What climate does the majority of Germany's vineyard areas have?
Cool continental (with the associated viticultural challenges) Wet summers with rain declining in autumn
Where in Germany are vineyards noticeably warmer?
Baden in the far south
What effect does Germany's climate have on grapes?
The long, cool ripening period allows grapes to reach sugar ripeness while retaining acidity
What kind of wines can be made in every region of Germany?
Botrytised sweet wines
Why is there so much variance in German wines from year to year?
Due to high variations in annual water conditions
What is the result of the marginal conditions in Germany?
Small differences in vineyards can have a large impact on the wines produced
Describe the typically best site in all german regions
Steep, often stony slopes Southerly aspect
Describe grape-growing practices in Germany
Worked on by hand In steepest parts, equipment is manoeuvred into place by winches Vines are head-pruned, individually staked with canes tied in at the top of the stakes to maximise grape exposure to light and air circulation
What might the benefit be to a vine's proximity to rivers in Germany?
Reflected sunlight can help grapes to ripen Air movement caused by flowing water can help to protect against frosts
By which oenological characteristic are grapes classified in Germany? What effect does this have on the growing season?
By must weight (level of sugar in grape juice) The harvest can be spread out over a period of weeks and months
It is possible to make a range of Qualitätsweine and Prädikatsweine each year from...
An individual vineyard
How will harvest be performed in vineyards producing different levels of Qualitätsweine?
Pickers will pass through the vineyard several times to ensure that they get the ideal grapes for each category of wine
Besides picking-passes, how else may grapes be sorted for different levels of wine in Germany?
They may be sorted and categorised after each picking
What is the style trend in Germany? What has dictated this?
For dry wines The demands of the local market
How may the red and white wines (of varying quality) of Germany be sold?
Why are the dry red and white mass wines of Germany not usually labelled as Prädikatsweine?
This is largely the preserve of white wines
In terms of vineyard plantings and quality, what is the most important wine grape of Germany?
Which grape must be used for Prädikatsweine?
There are several options
What is the most widely planted grape variety in Germany?
What is the style of Riesling wines in Germany?
It varies due to differences in soil and climate From delicate and floral, to richer peachy fruit character Bone dry to lusciously sweet
How are dry styles of Riesling in Germany often labelled?
What is the style range for dry Rieslings in Germany?
From light and fruity to very concentrated and intense
How are many of the very best dry Rieslings of Germany labelled?
Grosses Gewächs (GG)
Nearly all wines labelled as Prädikatsweine will have...
Up to which category is possible to make a wine in a dry style?
What is the key to understanding Prädikatsweine?
To think of them as an indicator of style
What is the most delicate of the Prädikatsweine styles?
Describe Kabinett wines
What levels of alcohol do they attain?
Light in body
Flavours of green apple or citrus fruit, balanced with residual sweetness
Sweet styles will have an alcohol level of 8-9% abv
Drier styles can reach 12% abv
How can Kabinett wines be made sweet?
By stopping fermentation early (better quality wines) By adding sugar after fermentation (Süssreserve)
Why is stopping fermentation seen as a better quality way of creating sweetness?
It achieves a better sugar/acid balance
Describe Spätlese wines
Made in the same way as Kabinett wines, but more concentrated, riper and with a little more body, alcohol and sometimes sweetness
Citrus and stone fruit aromas (peach or apricot)
Describe Auslese wines
Made from individually selected extra-ripe bunches Richer and riper than Spätlese wines Noble rot can be involved
Describe Beerenauslese (BA) and Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) wines
Noble rot essential to achieving required must weights for TBA - not essential for BA wines, but noble rot still typical Some sites more suitable than others, but these styles not necessarily produced every year Volumes vary considerably when produced Sweet and low in alcohol Flavours of honey, dried stone fruit, candied peel and flowers Some of the best sweet wines in the world
Genuinely rare and made infrequently Very sweet Pure varietal fruit flavours
What is the flavour focus of Eiswein?
Varietal purity The best Eisweins achieve a balance between acidity and sweetness
Which additional winemaking methods may winemakers use to maintain varietal flavours in Eiswein?
Using carefully selected yeast, handling juice with care and avoiding processes which can mask the flavours of the grape such as MLF and new oak
Give an alternative name for Müller-Thurgau
When was Müller-Thurgau created and between which grapes?
Riesling and Madeleine Royale
How does MT compare with Riesling?
It ripens earlier, but does not have the same level of acidity or intensity of flavour
What kinds of flavours can Müller-Thurgau produce?
Attractive floral and fruity flavours
What are quality levels of MT like in Germany?
What is the second most widely planted white grape variety in Germany?
Which white grape is on a steady decline? Why?
Müller-Thurgau The market for inexpensive medium-dry/medium-sweet Qualitätsweine made from the variety has declined
What is Germany's third most widely planted white grape variety?
Where is Silvaner mainly found in Germany?
In those regions where it has traditionally been strong Particularly Rheinhessen and Franken
What style is Silvaner made into?
Dry and sweet styles
What is the profile of Silvaner wines in Germany?
Less acidic and less overtly fruity than Riesling Sometimes have an earthy quality
What kind of quality can Silvaner produce?
High quality on the right sites
Name the 'other' white varieties which are growing in importance in Germany
Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc)
How are Grauburgunder and Weißburgunder often labelled?
Using the French or Italian name
What style are Grauburgunder and Weißburgunder often made into?
How else is Spätburgunder known?
What is the third most planted grape variety in Germany?
What kind of German vineyards does Spätburgunder thrive in?
The warmer sites
Where is Spätburgunder most important in Germany?
Pfalz and Baden
What styles are Spätburgunder wines made into?
Dry Either relatively light and fruity or in a more concentrated style with oak aromas
Which is the second most widely planted black variety in Germany?
What is fairly unique to Dornfelder wines in Germany?
They are very deeply coloured
List three more popular black grape varieties in Germany What style do they usually produce?
Portugieser Trollinger Scwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier) Usually light-bodied and fruity wines, though some intensely coloured and flavoured examples with oak character do exist
How are Germany's less popular red wines marketed?
As Qualitätsweine and consumed by the domestic market
Where is the Mosel region?
Between where it joins the Rhine and the German border and its two small tributaries; the Saar and the Ruwer
Which grapes dominate the Mosel?
White grapes Mostly Riesling
Which varieties are permitted for Grosses Gewächs wines in the Mosel?
Where in the Mosel is production concentrated?
In the centre of the region, in an area called the Middle Mosel
What are the Middle Mosel villages with an established reputation for top-quality wine?
Piesport Bernkastel Wehlen
Describe the best vineyards of the Middle Mosel
Very steep slopes Slate soils Right next to the river
Describe the Riesling wines of Mosel's best vineyards
Lighter in body, lower in alcohol and higher in acidity than those of Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Pfalz
Floral and green fruit flavours
How many plantings of Riesling are in the cooler Saar and Ruwer areas of Mosel
Only a tiny percentage of the overall plantings
How do the best wines of the Saar/Ruwer compare with those of the Middle Mosel?
They are comparable in style and quality, with even more acidity
What can happen in the Mosel in cooler vintages?
Grapes may not ripen in even the best sites The grapes may then be used in sparkling wine production
Where is the Nahe region?
Between Mosel and Rheinhessen
Where are the best sites in Nahe?
On steep, south-facing slopes on the banks of the river Nahe, between the villages of Schlossböckelheim and Bad Kreuznach
What are the best wines of Nahe made from?
What is the most widely planted variety of Nahe?
What style is Riesling made into in Nahe?
Somewhere between that of Mosel and the fuller-bodied style of Rheingau, Rheinhessen and Pfalz
Pronounced acidity of Mosel
Riper fruit character than that of Mosel due to warmer character
Which varieties are permitted for Grosses-Gewächs wines in Nahe?
How is Rheingau best described?
Small but prestigious
Where is Rheingau?
North of Rheinhessen, east of Mosel
Where in Rheingau are most vineyards situated? Describe them
On the slopes of the north bank of the River Rhine (in the west of the region) and the River Main (in the east) They have a southerly aspect
Other than their southerly aspect, what other feature of the best sites in Rheingau contributes to their favourable terroir?
The protection from winds offered by the Taunus Hills to the north
Where are the majority of vineyards in Rheingau?
On the slopes to the west of the region and surrounding the villages of Johannisberg and Rüdesheim
Which grape variety dominates plantings in Rheingau?
What style are the wines of Rheingau?
Describe Rieslings of Rheingau
Medium to full-body
Distinctive ripe peach character
What other style of wines can be made in Rheingau? Why?
Some of Germany's best BA and TBA wines
Due to high humidity
Around which village to the east of Rheingau are vineyards centred around?
Describe wines from around Hochheim
Can be riper and fuller bodied due to a slightly warmer climate
Which other grape variety can do well in Rheingau? Where specifically?
To the west of Rüdesheim in the village of Assmannhausen
Which grapes of Rheingau can be used for Grosses Gewächs wines?
What is the largest wine region in Germany?
Which varieties are planted in Rheinhessen?
There's a very broad range of varieties planted
What are the most planted white varieties in Rheinhessen?
Müller-Thurgau and Riesling
Which red varieties dominate in Rheinhessen?
What percentage of plantings do they occupy here?
Which wines of Rheinhessen can be used for GG?
Where are the best wines of Rheinhessen produced?
On the steeply terraced vineyards on the west bank of the Rhine, centred around the village of Nierstein
What are the terraces around Nierstein sometimes called?
What reputation do the Rheinterrasse have in the wine world of Germany?
As producing some the fullest bodied Rieslings in Germany
What other wine movement is happening in Germany? Whereabouts and what is happening?
In some less known parts of Rheinhessen e.g. the area in the south near Worms, top-quality wines have begun to be produced
What reputation does Rheinhessen have?
As a result of its new winemaking movement, it has a reputation for innovation and excellence
What is the second largest wine producing area of Germany?
How can the vineyards of Pfalz be seen geographically?
As a continuation of the vineyards of Alsace
Describe the vineyards of Pfalz
They run in a narrow 80km strip from the french border and lie to the east of the Haardt mountains (which are a continuation of the Vosges mountains)
Describe the climate of Pfalz and its effect on vines
It is the driest of the German regions and the vines can suffer from water stress
What is the most widely planted variety in Pfalz?
What reputation does Pfalz have in Germany for winemaking?
It has the longest reputation for high quality winemaking
Which other white grape is widely grown in Pfalz?
Increasing plantings of Grauburgunder and Weißburgunder
What percentage of vineyard area do black grape plantings account for in Pfalz?
Just under 40%
What is the second most planted grape of either colour in Pfalz?
Which other red grapes are grown in Pfalz?
Portugieser (for the local market)
Spätburgunder (which is gaining an international reputation)
From which varieties can GG wines be made in Pfalz?
Where are Pfalz's most established quality vineyards located?
What is the collective name for Forst and Deidesheim?
Where in relation to Mittelhaardt are the vineyards?
On the steep slopes to the west
What is the style of wines produced in Mittelhaardt?
Ripe and fuller-bodied
Besides Rheinhessen, where else in Germany are new and young producers making top-quality wines?
What style are the wines of Pfalz being made into?
What is the warmest/most southerly region of Germany?
What are the wines of Baden like?
Fullest-bodied with highest alcohols
Describe the size of Baden
The vineyards are spread over a large area, but in terms of vineyard area, it's only the third largest in Germany
Where in Baden are most of the vineyards located?
They are spaced out over a narrow strip of land that follows the Rhine to the Swiss border
Around which areas are nearly a third of plantings focused in Baden?
Kaiserstuhl and Tuniberg (opposite Colmar in Alsace)
How and where are the best vineyards of Baden situated?
They are on the south facing slope of Kaiserstuhl (an extinct volcano)
What is the most widely planted variety in Baden?
Which area has the best reputation for Spätburgunder in Baden?
After Spätburgunder, what are the most widely planted varieties in Baden, listed in descending order?
Müller-Thurgau Grauburgunder Weißburgunder Riesling
Which variety can be used for GG wines in Baden?
A range of red and white wines can be used
What is unusual about Franken in relation to the rest of Germany?
Riesling is neither most widely planted, nor is it considered to be prestigious
What is seen as the top wine grape of Franken?
What are the key viticultural characteristics of Silvaner?
Early flowering and ripening Susceptible to frost damage
On what kinds of sites is Silvaner planted in Franken?
In the warmest sites
What is the result of Silvaner being planted in the warmest sites of Franken?
It is able to reach a level of ripeness rarely achieved elsewhere in Germany
Where are the best wines of Franken?
From the south-facing slopes around Würzburg
Describe the best wines of Franken
Dry, with a richness on the palate With an earthy quality
What is distinctive about the way Franken Silvaner is packaged?
They are bottled in distinctive flask-shaped bottles
Which varieties can be used for GG wines?
Silvaner Riesling Weißburgunder Grauburgunder Spätburgunder
How are some German PGI wines labelled?
How is German wine without a GI labelled?
How many delimited regions are there for German PDO wines?
What is the big difference between Germany's delimited regional PDO system and France's?
Germany's is not linked to specific grape varieties
How are German wines typically labelled?
Varietally and classified by minimum must weight at harvest
What are the two fundamental levels in the German classification system?
How is the Prädikatswein level divided?
Into six Prädikat levels
All PDO wines in Germany must come from...
Only one region
What must appear on a German PDO label?
The name of the region For Prädikatsweine, the Prädikat level Varietal labelling is common
Other than Prädikat levels, how may different levels of wines be labelled?
Dry= Trocken Off-dry/medium= Halbtrocken
What is the alternative to Halbtrocken as a labelling term in Germany? Why may this be used instead?
Feinherb Some producers believe 'Halbtrocken' has an association with lower quality wines
What is the legal definition of 'Feinherb'?
There is no legal definition
Other than written indications, how else may sugar levels be deduced for a German wine?
From the wine category or alcohol level
When stated on German labels, how is vineyard location expressed? Give an example
Village name followed by vineyard name Piesporter Goldtröpfchen
How from the location name, may one deduce whether a German wine is from a single vineyard or multiple?
It is not possible from location labelling, but price is a good indicator
List in order, German categories by minimum must weight, from lowest to highest, including what style they can be made into
Qualitätswein - dry to medium sweet Prädikatswein Kabinett - dry to medium sweet Spätlese- dry to medium sweet Auslese - dry to sweet Beerenauslese - sweet only Eiswein - sweet only Trockenbeerenauslese - sweet only
How may quality be indicated on a German label?
There is no legally defined labelling term indicating quality
Which German organisation has attempted to address the issue of labelling quality indications? Who are they?
Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP) A group of producers who have classified the vast majority of the best vineyard sites in Germany
For which wines may Grosses Gewächs be used? How does it appear on labels?
Dry Qualitätsweine from the best vineyard sites
'GG' and a bunch of grapes embossed on the neck of the bottle
When did GG become a part of German law?
It is not a part of German law