Germany is home to 13 wine-growing regions, each producing high-quality wines from an enormous variety of grapes. The classics, such as Riesling and Pinot varieties (Burgunder), play the biggest role for the country, and it is interesting to note that Germany has the world’s highest number of hectares under vine dedicated to Riesling and Pinot Blanc.
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF | PHOTO © DEUTSCHES WEININSTITUT (DWI)
Furthermore, Germany is ranked second in the world after only Italy for production of Pinot Gris (known as Grauburgunder), and third for Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder). Climate change in recent years has also led to more international grape varieties making their mark on the German wine landscape, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon.
There is an increasing appreciation amongst German wine drinkers for quality, regional specialities and authenticity – which goes hand in hand with the ever-growing trend in the German wine scene to keep the wine as untouched from human interference as possible. In fact, the demand for individual wines, fermented without temperature control, which really capture the intricacies of the terroir and the signature of the winemaker, is very much on the rise.
When it comes to eating lighter, German wines are an ideal accompaniment to this trend. As these wines are cultivated in the northern areas of Europe’s wine-growing regions, the grapes’ maturing process is much slower, which enhances their aroma while keeping their alcohol content fairly low.
In a similar vein, Germany’s regional wines are also attracting more and more younger consumers, who are taking a liking to lively wines, trendy seccos or a glass of the hip ‘Blanc de Noir’, a wine sort primarily created by young wine producers. It is refreshing to see how wine is becoming a hot topic, with many approachable wine producers achieving ‘cult status’ amongst their fans. Countless bloggers and wine aficionados are using the internet and social media channels to discuss matters like aging and quality, as well as sustainability and organic wine production, two issues that are gaining more attention from both producers and consumers.
Whatever your favourite variety, German wines have a lot to offer, so take your pick and start tasting!
In the following special theme, we introduce some of Germany’s finest winemakers and their wines. www.discovergermany.com