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Wine Tasting – Understanding The Wines Of Germany

When you reckon of the wines of France the names of the various wine growing regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy immediately spring to mind and yet surprisingly few people could name even one of wine growing regions of Germany. But, most people will have loved one or more of Germany’s world-class wines, especially if they are lovers of white wine.

There are five main wine regions in Germany:

Baden

Baden is the most southerly wine growing area of Germany and lies close to the Black Forest and extends south from Heidelberg down to Lake Constance. It is not the largest of Germany’s wine growing areas, but it is perhaps its most well-known.

The soil in this region is quite varied, ranging from a mixture of gravel and limestone to clay and volcanic stone, and the area supports the Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling grapes as well as the perhaps not so well known Gutedel and Müller-Thurgau.

Mittelrhein

Mittelrhein is a quite small wine producing area running south from Bonn along the banks of the Rhine for a distance of about 100 kilometers.

This area, which boasts a largely clay-like slate soil, supports predominantly Riesling, Müller-Thurgau and Kerner grapes which have a delightful acidity and produce a number of sparkling wines which are simply the best in the world.

This region is also well-known for the wines produced around Bacharach, a village named after the Greek god of wine Bacchus, which has been producing wines of the finest quality since the Middle Ages.

Rheingau

Rheingau is one of the oldest of Germany’s wine regions and is situated between Lorch and Hochheim on the Main River.

The wines of this region, which once graced the table of Queen Victoria, have been developed and perfected over hundreds of years by the inhabitants of the region’s many monasteries and cloisters and today the oenological institutes of the region are rightly recognized as some of the finest in the world.

Rheinhessen

Rheinhessen, is the second largest wine growing region in Germany and lies between the Rhine to its north and east and the Nahe to its west.

The region supports a variety of different soils and micro-climates and has several wine producing communities such as Bingen, Mainz and others. The area is especially well known for its distinguished Portugieser red and the ancient Silvaner.

Pfalz

Pfalz is Germany’s largest wine growing area and is bounded by France to its east and south and by Rheinhessen to its north. The region boast some of world’s finest chalk, marl, and clay soils which support a number of grape varieties including Kerner, Morio-Muskat, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner and relatively new red from the Dornfelder which produces a wonderfully complex and full-bodied wine.

Winemaking within the Pfalz region has been developed to a very fine art and the area rightfully stands at the pinnacle of winemaking.

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