Wine Growing Regions Germany

Wine-growing region Moselle

The Moselle wine-growing region is known for its steep slope vineyards, Atlantic climate and extremely mineral soils. These circumstances make it an Eldorado for the sensitive grape variety Riesling. 

The history of viticulture in the region dates back to Roman times and has experienced setbacks as well as progress over the centuries. An important step in history was the decision of the Prince-Bishop of Trier in the 18th century that henceforth only Riesling should be grown in his realm. 

The growing region is geographically divided into six areas, such as the Terrassenmosel with the steepest vineyard in Europe, the Bremmer Calmont. The climate and soil conditions in the region are very favourable for growing Riesling, but other varieties such as Müller-Thurgau, Burgundy and Elbling are also grown. 

The total volume of the 2019 harvest was around 624,000 hectolitres.

The following winegrowers or wineries are known in the Moselle:

  • Winery Karthäuserhof
  • Winery Dr. Loosen
  • Winery Peter Lauer
  • Fritz Haag Winery
  • Maximin Grünhaus Winery
  • Winery Egon Müller
  • Winery St. Urbanshof
  • Winery J. J. Prüm
  • Knebel Winery
  • Winery Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken
  • Winery Heymann-Löwenstein
  • Winery Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt
  • Winery Markus Molitor
  • Winery Van Volxem
  • Winery Geheimrat J. Wegeler Gutshaus Mosel
  • Lieser Castle
  • Saarstein Castle
  • Winery von Othegraven

Wine-growing region Palatinate

The Palatinate is a prime example of the continuing trend towards the cultivation of red varieties in Germany. Although the region was planted with over 90 per cent white grape varieties around 35 years ago, red varieties now account for around 38 per cent. This is not surprising in a region characterised by almonds and lemons, peaches and figs, and early spring. 

The history of the Palatinate is rich in viticulture and tourists who come from Holstein to Japan to visit the German Wine Route. The wine-growing history goes back to antiquity, when archaeologists found ancient amphora shards. Today, winegrowers from the Palatinate are known for their Grossen Gewächse made from Riesling and Spätburgunder. 

The Palatinate is Germany's second largest wine-growing region and stretches from Worms to the French border, with a focus on Riesling, followed by Dornfelder and Pinot Gris. Pinot Noirs are increasingly attracting attention among wine lovers.

The Palatinate is particularly known for its Riesling wines and its top red wines, such as Dornfelder, Pinot Noir and Portugieser. Burgundies, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, are also a staple in the Palatinate range. Other special wines of the region are Blanc de Noir and Regent. The Palatinate is also known for the Palatinate Wine Route and the world's largest wine festival in Bad Dürkheim.   

Top winegrowers in the Palatinate:

  • Winery Philipp Kuhn
  • Winery Dr. Bürklin-Wolf
  • Christmann Winery
  • Winery Bassermann-Jordan
  • Winery Reichsrat von Buhl
  • Knipser Winery
  • Winery Müller-Catoir
  • Winery Koehler-Ruprecht
  • Winery Ökonomierat Rebholz
  • Winery Von Winning
  • Winery Friedrich Becker

Franconia wine-growing region

The Franconian region has a long tradition of viticulture and covers an area of over 6,000 hectares, from Bamberg to Aschaffenburg. The majority of the vineyards are located on protected sites along the Main River and on the slopes of the Steigerwald.

Franconian wines have their own character and are often described as "gnarly", and "Franconian dry" is a term for the fact that the wines are usually fully fermented and have little or no residual sugar left. Silvaner was once the main grape variety, even though it has since been overtaken by Müller-Thurgau, Franconia and Silvaner are still regarded as a distinctive unit. Bacchus, Kerner and Riesling also grow here. Red wines are rare and you are most likely to come across a full-bodied Spätburgunder or Schwarzriesling in the Untermain or Steigerwald regions.

The climate and soils in Franconia are ideal for viticulture and contribute to the special flavour of the strong and stimulating wines. There are many organic winegrowers in the region, especially on the Volkacher Mainschleife. Despite adverse circumstances such as the appearance of phylloxera in the 19th century, viticulture in this area has never greatly diminished. Today, a large part of Nordheim's inhabitants live from wine as their main or sideline occupation and the town is the largest wine-growing area in Franconia with more than 400 ha.

Top vintners from the region in Franconia are:

  • Winery Horst Sauer
  • Winery Rudolf May
  • Winery Bürgerspital zum Heiligen Geist
  • Winery Rudolf Fürst
  • Winery Fürstlich Castell'sches Domänenamt
  • Winery Rainer Sauer
  • Juliusspital Winery
  • Winery of the City of Klingenberg - Benedikt Baltes
  • Winery am Stein - Ludwig Knoll
  • Winery Hans Wirsching
  • Winery Zehnthof Luckert

Winegrowing region Rheinhessen

In Rheinhessen, Germany's largest wine-growing region, wines are produced on an area of around 27,000 hectares of vineyards. The region is divided into the areas of Nierstein, Bingen and Wonnegau and produces more than a quarter of Germany's wine must harvest each year. Although the name Rheinhessen is misleading, as the region is located in Rhineland-Palatinate, it is bordered by the Rhine to the north and east, the Nahe to the west and the Palatinate to the south. The wine trade and largest city in the area is Mainz.

The climate and soil conditions in Rheinhessen make for a variety of interesting wines. The vineyards are protected from heavy rain and cold north winds by the Taunus, the Soonwald and the Donnersberg massif, which ensures a mild climate. The steep slopes are mainly found in the area around Nierstein, Nackenheim and Bingen, while in the hinterland, gentle hilly landscapes dominate the vineyard area. The soils range from loess and sedimentary soils to fine sandy marl to quartzite and porphyry weathered soils.

The frequently cultivated grape varieties are Riesling, which has pushed Müller-Thurgau into second place, Dornfelder and Silvaner. Overall, white wines make up more than 70 percent of the supply. The most full-bodied Riesling in Germany comes from the Rote Hang between Nierstein and Nackenheim. While the wines from the hill country, which are usually sold under the name of flowery Großlagen or Liebfrauenmilch, are simple consumer wines, the outstanding and noteworthy qualities sometimes struggle to attract attention. Ingelheim is a well-known wine-growing region in Rheinhessen and is home to some of the region's best wineries.

Top wineries from Rheinhessen are:

  1. Winery Battenfeld Spanier
  2. Winery Kühling-Gillot
  3. Winery Gunderloch
  4. Winery Klaus-Peter Keller
  5. St. Antony Winery
  6. Wagner-Stempel Winery
  7. Winery Wittmann

Baden wine-growing region - Germany

The Baden wine region is a diverse and rich growing area that stretches along the Upper Rhine Plain from Tauberfranken to Lake Constance. It is divided into nine areas that differ in landscape and climate. The soil types range from gravel, marl and clay to chalk, loam and loess to shell limestone and Keuper. The growing area is the third largest in Germany and has a vineyard area of 16,000 ha.

Baden is famous for its Burgundy varieties, which develop particularly well in the warm climate, such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Auxerrois. Other commonly grown varieties are Gutedel, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner and Schwarzriesling. A speciality is "Badisch Rotgold", in which grapes of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are pressed together. Pinot Noir Weissherbste and Pinot Noir aged in barriques are also popular. What all Baden wines have in common is that they are very full-bodied and ideally suited to the excellent regional cuisine.

Baden is also a popular tourist destination with sights such as Heidelberg, Constance and Baden-Baden as well as the famous Baden Wine Route. There are also many wine festivals and tastings where visitors can sample the region's wines and enjoy the beauty of the landscape.

A list of wine producers in Baden

  • Winery Ziereisen
  • Winery Dr. Heger
  • Winery Holger Koch
  • Salwey Winery
  • Winery Stigler
  • Winery Bernhard Huber
  • Franz Keller Winery

Winegrowing region Württemberg

The wine-growing region of Württemberg has a very high proportion of red wine and, with 11,175 hectares of vineyards, is Germany's fourth-largest wine-growing region. On average, about 10-12% of the German must harvest comes from here, almost 85% of which is processed and marketed by winegrowers' cooperatives.

The Württemberg wine-growing region is one of the most traditional in Germany and stretches from Taubergrund in the north to Lake Constance. It is divided into five areas: Kocher-Jagst-Tauber, Württembergisch Unterland, Remstal-Stuttgart, Oberer Neckar and Württembergischer Bodensee. The centre of Württemberg's viticulture lies between Ludwigsburg and Heilbronn as well as in Stuttgart and its eastern outlying communities.

In the Middle Ages, Württemberg was Germany's largest wine-growing region alongside Franconia, but the area under vines has been greatly reduced since then. Nevertheless, winegrowing in Württemberg has a long history and was the birthplace of the German winegrowers' cooperative system in the 19th century.

Most of the vineyards are located in the river valleys of the Neckar and its tributaries. The Black Forest, the Odenwald and the Swabian Alb provide a mild climate in the sheltered locations. The soil conditions are very varied and the sites are comparatively high. Compared to neighbouring wine-growing regions such as Baden, Pfalz or Rheingau, there are rarely larger contiguous vineyards in Württemberg.

Besides the Ahr, Württemberg is the only German wine-growing region in which red grape varieties predominate, accounting for almost 70% of the area, such as Trollinger, Schwarzriesling and Lemberger. Viticulture plays a major role in everyday life in Württemberg and a large part of the harvest is consumed locally. Overall, Württemberg offers a wide variety of wines that go well with regional cuisine and are an alternative to the better-known growing regions.

Top vintners from the Württemberg wine region:

  • Winery Jürgen Ellwanger
  • Schnaitmann Winery
  • Winery Karl Haidle
  • Winery Aldinger
  • Winery Dautel
  • Winery Beurer

Winegrowing region Ahr - Germany

The Ahr is a small German wine-growing region located in the middle and lower valley of the Ahr and covering 553 ha of vineyard area. It lies in the shelter of the Eifel and is known for its south-facing steep slopes on which Pinot Noir and Portugieser are grown, as well as other red grape varieties such as Dornfelder and Frühburgunder.

The climate in the narrow Ahr valley is very mild and similar to the Mediterranean climate, which favours the cultivation of red wine. The wines produced here are velvety and less tart in flavour, especially the Spätburgunder, which has a bright, velvety-fruity aroma and can develop considerable temperament when fully ripe. The elegant Portugiesers are light and pleasing to the palate.

In addition to red wine, white wines are also grown in the Ahr Valley, especially on deep, loamy soils of the lower Ahr Valley. Here you will find refreshing white wines such as tangy Rieslings and light, spicy Müller-Thurgau.

A special highlight for visitors to the Ahr valley is the red wine hiking trail, which has been considered one of Germany's most beautiful excursion destinations for over 40 years. It leads high above the valley from Bad Bodendorf through the narrow river valley to Altenahr, where you can visit the Romanesque parish church of St. Maria from 1200 and the ruins of Are Castle. The Ahr valley is also easy to explore by bike, with its many wine villages and cosy wine taverns along the way.

Every year at Whitsun, the wine market takes place, during which Ahrweiler's market square is transformed into a large vineyard for three days. Ahrweiler also offers culturally interested visitors a medieval townscape with well-preserved town walls from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Vineyards in the Ahr region:

  • Winery Meyer-Näkel
  • Winery H.J. Kreuzberg
  • Jean Stodden Winery
  • Winery J. J. Adeneuer

Wine-growing region Nahe - Germany

The Nahe region is a wine-growing area in Germany located between the Moselle and Rhine rivers. Although the region was designated as a wine-growing region in its own right as early as 1935, the current boundaries were only established in 1971 with the wine law. The area is known for its soil diversity and narrow changes that affect the taste of the wine. There are many different soil types such as porphyry, red sandstone, slate, marl, quartzite, loam and loess in a relatively small area.

The wines of the Nahe are very diverse and balanced, with a fruity and often mineral taste. They are grown in the vineyards of the Nahe valley and its tributaries and the landscape is characterised by deep valleys and high, steep rock faces. The Soonwald and the Hunsrück offer protection from northerly winds and in the southern vineyards there is a Mediterranean climate in the summer months, which has a particular effect on the classic white grape varieties. Riesling, Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner are the most commonly cultivated grape varieties, while red wine plays a subordinate role. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the wines of the Nahe were in high demand internationally and were even more expensive than wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy.

Winegrowers from the Nahe region:

  • Diel Castle Estate
  • Winery Schäfer-Fröhlich
  • Winery Dönnhoff
  • Hermannsberg Estate
  • Winery Emrich-Schönleber

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