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What are the four highest wine producing regions in Germany?

(1) Rheinhessen
(2) Pfalz
(3) Baden
(4) Württemberg


What percentage of German vineyards are in Rheinhessen?

One quarter of German vineyards are in Rheinhessen.


Describe the climate of Rheinhessen.

It is relatively warm and dry, sheltered by various mountain ranges, including Hunsrück and Taunus.


Where are vineyards in Rheinhessen predominately planted?

The majority of Rheinhessen vineyards are planted on the warm, fertile valley floors which are ideal for the production of high volumne, inexpensive wines.


Where did Liebfraumilch originate?

Liebframilch originated from Worms in the southern Rheinhessen.


Describe the grapes planted in Rheinhessen.

White grapes dominate in Rheinhessen (just under 71% of plantings). Riesling is most planted grape, just ahead of Müller-Thurgau, which, along with other German crosses, is mainly used in inexpensive blends. Other sizeable white plantings include Silvaner, Grauburgunder, and Weissburgunder. Dornfelder is the leading black variety, almost double the vineyard area of Spätburgunder.


Who dominates the bulk wine production in Rheinhessen?

The merchant houses control most of the bulk wine production in Rheinhessen, which dominates production. Plantings are on the rise to supply it.


What area in Rheinhessen is known for producing high-quality wines?

The longest established Rheinhessen quality region is Rheinterrasse, a stretch of steeply-sloping vineyards on the west bank of the river around Nierstein and Oppenheim. The east-facing aspect means lots of warming morning sun in the coolest part of the day, enhancing ripeness. Proximity to the Rhine and its moderating influence also means that evening and autumn temperatures remain warmer than in vineyard areas away from the river, extending the ripening period. Rieslings from Rheinterrasse often show ripe lemon and peach flavours.


What area of Rheinterrasee in Rheinhessen has the best reputation?

Within the Rheinterrasse, the vineyards within the strip known as Roter Hang around Nierstein and neighbouring Nackenheim are particularly reputed. The Roter Hang is distinguished by its Rotliegenden soil, an iron-rich red soil consisting of slate, clay, and sandstone. Rieslings from Roter Hang show smoky characteristics.


Describe the Wonnegau ares in south Rheinhessen.

Wonnegau vineyards are now gaining a reputation for high-quality Riesling and Spätburgunder. These vineyards also benefit from the moderating influence of the Rhine. Significant producers include Weigut Gunderloch on the Rheinterrasee and Weingut Keller closer to Worms.


Describe Pfalz.

The vineyards of Pfalz are not centred along a river valley (unlike most winegrowing regions in Germany). Instead they include a narrow strip of vineyards squeezed between the Haardt Mountains to the west and the Rhine plain to the east. The Pfalz region runs north from Alsace: the Haardt are a continuation of the Vosges and produce a similar rain shadow effect, making Pfalz the driest German wine-producing region and the only one where drought can be a concern.


Describe the grapes of Pfalz.

Pfalz, only slightly smaller than Rheinhessen, has production that's not far behind. White grapes dominate: <66% of plantings. Riesling accounts for 1/4 of total plantings, followed by Müller-Thurgau, Grauburgunder, and Weissburgunder. The climate suggests considerable potential for red wine production. Dornfelder is the most planted black variety and second overall, but Spätburgunder is on the increase.


Describe the wine style of Pfalz.

Becuase of the warmer temperatures, Pfalz wines tend to be slightly fuller-bodied with riper fruit flavors than those from Rheinhessen.


Where are the most reknowned vineyards in Pfalz?

The most renowned vineyards in Pfalz are in an area known as the Mittelhaardt around Bad Dürkheim, Wachenheim, Forst, Deidesheim, and Ruppertsburd in the northern part of Pfalz. The south- or east-facing steeply-sloping vineyards in the foothills of the Haardt gain maximum sunshine an dare protected from winds, contributing to the production of full-bodied Riesling.


Describe the soils in Mittelhaardt in Pfalz.

There is a wide variety of soils in Mittelhaardt, including limestone, sandstone, basalt, and clay, which producers are exploiting to give wines of differing characteristics and flavors.


Describe Südliche Weinstrasse in Pfalz.

Südliche Weinstrasse, with its more fertile sandstone soils, was traditionally an are for inexpensive wines, but a new generation of winemakers has led to an increase in quality in the wines, particularly Spätburgunder, Grauburgunder, and Weissburgunder. Like Alsace, this souther part of the Pfalz has experience periods of both French and German rule, and is one reason, alongside suitable climatic factors, that Pinot grapes continue to be common in the area.


Describe the wine producers in Pfalz.

As in the Rheinhessen, high-volume production in Pfalz is dominated by merchant house, whilst higher quality wines tend to come from small estates and a number of quality-focused co-operatives. Significant producers include Dr. Bürklin-Wolf and the cooperative Winzerverein Deidesheim.


Where are the three subregions (bereiche) of Baden?

(1) The main vineyard area is on the eastern side of the Rhine, opposite Alsace. It stretches from just north of Heidelberg to the Swiss border in the south. Like Alsace, it benefits from the rain shadow of the Vosges Mountains.
(2) There is a vineyard area between Franken and Württemberg.
(3) There is a vineyard area east of the Bodensee (Lake Constance.)


Describe the climate of Baden.

Baden are Germany's warmest, sunniest and driest wine-producing regions.


Describe the different Spätburgunder wines in Baden.

Spätburgunder (the most planted variety in Baden) come in a variety of styles are often have complex flavors enhanced by oak ageing. They come in a variety of styles thanks to Baden's varied soils and microclimates.
(1) The steep, south-facing slopes around Kaiserstuhl an extinct volcano, produce the fullest-bodied wines with high alcohol and complex, smoking ripe fruit flavors.
(2) In cooler areas (such as the bereich of Ortenau) and on significant pockets of calcareous soil (such as the bereiche of Tuniberg and Breisgau) the wines have more acidity and more delicate fruit flavours.


What percentage of Baden plantings are white?



Describe the white wines of Baden.

The warm, dry conditions make Baden ideal for the production of high volume, inexpensive blends and Müller-Thurgau is the second most planted variety. However, Baden has also been developing a reputation for very good Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, and Chardonnay, often matured in oak. Riesling only takes up a relatively small are in Baden but some high-quality, fuller bodied examples are produced at all Pradikat levels.


Co-operatives are responsible for what percentage of Baden production?

Co-operatives (led by the Badischer Winzerkeller in Breisach) are responsible for around 75% of Baden's production, although there are also many small estates (e.g., Bernhard Huber).


Describe where Württemberg is and what kind of wine it mostly produces.

Located around Stuttgart, to the east of Baden and south of Franken, Württemberg currently produces mainly light, fruity red wines which are mostly consumed on the domestic market.


Describe how production in Württemberg is managed.

The vast majority of production comes from the central co-operative, Möglingen. However, this is starting to change as a number of smaller estates are gaining a reputation for producing very good quality wines, especially on the steep, terraced vineyards above the river Neckar and tributaries.


Describe the wine varieties and styles in Württemberg.

The warm summer temperatures in Württemberg are ideal for red wine production and around 70 per cent of plantings are black grape varieties. However, whilst Spätburgunder is increasingly important, the most planted black varieties are Trollinger, Lemberger and Schwarzriesling, giving producers a potential point of difference on export markets. As well as the traditional light and fruity style, fuller-bodied examples with riper fruit flavours and higher alcohol are increasingly being produced, particularly from Lemberger, often with oak ageing. Riesling accounts for over half of all white plantings. Württemberg


Name two significant producers in Württemberg.

Significant producers in Württemberg include Rainer Schnaitmann and the large cooperative Württembergische Weingärtner.


In Mosel, what percentage of wines are white and what percentage are Riesling?

In the Mosel, whites make up over 90 per cent of plantings and Riesling over 60 per cent on its own.


Describe the Mosel region in terms of vineyard sites.

The Mosel is one of the most northerly wine-producing regions in Germany and site selection is essential to ensure grapes can ripen. The best vineyards are on the steep, south-facing slopes overlooking the Mosel which enjoy the best sun exposure and, to a much smaller extent, sunshine reflected from the river. The dark-coloured slate soil also plays an important part in radiating heat


Describe the three sections of the Mosel.

The Mosel is generally split into three sections: the Upper Mosel, Middle Mosel and Lower Mosel. The Middle Mosel is the largest and is home to the majority of the best vineyards.