divided into climatic zones designed to help
compensate for the variations that influence wine
production, thereby putting all members on an equal
footing. By establishing basic quality categories,
the EU created legal parity among the respective
members quality designations. The fundamental
differences lie in the perception and definition of
what constitutes quality.

96 97
Recognizing quality QUALITY CATEGORIES Recognizing quality QUALITY CATEGORIES

QUALITY CATEGORIES or halbtrocken (off-dry) in style, with the follow- INTERNATIONAL

ing exception: Landwein from the regions Rhein, EQUIVALENTS
The most important mandatory declaration on a Oberrhein, Rhein-Neckar, and Neckar may have
label is a wines quality category. This declaration more sweetness. The minimum natural alcohol
documents the wines objective quality classifica- content in all Landwein regions is at least 0.5% by
tion and guarantees legally prescribed minimum volume (4 Oechsle) higher than that of a simple
standards. These standards pertain to origin, Deutscher Wein.
starting must weight, and analytical limits of the
substances in the wine. QQ Wine with a protected designation of origin Designations for Landwein
Prior to 1 August 2009, the broad EU classification (Qualittswein and Prdikatswein) Indication Indicazione
differentiated between table wine and quality wine. Considering the long-term average, the wines in Geschtzte
gographique geografica
this category account for the lions share of Ger- geografische
protge protetta
QQ Deutscher Wein (with or without varietal or man wines. They must originate 100% from one of IGP IGP
Wine with vintage declaration) the 13 German wine-growing regions. The mini-
a protected Designations for Qualitts- and Prdikatswein
The broad category Tafelwein (table wine) formerly mum natural alcohol content for every Qualitts-
designation in use has been replaced by Deutscher Wein (Ger- or Prdikatswein varies according to region and Appellation Denominazione
of origin Geschtzte
man wine). These wines are produced exclusively grape variety. Depending on region, varietal, and dorigine di origine
from grapes grown in vineyards of German ori- quality level, the starting must weights range from protge protetta
Wine with Qualitts- zeichnung
gin. Compared with other wine-growing countries, 55 to 154 Oechsle. Qualittswein, like Landwein, AOP DOP
a protected & Prdikats-
relatively small quantities of this quality level are may be chaptalized. The final alcoholic strength of
geographical wein
indication produced in Germany. Maximum yields per hectare a Landwein or a Qualittswein may be increased EU LOGOS INDICATING PROTECTED ORIGIN
have been prescribed by law for all German wine- through enrichment. Both adding sugar to the must
Landwein growing regions. These regulations not only apply prior to fermentation, known in France as chap-
to German quality wine, but also to Deutscher Wein. talisation, and concentrating must are permitted,
In some regions, the maximum yields permitted for but subject to legal restrictions.
Deutscher Wein are higher than those for quality In climate zone A (all regions but Baden), the amount
wine. The minimum natural alcohol content (must of additional alcohol that can be achieved by chap-
Deutscher Wein
weight) for Deutscher Wein in climate zone A (all talization is limited to 3.0% by volume; in climate
German wine-growing regions except Baden) is 5% zone B (Baden), 2.0% by volume. For Qualittswein,
by volume (44 Oechsle); in climate zone B (Baden), the quantity of alcohol achieved through enrichment
6% by volume (50 Oechsle). A total alcohol content is limited to 15% of a wines total alcohol content.
of at least 8.5% by volume, but not more than 15% Vacuum evaporation and reverse osmosis are the
by volume, and a total acidity of at least 3.5 g/l are only methods of must concentration permitted.
also required. While a varietal can be named on The alcohol can be increased no more than 2.0%
the label, there are exceptions: the names of 22 by volume and the overall reduction in volume is
varieties may not be used. limited to 20%.

QQ Wine with a protected geographical indica-

tion (Landwein)
At least 85% of the grapes for a Landwein must
originate in the Landwein region named on the label
(mandatory declaration). Landwein is trocken (dry)

98 99
Recognizing quality QUALITY CATEGORIES Recognizing quality QUALITY CATEGORIES

Prdikatswein must meet more requirements than

Qualittswein. Enrichment, the use of oak chips, COMPARISON OF QUALITY CATEGORIES
and dealcoholization are prohibited.

THE PRDIKATS (SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES) The label of every German wine must declare its Deutscher Qualitts- Prdikats-
quality category. The legally prescribed minimum Wein wein wein
standards for each category must be completely 100% grapes 85% grapes
QQ Kabinett: fulfilled, i.e., the consumer can clearly identify a 100% grapes from
from from
usually lighter wines, made from ripe wines legal quality on the label, on a price list, and
on a restaurant wine list. A wine must comply with German a Landwein a specified
grapes, relatively low alcohol
regulations regarding: vineyards region wine-growing region

QQ Sptlese:
Minimum starting must weight
fuller-bodied wines, made from fully QQ geographical origin, i.e., a wine and/or its
ripened grapes; because complete components must be sourced from within the
44 - 50 47 - 55 55 - 72 70 - 154
ripeness usually requires additional appellation of origin defined for a particular
Oechsle Oechsle Oechsle Oechsle
time on the vine, these grapes are quality category
normally harvested later during the QQ approved grape varieties
QQ harvest date, i.e., bearing in mind the grapes not
harvest enrichment permitted
state of ripeness permitted
QQ type of harvest, i.e., manual or mechanical, subject to food law subject to official quality
QQ Auslese:
extent of selection regulations control testing
made from fully ripened bunches;
QQ maximum yield per hectare
selectively harvested (unripe or dis-
QQ minimum starting must weight Minimum existing alcohol
eased berries are discarded)
QQ approved methods of production
5.5% by
QQ analytical limits.
QQ Beerenauslese: 7.0% by volume
8.5% by volume
full-bodied, fruity wines, made from volume (as of BA
As of 1 January 2012, the terms protected geo- category)
overripe grapes that usually are af-
graphical indication for Landwein and protected
fected by Botrytis cinerea (noble rot); Total alcohol content
designaton of origin for Qualitts- and Prdikatswein
selectively harvested (berry selection)
can be used on German wine labels. Alternatively,
the terms traditionaly used to designate quality max. 15% by volume
QQ Eiswein:
categories can continue to be used. The abbrevia-
made from grapes harvested and tions g.g.A and g.U. (in German) or PGI and
Possible style
pressed while frozen (-7C or 19.4F); PDO (in English) are not permitted. The EU logos trocken,
only the naturally concentrated juice indicating protected origin (see p. 99) may be used. all all
is pressed out
* also lieblich (mild) and sss (sweet) in the Landwein regions
Rhein, Oberrhein, Rhein-Neckar, and Neckar
QQ Trockenbeerenauslese:
highly concentrated wine, made from
botrytized grapes dried up almost to
raisins; selectively harvested (berry

100 101
Recognizing quality QUALITY CATEGORIES Recognizing quality TYPES OF WINE

MINIMUM STARTING MUST WEIGHTS Blanc de Noir(s) is a designation not officially

defined in the wine law, but tolerated by the

wine control authorities. It literally means

white wine made from red grape(s). Often,
a Weissherbst is referred to as a Blanc de
Noir (single red varietal processed to produce
TYPES OF WINE a light-colored wine).

The wine law makes a distinction among four types QQ Rotling:
of wine. Their respective methods of production made from white and red grapes or their mash
and type of wine grape are precisely defined. that are fermented together; the wine must
120 be pale to light red in color.
QQ White wine:
made from white wine grapes Schillerwein is a Rotling. The designation is only
100 permitted for Qualitts- and Prdikatswein as
QQ Red wine: well as sparkling wines (e.g., Perlwein b.A. or
made from red wine grapes processed to produce Sekt b.A.) from the Wrttemberg wine-growing
80 a red wine; the color derives from fermenta- region (b.A. refers to a specified region).
tion on the skins or thermal treatment of the
mash. Badisch Rotgold is a Rotling. The designation is
60 only permitted for Qualitts- and Prdikatswein
A blend of white wine and red wine is illegal, ex- as well as sparkling wines (e.g., Perlwein b.A.
cept for wines without a protected designation of or Sekt b.A.) from the Baden wine-growing
44-50 47-55 55-72 70-85 80-95 88-105 110-128 150-154
40 origin; they cant be marketed as ros wines. region (b.A. refers to a specified region). It is
made from Grauburgunder and Sptburgunder
QQ Ros wine: grapes, whereby the Grauburgunder portion
20 made from red wine grapes usually, but not is greater. The varietals must be declared on
necesssarily, processed to produce a light- the label.
colored wine; the degree of color derives from
WEIN WEIN the length of skin contact; a red wine with lit- Schieler is a Rotling. The designation is only
PRDIKATSWEIN tle color (pale to light red) may be marketed permitted for Qualitts- and Prdikatswein
as a ros. as well as sparkling wines (e.g., Perlwein b.A.
Minimum starting must weight levels to compensate for differences among regions, or Sekt b.A.) from the Sachsen wine-growing
The natural must weight (specific density of the varietals, and quality levels. The natural growing Weissherbst is a ros wine made from grapes region (b.A. refers to a specified region).
must) indicates the ratio of total extract to water conditions of a vine, for example, are shaped by the processed to produce a light-colored wine; no
and volatile substances in wine. Must weight is de- soils and climate of a vineyard and vary consider- degree of color is prescribed.
termined primarily by sugar content. Theoretically, ably from site to site. The ability of a particular
the potential alcohol of a wine can be calculated variety to develop sugar or the time needed to ripen Additional requirements for Weissherbst:
from the must weight. Because must weight de- vary from varietal to varietal. Taking these factors - minimum quality category: Qualittswein
pends on the ripeness level of the grapes, it can be into consideration guarantees minimum standards. - single varietal
regarded as a useful measure of quality. Minimum German wine-growers endeavor to achieve more - name of the varietal must be declared on
starting must weights have been set at different than the minimum required. the label.

102 103
Recognizing quality STYLES OF WINE Recognizing quality THE WINE LABEL


Labeling laws have become increasingly tolerant. The wine label is the calling card of a wine. A
In addition to the four styles clearly defined in the well-designed label enhances recognition value and
wine law, a number of other descriptive terms are provides information that facilitates a consumers
permitted. These often denote particular organ- ability to select and purchase a wine. On 1 August
oleptic characteristics (appearance, aroma, flavor) QQ Trocken: dry wines with a residual sugar 2003, the labeling law was clearly liberalized. The
that are typical for a particular wine. A certain content of up to 4 g/l (bone dry) or up to guiding principle prior to that time: terms and de-
degree of legal uncertainty cannot be ruled out. 9 g/l, whereby the amount of residual sugar scriptions that were not expressly permitted were
is correlated with the amount of total acidity forbidden; thereafter: terms and descriptions that
Four clearly defined styles denote the sweetness (formula: g/l acidity + 2^ 9 g/l residual sugar). are misleading or deceptive are forbidden.
level of a wine. These terms and descriptions are
QQ Halbtrocken: off-dry wines with a residual QQ mandatory declarations
sugar content of up to 12 g/l or up to 18 g/l, QQ optional declarations that are precisely defined
whereby the amount of residual sugar is cor- QQ other optional declarations that can be verified.
related with the amount of total acidity (for-
mula: g/l acidity + 10 ^ 18 g/l residual sugar). Mandatory declarations for German quality wines:
QQ country of origin: Deutscher Qualittswein
QQ Lieblich: mild wines with a residual sugar or Qualittswein aus Deutschland mandatory
content of more than 18 g/l, up to 45 g/l. QQ specified region of origin: one of the 13 German
wine-growing regions
QQ Sss: sweet wines with a residual sugar content QQ quality category (incl. Prdikat, if applicable)
of at least 45 g/l. QQ producer or bottler
QQ existing alcohol in % by volume
Since 1 August 2009, EU law permits a tolerance QQ bottle content REGION
of 1 g/l residual sugar for any of the styles men- QQ quality control test number: A.P.Nr.
tioned above. QQ contains sulfites
QQ as of 1 July 2012, certain allergens derived from VILLAGE + VINEYARD SITE
Among the other terms permitted is feinherb eggs or milk products (e.g., the fining agents
(dryish), which denotes wines with somewhat more albumin and casein; stabilizing agent lysozyme) QUALITY CATEGORY
or less residual sugar than an off-dry wine. QQ type of wine if other than white wine or red
wine, e.g., Weissherbst, Rotling.


104 105
Recognizing quality THE WINE LABEL Recognizing quality THE WINE LABEL

Optional declarations that are precisely defined: What is important? More narrowly defined appellations of origin Less is often more
QQ grape variety (up to three) A label with well-chosen words can be helpful. can contribute to a more specific idea of how a wine Streamlining has helped address the issue of
QQ vintage Consider the potential consumers level of wine will taste, but usually the information provided by overloaded labels. Many producers today strive
QQ style knowledge. Too much or too-technical information the name of a vineyard or district is relative to dif- to improve clarity with clearly designed labels. For
QQ geschtzte Ursprungsbezeichnung (protected can overwhelm a wine novice. ferentiating among the wines of one producer. At some, this means paring down the number of decla-
designation of origin) or EU logo least 85% of a wine must be produced from grapes rations to the name of the producer, style, and grape
QQ a more narrowly defined appellation of ori- The quality control test number grown in the more narrowly defined appellation of variety and dispensing with a vineyard designation.
gin, e.g., Bereich (district), village or village is a wines proof of identity. All wines with the same origin named on the label; the other 15%, from the Others use two labels. The promotional label is
+ vineyard site A.P.Nr. are identical. The test number also verifies specified region. usually uncluttered, eye-catching, and designed
QQ awards that the most important declarations on the label to strengthen product recognition and provide es-
are accurate and that the wine is fault-free. The quality category sential product information. Mandatory declarations
Other optional declarations that could be helpful: should be regarded in conjunction with the type are confined to a supplemental label, which may
QQ recommended drinking temperature, food af- The type of wine of wine, grape variety, and region. It is primarily or may not include additional information as well.
finities, aging potential enables conclusions to be made about the produc- an indicator of a wines body and volume and can
QQ non-defined terms indicating style, such as tion process and provides a very broad idea of how contribute to an accurate picture of how a wine During the past few decades, increasing numbers
feinherb a wine will taste. will taste. of wine labels have been enhanced by creative ele-
QQ analytical data, e.g., residual sugar content ments. So-called artists labels or the use of modern
or acidity level The vintage Style graphic design show that German vintners are in
QQ descriptive information about the wine, e.g., reveals the real age of a wine and in conjunction denotes a wines perceptible level of sweetness. It tune with the times. German labeling laws are a
traits pertaining to aroma and taste (fruity, with other declarations, can provide clues about facilitates selecting a wine that will be appropriate challenge, yet there is sufficient leeway to deal
fresh, mild acidity) aging potential. At least 85% of a wine must be for a particular occasion and/or fulfill our taste with them creatively.
QQ information about the producer, e.g., wine- produced from grapes grown during the vintage requirements.
growers since ..., estate founded in ..., etc. declared on the label.
QQ information about natural and technical viti- The exisiting alcohol content
cultural conditions, e.g., mild, sunny climate Grape varieties supports the assessment of a taste profile and
provide information about sensory characteristics enables consumers to moderate their consumption.
and a reasonably accurate idea of how a wine will
taste. At least 85% of a wine must be produced Recommendations for use
from the single varietal named on the label. If two help a wine novice select a wine.
or three varieties are named, the wine must be
produced exclusively from these varieties and they Verifiable facts
are to be listed on the label in descending order, can provide information about winemaking tech-
according to proportion. niques, such as aged in barrique or aged in oak.

The region Producer and bottler

enables conclusions to be made about natural pro- guarantee the quality of their wines with their good
duction conditions and in conjunction with other name. Convincing quality builds customer loyalty.
declarations, can provide a reasonably accurate
idea of how a wine will taste. Every quality wine Awards
must be produced exclusively from grapes grown identify winemakers with quality aspirations. Awards
in the region named on the label. are also a popular marketing tool.

106 107

QQ Analytical examination If the prerequisites have been met, the wines

Once the producer feels the essential requirements - bouquet
related to a wines quality status and labeling have - taste

OFFICIAL QUALITY been met and the wine has been bottled, the pro-
ducer submits a sample to an officially approved
- harmony
are thoroughly evaluated. Each characteristic is
CONTROL TESTING wine laboratory. The analytical examination focus- evaluated on its own and each is weighted equally,
es on the wines integral substances and checks for whereby it can achieve between zero and five points.
compliance with legal limits. The analytical findings The sum total of the characteristics gives an overall
Official quality control testing, the keystone of all are correlated with designations the producer or impression that is divided by three to determine the
quality endeavors, was introduced into Germany bottler intends to use and certify that the wine is wines quality score, which ranges from zero to five.
with the German wine law of 1971. It is a three-stage chemically and physically fault-free. A wine must achieve at least 1.5 points to receive a
system that ensures minimum quality within the quality control test number. The sensory examina-
individual quality categories and their subdivisions. QQ Sensory examination tion objectively considers subjective impressions
It is supported by control mechanisms in the wine After the wine has satisfactorily undergone chemi- to ensure a wine meets sensory quality standards
law (harvest diary, final harvest report) and the cal analysis, the producer or bottler applies for a and provides consumers the assurance that a wine Quality control testing
examination of the bottled product. Responsibil- quality control test number with the authorities is fault-free with regard to appearance, smell, and
ity for official quality control testing lies with the responsible for official quality control testing. taste. After successfully passing the examination, a
federal government, which has delegated it to the The application includes wine receives its official quality control test number
individual states. It includes: - all declarations that are intended to appear (A.P.Nr.) and can be offered for sale.
on the label
QQ Examination of harvest details - declarations about the composition of the
Details about the harvest must be recorded in product
the wine-growers Herbstbuch (harvest diary) and - date of bottling
final harvest report. This requirement forces the - a copy of the chemical anaylsis. THE OFFICIAL QUALITY CONTROL
grower to maintain a daily record that documents
a number of factors that help determine a wines The application is submitted with three sample
(Example from Rheinland-Pfalz)
quality status and how it will be labeled: bottles of the wine in question for a sensory ex-
- harvest date amination. This is carried out by by trained experts
- geographical origin according to a generally binding procedure (five-
- grape variety point scale). Wine experts from various sectors of A.P.Nr.: 5 348 228 10 12
- type of harvest the wine industry, viticultural research and teach- Bottlers over-
- must weight ing institutions, the sales branch, and consumers all ID number
- quantity. are called on to form neutral tasting panels. The boards number
first job of a panel is to verify that prerequisites
This data is supplemented by the Kellerbuch, a book regarding Bottlers location number
in which the grower documents cellar procedures - region
and inventory, such as: - Prdikat Bottlers specific ID number
- all changes in cellar stock, e.g., external - grape variety(ies)
purchases - color Lot number
- use of by-products, e.g., grape juice or dis- - clarity
tillates have been met. These questions are answered with Year of examination (not vintage)
- method and extent of enrichment. a simple yes or no.

108 109

AWARDS, QUALITY Regional wines bearing the classic logo are me-

PROFILES AND dium-priced wines produced from grape varieties

that are traditional in their region and vinified in a
CLASSIFICATIONS harmoniously dry style.

Riesling Hochgewchs
Annual competitions for awards and prizes are The designation is permitted in all German wine-
conducted by a number of regional, state, and growing regions if
national organizations in Germany. Successful - the wine is produced exclusively from Ries-
entries on a regional or state level (minimum of ling grapes
3.5 points on the five-point scale) are elegible to - the minimum starting must weight is higher
compete in the national competition conducted by (by at least 10 Oechsle) than prescribed for
the Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft (DLG, Riesling in the wines region of origin
or German Agricultural Society). Although the basic - the wine must achieve a quality score of at
criteria are the same as those for the quality control least 3.0 points during quality control testing.
number, the minimum number of points required
to receive these awards is higher, reflecting well Selection Rheinhessen The designation was
above average quality: Criteria: was introduced in 1992
QQ Bronze DLG prize - produced exclusively from the regions tradi- by the regional wine-
Quality score of 3.50 or higher tional grape varieties growers association to
QQ Silver DLG prize - vines are at least 15 years old denote wines of supe-
Quality score of 4.00 or higher - always dry in style rior quality.
QQ Gold DLG prize - maximum yield: 55 hl/ha
Quality score of 4.50 to 5.00 - minimum starting must weight: 90 Oechsle
QQ Gold DLG prize extra - the grapes are selectively harvested by hand.
Quality score of 5.00 and an extra examination.
Rheinhessen Silvaner RS The designation was
German seal of quality Criteria: introduced in the mid-
The German seals of quality are not mandatory - produced exclusively from Silvaner grapes 1980s by the regional
and are seldom used these days, but the quality of QbA quality wine-growers associa-
of wines that bear the national seals issued by the - always dry in style tion.
DLG is well above the minimum required by law. To - total acidity: at least 5 g/l.
qualify for a German seal of quality, a wine must
achieve a quality score of at least 2.5 points on the Herkunftswein Rheinhessen Origin with a profile As the name implies,
five-point scale (compared with the minimum score Criteria: the Herkunft (origin)
of 1.5 points needed for the A.P.Nr.). - produced exclusively from the regions of these wines is
traditional grape varieties Rheinhessen.
The regional wine-growers associations of Baden - always dry or harmoniously dry (cf. Classic)
and Franken award seals of quality for the wines in style
of their respective regions. The criteria are similar - regional typicality is checked during the
to those of the DLG national seals. quality control test.

110 111

As the name implies, Herkunftswein Mosel Land of wine culture - a wine with sweetness is denoted by a tradi-
the Herkunft (origin) Criteria: tional Prdikat (from Sptlese to Trocken-
of these wines is the - produced exclusively from the regions beerenauslese)
Mosel. traditional grape varieties - maximum yield: 50 hl/ha
- the wine must achieve a quality score of - minimum starting must weight: equivalent
at least 2.5 points during quality control to Sptlese
testing - the grapes are selectively harvested by
- several profiles have been established: hand.
mineral tones/dry; delicate/off-dry;
and realize that it doesnt compromise their in-
The designation DC Pfalz (Districtus Controllatus Pfalz) dividuality. While the name highlights Riesling,
is awarded Criteria: the German varietal currently in vogue and thus,
by the regional - produced exclusively from Riesling, Pinots most likely to capture attention at home and
wine-growers abroad, Generation Riesling does not exclude
(Sptburgunder, Grauburgunder, Weissbur-
association. growers who focus on other traditional varie-
gunder) or Dornfelder
ties, such as Pinots, Silvaner, Lemberger, etc.
- corresponding must weights
- always dry in style
Generation Riesling in Profile The wine institute conducts annual workshops
- minimum total alcohol: 12% by volume
with speakers from all sectors of the wine in-
- wines undergo additional sensory examina-
Young, innovative, open-minded: this is the im- dustry to help Generation Riesling members
tion to ensure they reflect the DC profile.
pression that members of Generation Riesling stay on top of latest developments and profit
project at many events in Germany and abroad. from experts experience. Not only a great op-
The designation is Erstes Gewchs (first growth) portunity for networking, the workshops also
They are representative of a well-educated, in-
awarded by the Criteria: ternationally oriented, and ambitious younger generate new ideas and marketing concepts
Rheingau - produced exclusively from Riesling or for the future.
generation assuming responsibility within the
wine-growers Sptburgunder German wine industry, be it as wine-grower,
association. - the grapes are grown in classified sites In the meantime, the Generation Riesling move-
managing director or winemaker at estates,
- always dry in style cooperatives or commercial wineries. The age ment has won the applause of the entire wine
- maximum yield: 50 hl/ha limit is 35. industry. Everyone agrees: these young, dy-
- minimum starting must weight: equivalent namic wine-growers embody and project the
to Sptlese The German Wine Institute/Mainz initiated the modern image of German wine today.
- the grapes are selectively harvested by hand. concept in 2005 in order to provide younger
members of the wine scene a group quite dis- The Generation Riesling website provides news,
Either term, Erste Erste Lage (as of vintage 2012: Grosse Lage) tinct from existing interest groups a national a calendar of events, and online profiles of more
Lage or Grosse Lage, Criteria: and international platform that includes pres- than 350 registered members from all of Ger-
means top site, i.e., - produced exclusively from a regions core entations at international wine trade fairs as manys 13 wine-growing regions.
an exceptonal vine- traditional grape varieties, as determined well as selected events in Germany and abroad.
yard or parcel thereof. by VDP regional branches
The designation is - the grapes are grown in classified sites All members of the initiative are willing to act
awarded by the VDP - a wine dry in style is denoted by the term collectively as ambassadors of the nations
(Association of German
GROSSES GEWCHS modern, first-class, and dynamic wine industry,
Prdikat Wine Estates).

112 113

are concerned.The system is based on combatting sence, his philosophy reads: poor plant health is the
fungal disease by using only plant protective prod- sign of a natural imbalance that could be related to
ucts that are not harmful to beneficial creatures; the use of chemical fertilizers. Natural resources
using fertilizer only as needed; and using natural can be conserved and life processes fostered by
green cover to provide a habitat for a wealth of utilizing the motion dynamics of cosmic and lunar
flora and fauna. Specially approved herbicides or cycles, as well as the sun, that influence the soil.
insecticides are permitted only if deemed neces- The main focus is on work in the vineyard. Prun-
sary. The members of the associations devoted ing, fertilizing, and even harvesting are geared to
to controlled, environmentally sound viticulture a sowing calendar. The soil should be plowed at
voluntarily adhere to the higher environmental least once a year, at best with a team of horses
standards that have been developed by and are rather than a tractor. It should be revitalized with
controlled by viticultural advisory centers. compost, and treated with minerals so that it can
ORGANIC WINE provide a habitat for diverse microorganisms that
Organic viticulture reinstate a natural balance.
AND ORGANIC By the mid-1980s, many German wine-growers
WINE-GROWERS were commited to the holistic approach of organic In addition to applying methods of organic viticul-
viticulture, a subject of considerable importance ture, a vines natural resistance and soil vitality
in the German wine industry today. It has been can be strengthened by the use of specifically pre-
Environmentally friendly viticulture is virtually regulated and controlled throughout the European scribed substances. Cow horns, together with cow
a tradition in Germany. Its pioneering efforts in Union since 1991. As of 2010, about 600 viticultural dung or minimal, homeopathic doses (few grams
this field have made Germany a role model within enterprises were cultivating some 5,400 ha of vine- per liter) of silica dust, are recommended as fer-
Europe. Local wine-growers and authorities have yards from an organic perspective. The goal is to tilizer. Applications of herbal infusions or dried
long practiced ecologically oriented viticulture ac- produce high-quality grapes without resorting to herbs number among the prescribed tonics to in-
cording to the highest standards. substances that would be harmful to humans or crease plant resistance to pests. Stinging nettle
the environment. Among the key provisions are: helps achieve balance and harmony in a vineyard.
Integrated viticulture improving soil fertility by fostering biodiversity Regardless of procedure, lunar cycles, and other
It is the responsibility of all German wine- with green cover rich in flora and fauna; using only stellar constellations are always to be considered.
growing enterprises to manage their vineyards in organic fertilizer; and completely refraining from According to the teachings of biodynamics, lunar
an ecologically conscious manner. This includes the use of herbicides. Powdered stone meal and phases, in particular, play a major role in the de-
the timely and proper use of plant protection prod- plant extracts can be used to support the natural velopment of plants on earth.
ucts based on the intensity of infestation (disease) resistance of vines to mildew. Limited amounts
or attacks (pests) and damage threshold, as well as of preparations containing sulfur or copper are Demeter is a worldwide biodynamic association.
the application of ecologically friendly fertilizer only permitted if deemed necessary to improve resist-
after soil analysis. Integrated viticulture embraces ance. Only biological and biotechnical products are
preventive and remedial measures that minimize permitted to combat pests. Organic producer as-
the risk of damage to the environment. sociations, such as ECOVIN, Naturland, Bioland,
Demeter, and Ga, all have members in Germany.
Controlled, environmentally sound viticulture
The goal here is to foster greater harmony between Biodynamic viticulture
wine-growing and nature. On the part of the grower, The biodynamic version of organic viticulture is
this requires a high level of professional compe- an approach that can be traced to the Austrian
tence where viticulture and the natural environment anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). In es-

114 115



To whet consumers appetite for sparkling pleasure,

Germanys volume sparkling wine producers go to
great efforts to support their brands with advertis-
ing. Big brands that have been on the market for
decades are the driving force behind sales. The vast
majority of sales take place in supermarkets, large
and small. The greater the diversity on offer, the
greater the price range from 2,00 to well over
Sparkling wine (in German, Sekt or
40,00 something for everyones budget. The
Schaumwein) is extremely popular in price of every bottle of sparkling wine automati-
Germany. It is the worlds largest mar- cally includes a government tax of 1,02 that has
ket for sparkling wine: of the nearly two been levied since 1902, when Emperor Wilhelm II
billion bottles of sparkling wine annually sought funds to expand the imperial navy. PRODUCTION
produced worldwide, about one fourth
The sparkling wine market in Germany is highly Sparkling wine is produced in the course of a pri-
are consumed in Germany. Indeed, with
competitive. Quite a number of volume producers mary or secondary fermentation. The natural car-
an annual per capita consumption of aggressively vie to get their brands placed in retail bon dioxide generated during this process remains
nearly four liters (about five bottles), the outlets and win customers. in the wine and is the source of its characteristic
nations inhabitants are world champions feature, bubbles.
when it comes to enjoying this sparkling In general, the market comprises three segments
or price categories: The quality of a sparkling wine depends primarily
QQ low-end, price-driven sparkling wines that on the quality of the base wines, and secondly, the
retail for up to 4,00 euros which account for method of production. Base wines that are well-
over half of all sales; suited for sparkling wine production should have
QQ standard quality sparkling wines that retail an alcohol content of 80-85 g/l and a total acidity
for up to 7,00 euros; of 7-10 g/l. White wines should be low in tannins
QQ premium quality sparkling wines, usually at and have a low pH value. Volume producers aim
considerably higher prices a segment that for consistency by blending numerous base wines
has shown promising development in recent to achieve a uniform cuve. Vintners prefer to use
years. smaller, more individual batches of wine often
consisting of a single grape variety as their base
Quality is in vogue. This trend has prompted smaller wines. As long as a sparkling wine remains in con-
producers to add sparkling wine to their portfolios tact with the lees, the product is relatively stable.
as a specialty and theyve done so with great Once the yeast is removed (disgorged), the aging
success. Their sparkling wines not only offer high process begins. Depending on the type of sparkling
quality, but also a vast range of individual styles wine, it should usually be consumed within one to
unrivaled by producers of high volume brands. three years after disgorgement.

116 117

FERMENTATION PROCESS dispenses with labor-intensive and expensive man-

ual yeast removal from individual bottles. Labels
Cuv e and tir age Cuv e and tir age Cuv e and tir age can include the terms bottle fermented or fer-
(sugar + y east) (sugar + y east) (sugar + y east)
mented in the bottle.

Base wine is
Traditional or classic method:
Base wine is
bottled bottled Fermentation takes place in bottles. The individual
bottles are then riddled, either mechanically or
fermentation by hand, until the yeast has settled as a deposit
Bottle in the neck of the bottle, after which the yeast is
fermentation removed (disgorged). The sparkling wine remains
Bottle in the bottle. This is the most labor-intensive and
expensive method. Labels can include the term
Tr ansfer to Riddling by fermented in this bottle.
counterpressure hand or
tank mechanically
In addition to the three usual methods of produc-
Dosage is
added tion, there is also the so-called mthode rurale
Tr ansfer to Bottles are (literally, rural method), which is a designation
counterpressure placed in rid-
tank dling rack, nearly that originated in Limoux in southern France to
Dosage is vertical at end
Yeast is remov ed added of procedure describe what is probably the oldest method of
by filtr ation
sparkling wine production. Rather than a second
Neck of bottle fermentation, the wine is bottled before all of the
is dipped in
cold brine residual sugar has been fermented into alcohol. As
Yeast is remov ed
by filtr ation fermentation continues in bottle, carbon dioxide
forms. The yeast deposits are not usually removed
Bottling Wine is sepa - (no disgorgement) and simply remain in the bottle.
r ated from
y east, frozen There are a few producers in Germany who use this
y east deposit
is remov ed method of sparkling wine production.
Bottle is
corked THE BOTTLE?]
Dosage is

The necessary CO2 pressure is generated by add-

ing sucrose. The alcohol increases by about 10
to 12 g/l. In addition to sugar, special yeasts are
There are three main methods marily by large, commercial wineries that benefit added. The so-called bottling dosage (tirage) is
of production: from economies of scale. added to sparkling wine bottles, which are closed
with crown caps, and the contents are fermented
Tank or bulk method: Transfer method: at about 12-15C (53.6-59F). This is followed by
Fermentation in large pressure tanks is used to Fermentation takes place in bottles. After fermen- aging on the lees to improve quality and stabilize
produce volumes of consistent sparkling wine that tation, the contents are transfered under pres- the sparkling wine (Sekt). Those from a specified
is first bottled after second fermentation and yeast sure into a tank, separated from the yeast deposit region (Sekt b.A.) must be aged on the lees for at
removal. The method is inexpensive and used pri- through filtration, and then rebottled. This method least 9 months.

118 119

ESCAPE?] more than
50 mild

After riddling, the neck of the bottle is dipped in

cold brine to freeze the yeast deposit that has col- Residual
sugar in
lected there. During disgorgement, the CO 2 pres- g/l
sure forces the frozen plug out of the bottle. Finally,
a dosage sugar dissolved in wine is added to 32 - 50
off dry
achieve the desired level of sweetness.
The designation Winzersekt, a vintners vintage Its important to realize that sparkling wine is a
varietal sparkling wine, is precisely defined and broad, umbrella term. Within the European Union,
regulated by European Union statutes. They stipu- uniform and binding regulations for the labeling
late that these sparkling wines are estate-bottled, and packaging of sparkling wines have existed since
using only the grapes grown by them, and produced 1986. For example, the components of a product
17 - 32
according to the traditional method. This means labeled Deutscher Sekt (German sparkling wine) dry
that after the second fermentation and prior to dis- must originate 100% from Germany. Blending regu-
gorgement, the sparkling wine must be aged on the lations are analogous with those for still wines,
lees for at least 9 months. Many growers extend i.e., multiregonal cuves are permitted, but cannot
this minimum in order to produce a Winzersekt of bear the name of a specified region on the label.
particularly high quality. Vintners are permitted to
12 - 17
commission a cooperative or contract bottler to pro- Sekt b.A., i.e., from a specified region, must indicate extra dry
duce their Winzersekt, as long as the grapes, must on the label the name of the region from which
and/or still fermenting must have been sourced the grapes originated. Sometimes, even a vineyard
exclusively from the growers own produce. site is named. Smaller geographical units are also
The vintage, varietal, and producers name must permitted, e.g., the name of a district or vineyard
0 - 12
appear on the label. site, on the labels of Qualittsschaumwein b.A. In brut
either case, whenever a geographical designation
is used, the grapes must originate from that geo- 0-3 extra brut
brut nature
graphical unit, be it a region, district or vineyard.
These sparkling wines are also subject to quality
control testing that confirms that the criteria have least ten percent of all German sparkling wine products that have met stringent production crite-
been met and includes a sensory examination. production today. Even large German producers ria. In response to consumers increased quality
have acknowledged this trend and are producing consciousness and awareness that the quality of
The Winzersekt concept has been particularly well high-quality Riesling Sekt that can be found among the components determinies a products overall
received in recent years. For the most part, these the sparkling wines for sale in a well-stocked quality, producers are using higher-quality base
are high-quality varietal sparkling wines produced supermarket. wines for their sparkling wine production. Wine-
by wine estates and cooperatives of growers or knowledgeable consumers recognize the same
producers from their own grapes. Its safe to as- These cuves, however, will seldom bear the desig- varietal characteristics in the sparkling versions
sume that varietal sparkling wines account for at nation Winzersekt, which is reserved for top-quality that they are familiar with in still varietal wines.

120 121

Regional and national competitions have also con- In the production of Perlwein, CO 2 can be added BRIEF SUMMARY
tributed to quality improvements. The standards not permitted in Sekt production. The CO 2 can
for winning an award from a state chamber of ag- be naturally generated during fermentation of
riculture or the German Agricultural Society DLG the must into wine (endogenous) or completely or Sekt is produced through a primary or sec- Crmant, like Sekt b.A., may be used in con-
are very high. partially manufactured industrially (exogenous). ondary fermentation. It must have an exist- junction with the name of a specified region
Perlwein is often sweeter than Sekt. If labeled ing alcohol content of 10% by volume and a (e.g., Crmant Baden or Baden Crmant) if
Compared with still wine, it is far more difficult trocken (dry), it can have up to 35 g/l of residual CO 2 pressure of at least 3.5 atm. the following criteria are fulfilled:
to standardize the quality of a sparkling wine. A sugar; halbtrocken (off-dry), between 33 and 50
high amount of sugar-free extract is desirable in g/l; mild, more than 50 g/l. Deutscher Sekt is produced exclusively in QQ at least nine months aging on the lees
a still wine and regarded as a sign of high qual- A Perlwein or Secco is an ideal apritif or a light, Germany from base wines made of grapes QQ traditional method of production
ity; a sparkling wine with high extract values is uncomplicated beverage when its warm outside. grown in Germany. QQ for white sparkling wine, must is pro-
likely to be too full-bodied, i.e., lacking the sleek
duced by whole cluster pressing (max.
character associated with Sekt. Those who prefer Sekt b.A. (from a specified region) is subject 100 liters per 150 kg of grapes)
handcrafted, distinctive cuves to popular brands to the same strict regulations with regard to QQ max. 150 mg/l SO2
are in luck. The former are widely available at wine coupage and designation of origin as a qual- QQ max. 50 g/l residual sugar
estates, cooperatives, wine shops, and restaurants. ity wine from a specified region. It is subject QQ additional, national regulations can
Look for the following quality criteria on the label: to quality control testing. apply.
origin, grape variety, method of production, and the
quality control test number (in German, the A.P.Nr.). Winzersekt is a particularly distinctive,
There are, of course, commercial bottlings that vintner-produced sparkling wine that is
also meet these criteria, including buyers own made by the traditional method. The vintage,
brand as with wine, the quality-consciousness varietal, and producers name must appear
of the producer is a decisive factor. The overall on the label. Winzersekt is estate-bottled.
quality of the product depends on the quality of
its components.

This is also true of Perlwein, a slightly sparkling [ H ERE S H O W T O S ER V E S E K T ! ]

wine that is currently enjoying a renaissance and
now belongs to the standard repertoire of many Sekt tastes best when chilled. But never resort
vintners. Since the early 1990s, significant quan- to the freezer, because ice-cold Sekt loses its
tities are once again being produced and are of- aroma. Sekt reaches the right drinking temper-
ten marketed as Secco, a take on Italian Prosecco. ature (between 6 and 10C/42.8 and 50F) after
Sales of German Secco are estimated to be in the three to four hours in the refrigerator. Once the
double-digit million range. bottle has been opened, the temperature can
be maintained by placing the bottle in a cooler
Since the sparkling wine tax is not levied on Perl- filled with water and ice. Tip: dont let the cork
wein, it is usually inexpensive to medium-priced. pop when opening the bottle; its better to hold
The CO 2 pressure is between 1 to 2.5 atm compared the bottle at an angle and gently turn it while
with that of Sekt (more than 3.5 atm). Perlwein easing out the cork (TB...turn bottle).
can be produced as a simple German wine or as a
quality wine from a specified regon.

122 123


Savvy in dealing with wine not only projects
competence and enhances image, but above PRODUCT RANGES
all, it generates essential sales and revenue.
Regardless of which sector the hospitality, Regardless of the type of business, a customer- QQ distinctive varietals in various styles
friendly wine selection is representative, attractive, QQ specially aged wines (e.g., barrique)
specialty or retail food business offering the
diverse, and dependable. This goal can best be QQ mature vintages
most comprehensive range of wine possible achieved by a healthy mix of three product ranges: QQ rarities
does not demonstrate wine competence. core, specialty, and special offer. QQ particularly high qualities (e.g., Eiswein).
Organization and handling are what count.
Simply taking external constraints for granted The core product range includes all wines that are The special offer product range comes into play
in constant demand and/or essential to customer on an occasional basis or for operational reasons
can lead to failure in practice such as ignor-
satisfaction. to stimulate sales. It basically includes:
ing the need for well-trained personnel. Yet,
many problems can be solved by simple means The specialty product range should offer some- QQ wines that have been purchased specifically
or can be avoided right from the start. thing special or distinctive. It enhances an opera- for this purpose (the skys the limit)
tions image, and gives it a cutting edge over com- QQ remaining stock from the core or specialty
petitors. While image is important, be aware of ranges that needs to be sold quickly (possi-
the pitfall of stocking large quantities of very high bly at special prices) to adjust or streamline
priced wines that you might not be able to sell. It product range and/or reduce inventory.
only wastes storage capacity and and unnecessarily
ties up capital. When stocks of expensive growths
are nearly depleted, its usually possible to replen-
ish supplies on short order these days. You can
save space and expense by letting your suppliers
handle storage as much as possible. Building a
specialty product range depends on the scope of
the core selection, the level of product awareness,
the image and popularity of a restaurant or shop,
as well as employee commitment. Specialties to
consider include:

124 125

In addition to eye appeal, a wine list should include menu. The outer appearance can range from simple
a product range tailored to the needs and expecta- to verging on a work of art. Despite this diversity
tions of your guests, which in turn depends on the in graphic design, the majority have something in
type and location of the food service outlet and its common: too often the organization of the contents
THE HOSPITALITY TRADE customer profile. A small snackbar in a blue-collar reflects a great deal of insecurity. Often, this stems
neighborhood on the outskirts of a city should list from a nonchalant or even careless atttitude to-
In creating a wine list, pay particular attention to other (and fewer) wines than a student pub down- ward the role of a wine or beverage list and how
how each wine will be offered and served. There town, a first-class hotel in a spa or a wine restau- it should function.
are two forms: rant in the heart of a wine-growing region. Careful
consideration of these factors provides a sound Functions of a wine or beverage list
QQ by the bottle (0.25-, 0.375-, 0.5-, 0.75-, 1.0-liter basis for creating a suitable and promising wine list. Since the number of establishments that actually
bottles or the 1.5-liter magnum) have a separate wine list is limited, were basi-
QQ by the glass (0.1-, 0.2-, or 0.25-liter glasses The scope of a wine list cally talking about a beverage list that includes the
and/or carafes in various sizes, as well as pre- The operational setup of outlets in the hospitality wines on offer. For the most part, theyre grouped
poured from a bottle or tap). business is so diverse that an optimal selection together under the heading wines in a separate
cant be recommended here. The breadth and depth section of the list. A well-conceived beverage list
Basically, all quality levels can be offered by the of a wine list depends on factors that affect all es- could serve as:
glass. tablishments. Customer profile, atmosphere, and
Recommending wine in a restaurant average length of stay have to be considered, as QQ a source of information and decision-making
Customers are particularly receptive to high-qual- well as procurement channels, storage capacity, aid for guests
ity and/or high-priced wines served by the glass and staffing. In addition, its necessary to decide on QQ an advertising medium for the establishment
(0.1 liter). This is especially so for wine or sparkling which approach best serves the companys goals: QQ an educational tool for staff training.
wine served as an apritif. a core selection of wines or a more comprehensive
Offering wine by the glass in conjunction with the offer. The maxim less is more might also make These functions should be kept in mind when
food on the menu is an attractive and financially sense. The bottom line: guests shouldnt feel that creating a wine or beverage list.
interesting way to motivate guests to order a glass somethings missing.
of wine and enables them to try different wines with
their meal. Its not surprising that the demand for Our recommendations are based on practical expe-
wine by the glass is steadily increasing, because: rience and designed to meet the minimum required
to offer a reasonably attractive selection of wine.
QQ it encourages guests to discover the pleasure
of wine Even an optimal assortment needs an effective
QQ an entire bottle of wine is too much for a sin- presentation. Well-trained personnel are a sub-
gle guest stantial cost factor and are not always available in
QQ it enables two or more people to order indi- the quality and quantity required. A well-prepared,
vidually informative wine list can help bridge that gap.
QQ a glass of wine is perceived as more affordable.
Recommendations for creating a wine or
A wide selection of wines by the glass attracts new beverage list
wine enthusiasts and makes the decision to pur- The format and content of a wine or beverage list
chase easier for guests. In all, it helps promote in the German hospitality business are no less di-
sales and profits. verse than those of their food counterpart: the

126 127

A customer-friendly wine list should meet the fol- a wine list should create a desire for wine, its ap-
lowing requirements... pearance also plays an important role. It should
be visually appealing, pleasant to the touch, and clearly structured durable.
Information should be presented in a manner thats
logical and easy to follow. up to date
The organization of a wine list depends on the scope A customer-friendly wine list is up to date and
of the selection, particularly the number of wines should be updated on a regular basis.
on offer with similar traits with regard to: tailored to the establishment
QQ how the wine will be offered and served The material, design, content, and scope of a wine
QQ type of wine list should be commensurate with the style and
QQ appellation of origin image of the catering operation.
QQ style Whether its a wine list or a wine label, the infor-
QQ quality level mation on both must comply with nearly identical
QQ vintage (younger wines precede mature legal regulations. A wine list is also subject to price In Germany today, nearly three quarters of all wines
growths). quotation regulations. Providing general informa- are sold in the retail food business a volume that
tion is permitted and detailed wine designations underscores the significance of this sales chan-
In setting up the structure of a wine list, its neces- and descriptions build customer confidence. nel. General recommendations on how food stores
sary to decide which of these traits will take prec- should deal with wine would lack credibility. The
edence; the other characteristics are secondary. If different types of operations (from discount stores
the organization is based on appellation of origin, to supermarkets to department stores) cant be
place the country or region with the least number lumped together. At the end of the day, each of these
of entries either at the beginning or the end of the sectors pursues its own strategy, which in turn
list and those with the largest number of entries determines the size and makeup of its wine selec-
in the middle. If the selection is quite extensive, it tion. Yet, all enterprises in the retail food business
helps to include a table of contents. have this in common: whether they want to or not,
Sampling wine in a shop
theyre all forced to find ways to stand out in a sea informative and encourage consumption of increasingly cutthroat competitors. Some resort
Not only do guests benefit from an informative wine to aggressive pricing; others rely on a (supposedly)
list, but also service personnel. As such, the in- presitigious product range, complete with special
formation imparted on a wines label should also service. With the former, wine virtually has to sell
appear on the wine list, e.g., region, grape variety, itself; with the latter, well-functioning, professional
vintage, quality category, alcohol content, style, and advice is available.
the name of the producer. In addition, a realistic
and positive wine description is helpful and can Service is no less important in wine specialty or bev-
encourage guests to try a wine. Additional product erage shops. Apart from offering a representative
information, such as how the wine was aged (in selection of wines, the quality of service, including
large oak cask, in barrique), should also be pro- professional advice, can make or break a shops
vided. Brief stories, anecdotes, and photos also wine concept. The following list outlines the mini-
stimulate sales as well as shorten the wait. Since mum requirements for quality customer service.

128 129

QQ Provide sufficient staff to offer assistance.

Nothing is worse than for a customer to feel
theres no one to turn to.
QQ Avoid long waits.
QQ Offer service with a smile.
QQ Patiently listen to customer requests and take
special requests into consideration.
QQ Describe wines concisely in terms the cus-
tomer can understand.
QQ Avoid vague, empty phrases when describing WELL-CHOSEN WORDS Fruit aromas in Sptburgunder
wines (a super wine...everyone loves it); opt for
precision (crisp...tannic...fresh...fruit-driven...).
QQ Respect a customers budget. Wine consumers in international circles today tend
QQ Offer customers samples, wine tastings, and to be drinking less but better. Anti-alcohol cam-
seminars. paigns, discussions about blood alcohol levels, and
QQ Handle complaints fairly, quickly, and unbu- heightened health consciousness have contributed
reaucratically. to lower wine consumption. Yet, wine enthusiasts
QQ Create additional incentives to purchase. often compensate by drinking higher-quality or
QQ Offer volume discounts. more expensive wine. Joie de vivre and trying
QQ Provide reasonably priced delivery service as something new are in the forefront. For these
well as a selection tailored to meet the needs fellow beings, wine is more than a beverage, its
of your clientele. If a customer asks for a wine an experience. Part of that experience is talking
that isnt available, check with colleagues in shop about wines, regions or certain winemak-
other shops. Even if theres no profit in it for ers. Consumers have become increasingly wine
you, your goodwill will make a lasting impres- knowledgeable in recent years, which has led to a
sion and foster long-term customer relation- concomitant increase in what they expect of sales
ships. staff and service personnel in shops and restau-
rants. If someone asks how this or that wine actu-
The Deutsches Weininstitut (German Wine Institute) ally tastes, they expect more than a perfunctory
annually recognizes excellence in service and se- super or youll love it in response. The opposite
lection. Retailers who offer competent advice and approach, i.e., describing a wine in excruciating
a comprehensive selection of German wines can detail, doesnt appeal to every guest or customer
compete for the Fachhandelspreis prize, awarded either. It suffices to provide a few well-chosen
to the best merchants in wine specialty shops, and words that reveal something about a wines color,
the Ausgezeichnete Weinabteilung prize, awarded to aroma, taste, body, and age or maturity. Its useful
retail food outlets with outstanding wine depart- to base descriptions of aroma and taste on familiar
ments. Winners receive a plaque and a certificate sensory perceptions:
that they can display in their stores a tip for dis-
cerning customers. QQ redolent of ripe peaches
QQ ...tastes like a juicy pear
QQ creamy to the taste
QQ ...distinctly reminiscent of ripe elder.

130 131



White wine Sweetness
greenish yellow, pale yellow, very dry, dry, off-dry, medium sweet,
straw yellow, rich gold, amber pleasant sweetness,
delicate bouquet,
pronounced sweetness
Ros + Weissherbst
fine bouquet,
Acidity PAIRING WINE AND Diverse culinary delights

yellowish red, reddish gold, flowery, mild, fine acidity, pronounced acidity, FOOD
salmon red, very pale red rich in bouquet, effervescent, lively
slightly spicy,
Red wine spicy, Tannin A wine on its own can offer great pleasure, but the
brick red, ruby red, garnet, violet fruity, mild tannins, soft, round, velvety, enjoyment is sorely diminished when it is selected
red, deep red verging on black, aromatic, tannic, astringent to accompany a particular food and it simply doesnt
brownish red rich in aroma match. It does take some effort to discover harmo-
Body nious food and wine partners, not least because we
light, delicate, full-bodied, experience a virtually endless number of possible
rich in body, rich in extract combinations over the course of years of wining and
dining. The old rule of thumb dictating red wine
Age and maturity with dark meat and white wine with light meat
is pass. New, creative ways of cooking that are
young, youthful, fresh, developed,
geared more to light, imaginative cuisine based
at its peak, fully matured, ripe,
on natural aromas open the door to all kinds of
noble maturity
new food and wine combinations, particularly with
white wine. Creating harmonious partnerships is
Even in an impeccably run dining establishment, most likely to succeed when the wine and food
theres the occasional bottle of wine that doesnt are similar, i.e., when there is a balance between
live up to what the label promises, i.e., a wine could the body and richness, as well as the intensity of
be past its prime or corked. Such a bottle should the aroma and flavor, of the food and wine. Three
never end up on a guests table. basic principles are noteworthy:

QQ Wine and food are equal partners at the table.

QQ The wine should underscore the flavor of the
food. The wine could be a bit more forward
than the food, but neither partner should seri-
ously overshadow the other.
QQ The wines (as well as the foods) should be
served in an order that shows a progression
in terms of aroma and flavor as well as body
and richness.

132 133

The harmony of wine and food Sweetness improves the perception of aromas in
Alcohol heightens the perception of sweetness, wine and reduces the impression of bitterness or THE HARMONY OF WINE SERVING ORDER: WINE
strengthens the impact of spices, and aids diges- saltiness. Very dry wines seem milder and more AND FOOD IS DETERMINED
tion. Acidity seems more pronounced in a wine that harmonious when served with food, since food BY THE PERCEPTIBLE QQ mild before spicy
is low in alcohol. Wines that are completely dry contains both sugar and salt. CONTENT OF: QQ light before rich
and high in alcohol content seem milder than dry QQ dry before sweet
wines with little alcohol. The bitter constituents in An optimal food and wine combination depends white before red
QQ alcohol QQ carbon dioxide QQ
wine or in food (from roasting, grilling or braising) on a number of other factors, too, e.g., the time
QQ bitter substances QQ salt QQ chilled before room temperature
heighten our perception of sweetness and lower of day, season, temperature outdoors, occasion
QQ fat QQ acidity
our perception of acidity. It takes longer to perceive (festive or everyday), the people with whom one
QQ spices QQ sweetness
bitter elements, but they linger a long time. They is dining (age, wine knowledge), the price (budget
are more pleasant when accompanied by a tannic constraints) as well as the components of the menu.
wine that is rich in alcohol. If possible, the wine and food should be served at
the same time.
High-fat foods are more agreeable with wines that
are rich in acidity, tannin and alcohol the three Wines and foods can be arranged in basic cate- SERVING ORDER: FOOD SAMPLE GRID
elements that stimulate the appetite and aid digestion. gories based on aroma, taste, and seasoning.
I light
QQ mild before spicy
Highly seasoned dishes (e.g., pepper, chili, curry, A = neutral, mild wines and foods
QQ light before rich
tabasco) taste even spicier when served with a wine B = aromatic, piquant, spicy wines and foods that
QQ slightly salty before mild/sweet
that is high in alcohol. The effect is heightened even are rich in substance and body
more if the wine is rich in both alcohol and acidity. I = light wines and foods A mild B spicy
Caution is recommended. II = powerful, full-bodied wines and foods

The carbon dioxide in wine (and particularly in spar- Wines are categorized according to various traits,
kling wine, or Sekt) masks sweetness. If consumed e.g., II rich
with food, these wines and sparkling wines seem
sweeter than they actually are. Drier styles (e.g., QQ grape variety
extra trocken to extra brut) are therefore better QQ origin
suited to food than the sweeter versions (labeled QQ quality category
dry or mild), except with desserts. QQ style
QQ age
Salt increases the perception of aromas and bitter
substances in wine and food. Foods are categorized according to how they are
prepared, because the method of preparation
Acidity enhances sweetness (e.g., lemon juice on steamed, fried, baked, or roasted influences
strawberries). It also temporarily masks bitter- the ultimate taste of the food. Furthermore, the
ness. Acidic wines served with acidic foods are basic flavor of fish or meat changes considerably
not agreeable and can cause acid indigestion. depending on an accompanying sauce, e.g., made
On the other hand, fatty foods are more easily di- with cream or made with the stronger-flavored
gested when accompanied by a wine with a healthy drippings from a roast; on the herbs and spices
acidity. used; and on the side dishes. For this reason, it

134 135

is quite a challenge to select different wines for

different courses. If only one wine will be served,
wine combination are. If the food and wine are in
the same field of the respective grids, the com-
select it according to the most intensive flavor of bination should be ideal.
the foods. Although water has relatively little taste, which
is why it nicely complements wine, not every
The closer wine and food are in terms of their water tastes the same. Each waters subtle nuances
basic character (light to rich, neutral to spicy), influence our decision about which brand to buy.
the easier it is to achieve a harmonious match. Just as no two wines are alike, not all waters are
Harmony is balance and enhancement. The sam- the same. Since the wrong mineral water can
ple grids below can be useful in determining how mar the anticipatetd pleasure of drinking wine, its
similar the components of a particular food and important to select a water with a composition of
minerals and trace elements that will harmonize
with a wine.

SAMPLE CATEGORIES FOR WINE Carbonated water is an ideal match with wines
that are low in acidity, such as Gutedel, Silvaner
Body/ Aroma A mild B spicy or Grauburgunder, and above all, those with re-
sidual sweetness. The carbon dioxide refreshes
Qualittswein (QbA)/ the tongue and brings out the sweetness of a wine.
Qualittswein (QbA)/
Kabinett wines from
Kabinett wines from
Mller-Thurgau Waters with a moderate carbon dioxide content go
I light Riesling
Bacchus especially well with white wines that are dry and
Scheurebe pronounced in acidity. Too much carbonation can
Gewrztraminer accentuate the acidity.
Sptlese wines from
Sptlese wines from
Grauburgunder Powerful, tannic red wines are best with a still
II rich Sptburgunder water that neutralizes the tannins. The same ap-
Dornfelder plies to rich, full-bodied white wines, such as those
Weissburgunder Good partners
Lemberger that have been aged in barriques.


Asian dishes,
poached fish,
game birds,
I light roasted vegetables,
salad greens with
pasta with
aromatic sauces

goose, duck,
fatty freshwater fish,
furry game,
mussels, lobster,
II rich beef or lamb roasts,
asparagus with
rich cheese
hollandaise sauce
(blue mold)

136 137

QQ clean conditions
PLEASURE QQ protection from goods that emit strong odors,
Type of wine Temperature
e.g., onions, paint, and heating oil or gas.
Ambience numbers among the factors that con- Sekt (sparkling wine) 8 10 C
tribute to increased sales and customer satisfac- In todays world, wine cellars with ideal storage 46.4 50 F
tion in the wine business, be it in shops or restau- conditions are few and far between. A viable alter-
White wine
rants. It pays to have satisfied customers or guests: native is a wine refrigerator designed for proper
light, young 9 11 C
theyll want to return and theyll spread the word storage. These range from compact models to so-
48.2 51.8 F
to friends and family a great source of potential phisticated versions with dual temperature zones.
full-bodied, mature 11 13 C
new business. The household fridge is sufficient for interim stor-
51.8 55.4 F
age only.
Storing bottled wine Weissherbst (ros) 9 13 C
The shelf life of a wine depends on sufficient sul- Serving temperatures 48.2 55.4 F
furization, sterile bottling, and a suitable closure. Serving wine at the correct temperature helps Red wine
In addition to these technical criteria, cellar achieve optimal drinking pleasure. light, young 14 16 C
treatment, growing region, vintage, grape variety, 57.2 60.8 F
method of harvest, and quality category play a role. Temperatures that are too high diminish our sen- full-bodied 16 18 C
Aging potential is also influenced by existing alcohol, sory perception of fruit, acidity, and tannin. White 60.8 64.4 F
acidity, residual sugar, and tannins. wines that are served too warm often taste broad full-bodied and very tannic 18 20 C
or plump. If not sufficiently chilled, the carbon di- 64.4 68 F
Generally speaking, one can say: oxide in sparkling wines can seem too aggressive.
QQ Lightweight, basic wines (Landwein, QbA, and Temperatures that are too low enhance our per-
to some extent, Kabinett) develop fairly quickly ception of fruit, acidity, and tannin. In tannic red
and are not destined for long-term aging. wines served too chilled, the interesting flavors of
Storing bottles horizontally QQ Wines of higher quality (Sptlese and above, its tannins are often suppressed.
Erste and Grosse Gewchse) mature more
slowly and have more aging potential. Chambrieren is the French term referring to the
procedure of slowly allowing a wine to reach room
Storage conditions to consider: temperature not todays usual temperatures of
Storage duration determines bottle position. Wines over 20C (68F), but rather a temperature between
with aging potential should be stored lying horizon- 18-20C (64.4-68F).
tally; those to be consumed in their youth are better
left upright to minimize potential cork problems. Frappieren derives from the French term frapp,
Ideal is a room that provides: meaning ice cold, and refers to the procedure of
QQ minimal temperature fluctuation at best, a quickly chilling a bottle of still or sparkling wine.
constant temperature between 8-12C (46.4- The bottle is placed in a wine bucket filled with ice
53.6F); never over 15C (59F) cubes, water, and a handful of salt. As the ice melts,
QQ humidity of ca. 70% to help keep corks from theres an evaporative heat loss. Quickly rolling the
drying out and prevent the formation of mold bottle between the hands results in a quick chill.
QQ shelter from a permanent source of light (par- This method is effective, but not particularly gentle
ticularly, sunlight and neon light) or vibration on the wine in that it literally freezes the aromas.

138 139

Exposure to air
Light, fresh white wines and delicate, light-bodied
THE RIGHT GLASS number of special creations on the market today.
More and more glass manufacturers are success-
red wines generally need little exposure to air for fully offering a wealth of models that combine func-
their characteristcs to unfold. On the other hand, Dealing with wine also includes suitable stemware. tionality and attractive design.
very powerful young or mature red wines that are In selecting the right glass, numerous criteria play
rich in acidity, alcohol, and tannin often need con- an important role. The bottom line: a glass should
siderable contact with air. They benefit from being bring out the full qualities of color, aroma, and
opened some time prior to drinking and/or aeration flavor of a wine. In recent years, many a soul has
by being poured into a carafe. While exposure to given serious thought to the subject of which glass
air enables the aromas of white wines to open up, for which wine and as a result, there are quite a
this is not recommended for wines that are showing
age, which should have as little contact with air as
possible. Sparkling wines need little or no exposure
to air, yet, after opening the bottle, it makes sense TIPS ON THE RIGHT GLASS
A carafe for decanting to allow the carbonation to settle down a bit before
pouring. Bottles of older, mature red wines in which
a deposit of tannins and pigments has developed, as
well as white wines in which tartrate has precipitated, QQ Colorless, transparent glasses are the QQ Depending on tannic content, young red
should be decanted prior to drinking, i.e., poured best for evaluating a wines color, clarity, wines need larger bowls than mature red
into a carafe or decanter. and viscosity. wines. A larger bowl increases a wines
exposure to air and makes a wine seem
QQ Thick-walled glasses spoil the pleasure smoother.
of drinking wine.
QQ High-quality, mature wines are best
QQ The quantity of a pour shouldnt exceed served in glasses with smaller bowls.
half of the glass. Otherwise, they oxidize too quickly.

QQ The stem of a glass should be long enough QQ In general, a glass with a tulip-shaped
to prevent the hand from touching the bowl, bowl helps concentrate aromas rather
thereby warming up the wine. than letting them escape along the sides
of the glass.
QQ White wine glasses should have a rela-
tively small bowl to help prevent the wine
in the glass from warming up and its fra-
grance from escaping too quickly.

140 141
und Witterung

Alcoholic The primary fermentation, a biochemical process during which yeast (indig- Blanc de Noir(s): White wine made from red grape(s).
fermentation: enous/wild or cultured/inoculated) converts the natural sugar in wine must
into CO 2 and alcohol. Wine is the byproduct of alcoholic fermentation. Blind tasting: A tasting to objectively assess a wines style and quality without knowing its
identity (producer). Example: quality control sensory testing.
Ampelography: The science of identifying and describing grape varieties.

Bocksbeutel: The flat, round-shaped bottle with a short neck that is tradtional in the
Amtliche The quality control test number issued to quality and Prdikat wines that Franken wine-growing region, as well as four villages near Baden-Baden
Prfnummer have successfully passed three-stage testing, including chemical and sen- (Neuweier, Steinbach, Umweg, and Varnhalt), and the Baden district of
(A.P.Nr.): sory examinations. It is a wines proof of identity; it verifies that the most Tauberfranken.
important declarations on the label are accurate and that a wine is fault-
free (minimum standards have been met); and it is a mandatory declaration Body: A tasting term for the overall sensation of a wines fullness in the mouth.
on the label. Alcohol, extract, and residual sugar contribute to the body, or weight, of a
Auslese: A Prdikat, or special attribute, that describes the ripeness level of the
grapes and type of harvest. In this case: a rich wine made from fully ripened Botrytis cinerea: A fungus. In unripe grapes, it causes damaging, ashen-colored gray rot. In
bunches selectively harvested (unripe or diseased berries are discarded). fully ripened grapes, it enables the water content of the grape to evaporate,
Beeren- and Trockenbeerenauslese are increasingly concentrated ver- leaving behind solids (sugars, acids, and minerals) and resulting in a highly
sions of Auslese, made from overripe and/or botrytized grapes, selectively concentrated wine. The name derives from Botrus, Greek for bunch of
harvested by hand, berry by berry. grapes, and cinis, Latin for ashes. The beneficial form, noble rot, is known
as Edelfule in German and pourriture noble in French.

Badisch Rotgold: A Rotling from the Baden wine-growing region. Made from Grauburgunder Bottle aging: The last stage of development in wine production. After bottling, wine is
(at least 51%) and Sptburgunder grapes; they must be declared on the label. often aged several years, whereby the aromas and flavors change. At best,
the wines fruit, acidity, and alcohol reach optimal balance and harmony.
Barrique: A traditional French cask measure of 225 liters (the wine law permits up to

350 liters) that usually refers to fermentation and/or aging in new or rela-
tively new oak casks that influence a wines aroma profile (hints of vanilla, Chambrieren: (Fr) To slowly allow a wine to reach room temperature.
tobacco, etc.). Can be declared on the label if at least 75% of a wine was
fermented or aged in barrique for at least four months (white wines) or six Classic: A harmoniously dry wine of above-average quality made from a regions
months (red wines). traditional grape varieties.

Climatic zones: Climatic and weather conditions vary tremendously with the European
Beerenauslese: A Prdikat, or special attribute, denoting a full-bodied, fruity wine made
Union. As such, the EU area devoted to viticulture is divided into climatic
from overripe grapes that are usually affected by Botrytis cinerea (noble
zones designed to help compensate for the variations that influence wine
rot); selectively harvested (berry selection). Abbreviation: BA.
production, thereby putting all members on an equal footing. They range
from A, the northernmost/coolest, to CIII (b), the southernmost/warmest.
Bereich: An appellation of origin, a district. A broad division of a wine-growing region The prerequisites for quality categories are correlated with these zones,
made up of collective and individual vineyard sites; applicable to quality particularly, the required minimum amount of natural alcohol. With one ex-
and Prdikat wines. Examples: Bereich Bernkastel, Bereich Johannisberg, ception, Germanys wine-growing regions are located within zone A; Baden
Bereich Nierstein. lies in zone B.

142 143
und Witterung

Continental climate: The climate of Germanys easternmost regions (Franken, Saale-Unstrut, DWI: Abbreviation for Deutsches Weininstitut (German Wine Institute), Mainz, the
Sachsen) is relatively dry. Summers are hot, winters are cold. The grow- wine industrys organization responsible for promoting the quality and the
ing season is shorter and the danger of early or late frost is higher than in marketing of German wines.
regions influenced by the warm, moist Gulf Stream.

Corked: A tasting term for the unpleasant moldy, damp smell of a wine with cork Einzellage: An appellation of origin, an individual vineyard site. The smallest climatic and
taint, a fault caused by the chemical compound TCA (trichloroanisole), which geological unit within a specified region; applicable to quality and Prdikat wines.
is produced when airborne bacteria or mold come into contact with phenols Examples: Bernkasteler Doktor, Johannisberger Hlle, Niersteiner Hipping.
and chlorine. It can contaminate natural corks, but also wooden barrels and
pallets, and cardboard cases. Eiswein: A Prdikat, or special attribute, denoting an intense wine made from grapes
harvested and pressed while frozen (-7C or 19.4F); only the naturally con-
Crossing: The product of grape breeding to produce a new variety with previously centrated juice is pressed out.
defined characteristics. Traditionally, German new crossings were bred from
two or more varieties of the same species (intraspecific crossing), e.g., Vitis Equator effect: On the equator, solar radiation on the surface of the earth is perpendicular.
vinifera x Vitis vinifera. A hybrid is bred from two or more varieties of differ- The suns angle of incidence north or south of the equator is inclined. Steep
ent species (interspecific crossing), e.g., Vitis vinifera x Vitis labrusca. Until slopes compensate for the slanting angle and equatorial radiation is approxi-
recently, hybrids were not permitted in Germany (see new hybrids). mated. Because they receive more intensive solar radiation, climatic condi-
tions of south-facing steep slopes are particularly favorable.
Cuve: (Fr) A blend of wines from different grape varieties, vintages, vineyards, or casks.
Erste Lage: Literally: top site. Prime vineyards or parcels thereof with optimal climatic

and geological conditions. Based on the VDPs in-house vineyard classifica-
Decant: To carefully pour a wine into a decanter to expose it to oxygen or separate it tion, Erste Lage denotes both an appellation of origin and a quality category
from sediments or precipitates. (highest possible). As of vintage 2012, VDP growers will replace the designa-
tion Erste Lage with Grosse Lage. Because Erste Lage is not legally recognized
by the wine law and may not appear on wine labels, VDP growers use a logo,
Dgorger: (Fr) To disgorge, or remove, the yeast deposit from a bottle of sparkling wine
a stylized numeral one that partially frames a cluster of grapes, to identify
produced in the traditional champagne method.
these top-quality wines.

Dgustation: (Fr) A wine tasting in which the impressions of a wines aromas and flavors
Erstes Gewchs: Literally: first growth. Wines from top sites or parcels thereof. Based on the
are described according to specified criteria.
Rheingau Wine-growers Associations vineyard classification, Erstes Gewchs
denotes both an appellation of origin and a quality category (highest possible).
Dpt: (Fr) A deposit that develops during bottle aging. In red wines, sediments It is legally recognized by the wine law, but applicable to Rheingau wines only.
formed from tannins and pigments; in white wines, precipitated tartaric
Erzeugerabfllung: An estate-bottled wine. The Erzeuger, or producer, is an individual grower,
cooperative of growers or larger winery that makes and bottles wine made
DLG: Abbreviation for Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (German Agricul- from grapes sourced from their own vineyards.
tural Society). Among other things, it conducts national wine competitions.

Extract: Dry extract is the sum of a wines nonvolatile solids, primarily sugars, acids,
and minerals.

144 145
und Witterung

Federweisser: Unfiltered must containing CO2 and yeast that is still in the process of fer- Gutsabflllung: An estate-bottled wine. In addition to fulfilling the criteria for an Erzeuger-
menting. An autumn specialty served with onion quiche or roasted chestnuts. abfllung, the cellar master must have completed oenological training. A
Gut is an estate; a Weingut, a wine estate.

Feinherb: An expression of style denoting a dryish wine with a bit more or less resid-

ual sugar than the parameters set for halbtrocken (< 18 g/l). It is permitted
on labels but not legally defined. Harvest diary: One of the control mechanisms in quality control testing. During the har-
vest, the grower must maintain a daily record of when, where, and how
much of which varietal(s), and at which must weight(s), was harvested. The
Fermentation: The biochemical process during which must is transformed into wine.
type of harvest must also be noted.
Duration ranges from several days to several months.

Hochgewchs: An above-average, 100% Riesling quality wine made from grapes with
Five-point scale: Evaluating a wines bouquet, taste, and harmony on a scale of one to five.
starting must weights higher than prescribed by law. It must achieve a
The average of the points achieved for each characteristic determines a
quality score of at least 3.0 points during quality control testing.
wines quality score. The system was created by the DLG and is used in all
official examinations of wine in Germany.

Kabinett: A Prdikat, or special attribute, denoting a wine made from ripe grapes
Fruit acids: The sum of different acids in a wine, primarily tartaric and malic acids.
(riper than Qualittswein) and usually, relatively low in alcohol.

Kellereiabflllung: A wine bottled by a Kellerei (commercial winery). The winery either makes
Grape variety: Grapevines belong to the Vitaceae family, genus Vitis; the majority of the ca.
the wine from grapes grown by someone else or it purchases finished wine
140 varietals cultivated in Germany belong to the species Vitis vinifera.
from a third party. The Abfller, or bottler, is responsible for a wines qual-
ity, regardless of the source of grapes or producer.
Green cover: Grasses and plants that grow naturally or are sown between the rows of
vines to help reduce erosion and naturally improve soil fertility by fostering
Klassische/ The term(s) on the label of German Sekt (sparkling wine) to denote the
biodiversity, i.e., creating a habitat for a wealth of flora and fauna.
Traditionelle most labor-intensive and expensive method of sparkling wine production
Flaschengrung: in which the wine remains in one and the same bottle during every step of
Green harvest: A method of influencing the quantity and quality of the grapes prior to the production, the traditional method used in Champagne, France.

main harvest by thinning out berries and/or bunches to strengthen those
remaining on the vine.

Lage: An appellation of origin, a vineyard site. A distinction is made between an

Grosses Gewchs: Literally: great growth. Based on the VDPs in-house vineyard classifica- Einzellage, or individual site, and a Grosslage, or collective site.
tion, Grosses Gewchs denotes an Erste Lage wine that is dry in style. Their
counterparts with residual sugar are denoted by the traditional Prdikats,
Landwein: Comparable with a French Vin de Pays, Landwein is a simple, everyday wine
from Sptlese through Trockenbeerenauslese. Because Grosses Gewchs
with a protected geographical indication, made from grapes sourced from
is not recognized by the wine law and may not appear on wine labels, VDP
one of the 26 German Landwein regions.
growers use the initials GG to identify these top-quality wines.

Liebfraumilch: A generic term for a white Rhine wine with between 18 and 45 g/l residual
Grosslage: An appellation of origin, a collective vineyard site. A group of individual
sugar. It is always a Qualittswein from one of the following specified re-
sites with a similar climatic and geological makeup. Examples: Bernkastel-
gions that must be named on the label: Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Nahe or Rhein-
er Badstube, Johannisberger Erntebringer, Niersteiner Gutes Domtal.

146 147

gau. No grape variety may be named on the label, but at least 70% Oechsle: A scale of sugar measurement in degrees based on the density of grape juice,
of the cuve must consist of one or more of the following grapes: Mller- developed in the 1830s by the physicist, pharmacist, and goldsmith Christian
Thurgau, Riesling, Silvaner or Kerner. The Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Ferdinand Oechsle (1771-1852) to improve the practicality of hydrometers.
Lady) in Worms/Rheinhessen is the namesake of of Liebfraumilch, literally,
the Milk of Our Lady. By the 20th century, the crop from the vineyard sur- Oenology: The science of wine and winemaking.
rounding the church was not large enough to meet demand, and Liebfrau-
milch came to be used in a broader sense to denote any pleasantly mild
Organic viticulture: Environmentally friendly wine-growing in accordance with the strict guide-
German white wine from the central Rhine regions.
lines set forth in EU regulations. Herbicides are forbidden, as are chemical
or synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The biodynamic version prescribes
specific substances to strengthen a vines natural resistance and soil vitality.
Malic acidity: One of the two principal organic acids of grapes and wines (see tartaric Growers are advised to utilize the motion dynamics of cosmic and lunar cycles.
acid). The name derives from malum, Latin for apple. It naturally decom-
poses during the final stage of ripening or is converted into softer, milder
lactic acid and CO 2 during malolactic fermentation.
Perlwein: A slightly sparkling wine that is often marketed as Secco, a take on Italian
Prosecco. The sparkle can be naturally generated during fermentation or
Malolactic A secondary, bacterial fermentation that takes place during or after alco-
CO 2 can be added (not permitted in Sekt production).
fermentation: holic fermentation. Lactic bacteria convert tart malic acid into milder lactic
acid. The winemaking technique reduces a wines total acidity and creates a
softer, rounder mouthfeel. Phylloxera: A vine louse that was imported to Europe from North America in the 1860s.
It destroys vines by feeding on their roots. Ultimately, scientists discovered
that grafting vinifera vines on to phylloxera-resistant American roots was an
Mash: Crushed grapes, consisting of pulp, skins, seeds, and juice. Before being
effective remedy. Sandy soils, the bane of the louse, also provide protection.
pressed, mash is sometimes left standing to extract aroma/flavor, color,
and tannins.

Prdikatswein: Prdikat wine, a superior quality wine with a protected designation of

Must: Grape juice, the juice extracted during crushing and/or pressing. origin, which must fulfill more stringent quality criteria than Landwein or
basic Qualittswein. A Prdikat, or special attribute, describes the ripe-
ness of the grapes and the type of harvest. The six Prdikats, in ascending
Must weight: The density of grape juice, i.e., the weight of the must in relation to its
order of ripeness and extent of selection, are Kabinett, Sptlese, Auslese,
volume. In Germany, this is expressed in degrees Oechsle (similar to the
Beerenauslese, Eiswein, and Trockenbeerenauslese.
Baum and Brix scales used elsewhere). A wines potential alcohol can be
determined from this measurement. It is one indication of grape ripeness.

Qualittswein b.A. Quality wine from a specified wine region, a basic quality wine with a pro-
(bestimmter tected designation of origin, made from grapes sourced from one of the 13
New hybrids: While the development of interspecific crossings has long been the norm
Anbaugebiet): German wine-growing regions. Abbreviation: QbA.
in France (French hybrids), only in recent years have they been officially
permitted in Germany, primarily thanks to the improved wine quality of new
hybrids. A number of these are pilzwiderstandsfhig, or fungus-resistant, Quality categories: The EU has defined two broad quality categories: wine without and wine
referred to in German as PiWis. They are particularly popular with or- with a protected indication of origin. There are two categories of protected
ganic growers as a viable alternative to conventional plant protection meas- indication of origin: protected geographical indication (Landwein) and
ures, and thus, a contribution to sustainable viticulture. Examples: Regent, protected designation of origin (Qualittswein and Prdikatswein). Deutscher
Johanniter, Phoenix, and Solaris. Wein (German wine) has no protected indication of origin.

148 149

Refractometer: A hand-held, optical instrument that can be used in the vineyard to measure Selection: A harmoniously dry wine of top quality made from a regions traditional grape
the sugar content in a few drops of grape juice, in degrees Oechsle, based on varieties.
light refraction.
Sensory examination: One of the control mechanisms in quality control testing. In order to receive
an A.P. Number, a wine undergoes a blind tasting in which its bouquet, taste,
Residual sugar: A reflection of yeast performance. Yeast converts sugar in grape juice into
and harmony are evaluated according to a five-point scale.
alcohol and CO 2 during alcoholic fermentation. Under certain conditions, the
yeast is unable to convert all the sugar. The amount of leftover, or residual,
Sommelier/ A wine waiter/waitress, the person responsible for recommending or select-
sugar in the wine determines its style. This is not to be confused with sweet ing and serving wine to guests in an upscale restaurant. He or she might also
reserve, which is unfermented (naturally sweet) grape juice left in reserve be in charge of purchasing a restaurants wine and preparing its wine list.
to add to finished wine (after fermentation) to fine-tune a wines style.

Sptlese: A Prdikat, or special attribute, denoting a fuller-bodied wine made from

Riddle: To manually or mechanically turn a bottle of sparkling wine to help the yeast fully ripened grapes; usually harvested later during the harvest. Sptlese
settle. In the traditional champagne method, bottles are placed in a riddling literally means late harvest.
rack in which they are riddled and periodically moved to an increasingly ver-
tical, upside-down position. During the process, the yeast settles and forms
Steillage: Literally: steep site. A vineyard with an inclination of more than 30%.
a deposit in the neck of bottle, which is ultimately disgorged prior to corking
the bottle.
Stem: To separate the stem from the berry prior to or during crushing. Stems con-
Ros: Pale to light red wine made from red grapes that are usually processed to tain bitter substances, such as harsh tannins, that can adversely influence
produce a light-colored wine. The degree of color derives from the length of the finished wines taste.
skin contact.
Strausswirtschaft: A wine pub in a growers home where he/she can sell his/her wine (and
snacks) for a few months of the year. Such a pub is identified by a Strauss
Rotling: Pale to light red wine made from white and red grapes or their mash that are
(wreath) or Besen (broom) hanging over the doorway. This form of direct
fermented together.
marketing was initiated by Charlemagne 13 centuries ago..

Sugar-free extract: The sum of a wines nonvolatile solids (extract) excluding sugars.
Schielerwein: A Rotling from the Sachsen wine-growing region..

Sulfites: Sulfur is used to sterilize barrels, and added to wine (in legally prescribed
Schillerwein: A Rotling from the Wrttemberg wine-growing region. amounts) to prevent microbial growth, to protect it from oxygen, and to help
stabilize it. Contains sulfites is a mandatory declaration on the label.
Schlossabflllung: A wine bottled by a Schloss (castle) estate. In addition to fulfilling the criteria
for a Gutsabfllung, the wine estate must be situated in a castle with histori-
cal preservation status, and the wine is made from grapes grown in the Tannins: Tannins in wine derive from the stems, skins, and seeds of grapes, and to
estates own vineyards and produced and bottled at the estate. a lesser extent, from the cask(s) in which a wine develops. The tannins in a
young wine are usually harsh and mouth-puckering but mellow with age.
Schorle: A spritzer, a refreshing beverage made of wine and sparkling water. They contribute to a wines aging potential. Tannins play a minor role in white
wines since the berries are stemmed prior to pressing and the juice has little
Sparkling wine, the product of a primary or secondary fermentation, with a or no skin contact.
CO 2 pressure of at least 3.5 atm in a closed container, and an existing alcohol
content of at least 10% by volume.

150 151

Tartaric acid: One of the two principal organic acids of grapes and wines (see malic acid) Weissherbst: A ros wine made from one grape variety; it must be declared on the label.
and the most important. It lends a wine its refreshing tang and crisp finish. The grapes are processed to produce a light-colored wine; no degree of
color is prescribed. Minimum quality category: Qualittswein.
Tartaric crystals: When tartaric acid in wine binds with potassium, it forms potassium
bitartrate (cream of tartar) crystals that accumulate on the cork or at the
Whole cluster The grower opts to dispense with stemming, crushing, and mash set-
bottom of a bottle. They are harmless, tasteless, and do not detract from
pressing: tling and proceeds directly from picking to pressing intact clusters. It is a
the bouquet or flavor of a wine, but unfortunately, they resemble glass
particularly gentle method of pressing and results in less cloudy must that
shards. Volume producers prefer to avoid the problem altogether via cold
contains fewer tannins.
stabilization prior to bottling. The wine is chilled to near-freezing tempera-
tures to provoke crystal formation, after which it is transferred to another
container, leaving the crystals behind. Decanting is a simple method of Winzer: A vintner or wine-grower.
separating a wine from the crystals.
Winzergenossen- A wine-growers cooperative. By the last half of the 19th century, many
Terroir: A neither clearly defined nor understood concept that refers to the interplay schaft: wine-growers were in dire straits due to the political and socioeconomic
of climate, soil, grape variety, and the skill of the winemaker that lends a changes of the times, cheap wine imports, and poor harvests. These condi-
wine its unmistakable character. tions led to the cooperative movement, whereby growers formed associa-
tions in order to improve the quality of their wine and their income. The
oldest legally recognized German cooperative was founded in Mayschoss
Training: Methods of supporting and shaping vines to improve bud burst, nutrient
(Ahr) in 1868. As of 2010, some 50,000 wine-growing members of about 200
supply, and air circulation, as well as facilitate vineyard work, e.g., foliage
cooperatives produce about one third of an average annual harvest and col-
management or mechanical harvesting. Wire trellises (canes are stretched
lectively own ca. 31,000 ha of vineyards. Often abbreviated: WG.
and fastened along a wire) and, in very steep sites, single stakes (canes
are shaped into a double bow and affixed to the stake) are training systems
Winzersekt: A vintners vintage varietal sparkling wine produced by the klassische or
commonly used in Germany.
traditionelle Flaschengrung, the traditional method used in Champagne,
France. The grapes must be sourced from the growers own vineyards
Trester: Grape pomace, i.e., the stems, skins, and seeds left after grapes are (within one specified region) and ripe enough to qualify as a Qualittswein.
pressed. It also refers to brandy distilled from grape pomace (cf. grappa,

Yeasts: The microscopic, single-celled fungi that are the driving force of fermen-
Trockenbeeren- A Prdikat, or special attribute, denoting a highly concentrated wine made tation. Once in contact with grape juice, an enzyme within yeast begins
converting the natural sugar in grape juice into alcohol and CO 2. Yeasts are
auslese: from botrytized grapes dried up almost to raisins; selectively harvested
airborne, particulary in and around vineyards and cellars. These natural
(berry selection). Abbreviation: TBA.
yeasts are known as ambient, indigenous or wild yeasts. Alternatively,
many winemakers prefer to inoculate the grape juice with cultured yeasts,
which perform with greater predictability and dependability.
Vino-Lok: A glass stopper with a special sealing ring and an aluminium cover cap. It is
an alternative to the traditional natural cork closure.

Weinkellerei: A winery, often a large, commercial winery (see Kellereiabfllung).

152 153
und Witterung

VITICULTURE IN GERMANY: A LONG TRADITION 1775: The monks of Schloss Johannisberg recognize the benefits of a Sptlese (late harvest).
By the time the courier, who was sent to Fulda every autumn to obtain permission for the
As of 50 B.C.: The Romans conquer Germania. Vineyards are planted along the Mosel and Rhine. harvest to begin, returns to Schloss Johannisberg, the grapes are rotting, yet the monks
harvest them. To everyones surprise, the resultant wine is outstanding.
276 - 282: During his reign, Emperor Probus, promulgates viticulture north of the Alps.
1787: Prince Elector Clemens Wenzeslaus decrees that within seven years, inferior varietals are
330: The oldest wine cellars still in use in Germany are constructed. Today, they are owned by to be replaced by Riesling in his vineyards on the Mosel.
the Vereinigte Hospitien in Trier.
1803: Napoleon secularizes the property of foundations, abbeys, and cloisters in Germany. The
Ca. 371: The Roman consul and poet Decimus Magnus Ausonius vividly describes the Mosel in 483 ownership of vineyards and wine estates passes into public or private hands.
hexameters in his poem Mosella.
11 February 1830: The first Eiswein harvest takes place in Dromersheim near Bingen/Rheinhessen.
As of ca. 375: During the great migrations and concomitant decline of the Roman Empire, viticulture in
western Europe suffers a considerable setback and nearly falls into oblivion. 1868: Eighteen vintners in Mayschoss/Ahr found the worlds first wine-growers cooperative,
known today as the Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss-Altenahr.
Ca. 800: From his palace in Ingelheim/Rheinhessen, Charlemagne is said to have noted that the
snow had already melted on the opposite side of the Rhine and orders vines to be planted 1868: Immanuel Dornfeld founds the Royal Viticultural School in Weinsberg/Wrttemberg, to-
there (todays Rheingau). He is also credited as the initiator of the Strausswirtschaft, a wine days State Research and Teaching Institute for Viticulture and Pomology, and home of the
pub in a growers home where he/she can sell his/her wine (and snacks) for a few months Staatsweingut Weinsberg.
of the year. Such a pub is identified by a Strauss (wreath) or Besen (broom) hanging over
the doorway. 1872: Baron Eduard von Lade founds the Prussian Royal Teaching Institute for Viticulture and
Pomology in Geisenheim/Rheingau, todays Geisenheim Research Center.
884: Emperor Charles III has Germanys first Sptburgunder vines planted in Bodman/Lake
Constance. 1874: The destructive vine louse phylloxera, a pest imported from North America, is first re-
corded in German vineyards. It wreaks havoc in the vineyards of Germany and the rest of
As of 12th C: French, particularly Burgundian, monks come to Germany to found numerous cloisters; Europe. Within a relatively short time, researchers discover that grafting vinifera vines onto
they clear forests along the Mosel and Rhine and their tributaries; and plant vineyards: phylloxera-resistant American rootstock can provide protection, a procedure practiced to
Kloster Eberbach/Rheingau, 1136; Kloster Marienthal/Ahr, 1137. this day.

13 March 1435: The earliest documented mention of Riesling is an invoice from Klaus Kleinfisch to his lord 1882: Professor Dr. Hermann Mller from the Swiss canton Thurgau breeds the grape variety
for the purchase of Riesling vines to be planted next to the castle he was building in Rs- Mller-Thurgau at the Geisenheim Research Center.
selsheim (near Hochheim/Rheingau).
1892: German sparkling wine producers form an association to ensure the quality of the spar-
16th C: Viticulture declines with the lower temperatures and shorter growing seasons of the cold kling beverage that is extremely popular in Germany and which, at that time, can still be
period between 1550 and 1850 (Little Ice Age). called Champagne.

1618: By the start of the Thirty Years War, Germanys vineyard area reaches the height of its ex- 1903: The first official wine inspector is appointed in the Pfalz.
pansion (ca. 300,000 ha). The ensuing destruction of the countryside and decimation of the
population leads to a drastic reduction in viticulture. 1910: Friedrich von Bassermann-Jordan publishes his standard work, The History of Viticulture.

As of 1720: Prince Abbott Constantine of Fulda decrees that henceforth, Riesling is the only vine to be 1935: Germanys first wine road Deutsche Weinstrasse opens in the Pfalz to help promote
planted in the vineyards of Johannisberg/Rheingau. tourism.

154 155

1949: Germany elects its first wine queen, Elisabeth Gies, in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse/Pfalz. MEASUREMENTS

1949: Deutsche Weinwerbung GmbH, todays Deutsches Weininstitut (German Wine Institute), is German = 1 1 = Foreign
2.54 cm in cm 0.3937 in

1950: In the aftermath of the Second World War, Germanys vineyard area is at a low: only 49,000 0.3048 m ft m 3.2808 ft
ha of vines remain. 1.609 km mile km 0.621 miles
0.0929 m2 ft 2 m2 10.764 ft 2
1971: A comprehensive new wine law lays the foundation for the classification of German wines, 4047 m2 acre m2 0.000247 acres
a system that has remained largely intact to this day. It sets up 11 specified regions for the 0.4047 ha acre ha 2.4709 acres
production of quality wine. It is also an excellent vintage for German wines. 28.35 g oz g 0.0352 oz
0.4536 kg lb kg 2.204 lb
1979: The Federal Office of Plant Varieties adds Dornfelder, a red crossing bred by August Herold
29.59 ml US fl. oz ml 0.0338 US fl. oz
at the State Research and Teaching Institute in Weinsberg/Wrttemberg in 1955, to the list
3.785 l US gal l 0.264 US gal
of officially permitted varietals in Germany.
28.41 ml imp. fl. oz ml 0.0352 imp. fl. oz

1981: A red wine boom begins in Germany and lasts a quarter of a century. The vineyard area 4.546 l imp. gal l 0.2199 imp. gal
devoted to red varietals increases from 11% to nearly 37% by 2006, after which focus shifts
back to white varietals.
liter US fl.oz imperial fl.oz
1990: As a result of German reunification, the number of specified regions for quality wine pro-
duction increases to 13 to include the two wine-growing regions in the east, Saale-Unstrut
and Sachsen. Germanys total vineyard area is slightly more than 100,000 ha, and has pri- 1.5 50.7 52.8
marily remained the same since then. 1.0 33.8 35.2
0.75 25.4 26.4
Since ca. 1995: A worldwide Riesling renaissance leads to a new appreciation of the viticultural quality of 0.375 12.7 13.2
German wine.
2001: For the first time, German consumers spend more on wine than beer. 0.25 8.4 8.8
0.2 6.7 7.0
2010: The German Wine Institute distinguishes 40 sites as landmarks of wine culture throughout
0.1 3.4 3.5
the country. They have particularly helped shape the history and tradition of viticulture in
0.5 1.7 1.7

156 157

Bottle sizes US fl. oz liters

regular = 1 bottle 25.4 0.750
magnum = 2 bottles 50.7 1.5
Jeroboam = 4 bottles 104 3.0
Rehoboam = 6 bottles 156 4.5
Methuselah = 8 bottles 208 6.0
Salmanazar = 12 bottles 312 9.0
Balthazar = 16 bottles 416 12.0
Nebuchadnezzar = 20 bottles 520 15.0

To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius (formerly,

Centigrade): subtract 32 from degrees Fahrenheit
and divide by 1.8

To convert Celsius (formerly, Centigrade) to

Fahrenheit: multiply degrees Celsius by 1.8 and
add 32



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