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Germany has a two thousand year old wine culture. But previously imported wine was drunk, which one in a Celts found grave Greek wine bottle clay proves dating from around 400 BC. The oldest vineyards were located on the banks of Rhine , Neckar and Moselle . These flows with the long valleys, and its tributaries are still the classic regions. The vineyard was established by the German colonization of the Greeks in Gaul and then by the Roman culture brought to perfection. Through submission of Gaul by Julius Caesar (100-44 BC), the Roman viticulture from the Rhône valley came to the Rhine. Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus (232-282) contributed by promoting measures for the further expansion. In the 5th Century, the wine industry in Germany was already so widespread that Clovis (466-511), the so-called "Salic law" enacted, which provided the theft of a vine is punishable. In the 6th and 7 Century spread of viticulture to southern and northern Germany. King Dagobert I (610-639) is documented as Schenker of vineyards in Church or Monasteries testified. Viticulture in the Palatinate by a document of King III is Sigibert. from the year 653 and is in the 8th Century already well over a hundred in the Palatinate winegrowing communities are mentioned.

Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) gave further impetus for the wine, for he was clearing dense forests and planted with vines from Hungary, Italy, Spain, Lorraine and Champagne. Among other things, he issued the first laws for wine and gave permission to sell the home-grown wine also (see also wine tavern ). Crucial for a sophisticated viticulture was the order of Cistercian , the thousands of monasteries throughout Europe founded and professionally dealt with vineyard care, grape selection and winemaking. In 1136 founded twelve monks from Burgundy 's famous monastery Eberbach in the Rheingau today. Within the next 100 years, between Worms and Cologne 200 branches originated at Rhinebeck . In the 12th and 13 Century, the monastery with its offshoots were, the largest wine company in the world. First, the monks planted vines brought from Burgundy, among them were especially red varieties. They realized soon that the Rheingau thrived best white grape.

In the High Middle Ages (1050-1250) submitted by the impact of the Medieval Warm Period , the cultivation limits about 200 m higher than today, so that agriculture and viticulture experienced a large expansion. The largest vineyard was then the 15th Reaches century with approximately 400,000 hectares (about four times as much as today). At that time, however, was one of the Alsace added with extensive vineyards. The vineyards were located but mainly in low-lying flat layers by Clear heavily wooded areas in the northern Swiss francs. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) left behind as much of Europe in apocalyptic destruction extent of which recovered the German viticulture difficult and very slow. Many former thriving wine regions like Bavaria, northern, eastern and central Germany were no longer planted with vines. But the advent of soft drink as mass began the vineyard too strong. The wine was increasingly scarce and expensive. In 1563 was one piece Hock (1,200 liters) to have for 300 gold coins, 500 gold coins a few years later.

There were no further setbacks with temporally and spatially varying periods of cold weather and resultant poor harvests many it by the effects of the Little Ice Age (1450-1850). Regardless of which took effect from the beginning of the 18th Century the wine boom again. Through the Secularization of the monasteries in the early 19th Century aristocrats mainly took the place of the Monks , which is due to the current standard. Quality began to play a major role. In this context, in the years 1868 and 1897 was the Prussian position classification . At this time came over Germany since the early 1860s, the phylloxera and mildew , which in turn led to severe devastation. In 1892, the first wine law was introduced, where among other things still controlled Sugaring was allowed. In the first half of the 20th Century, there were the two world wars, a major recession and the vineyards shrank to 1945 to less than 50,000 acres. The Wine Trade reached a record low. From the 1950s took place slowly for positive change.

The German wine regions are among the most northerly vineyard in the world, and are thus in the boundary between the hot and humid Gulf Stream climate in the west and the dry continental climate to the east. The versatile floor consists of basalt, sandstone, rock, loess, limestone, porphyry, slate and volcanic rocks. The best vineyards are situated in the north, often the soil unsuitable for other commercial use. In 2007, of 102,000 hectares Millonen 10.261 liters of wine were produced (see also Wine production quantities ). The export is around 25%, the traditional customers are the UK, USA, Netherlands and Japan. In 1972 there were over 100,000 wine growers since made a strong structural change and a huge reduction to now less than half.

Wine Country Area: This quality level was introduced in 1982. Since August 2009, there are now a total of 26 instead of the previous 21 Country Winelands, which are for the most part as sub-sections within the production areas or outside of it. These are Ahrtaler LW, Badischer LW, Bavarian-Lake LW, Brandenburg LW, LW Main (formerly Fränkischer LW), LW Moselle, LW Neckar, LW Upper Rhine, LW Rhine, LW Rhine-Neckar, LW Shockingly, LW the Saar, Mecklenburg LW, LW Central German, Near Gauer LW, LW Palatinate, Regensburg LW Rhine castles - LW, LW Rheingau, Rhine LW, Saarland LW, LW Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein LW, LW Swabian, Starkenburger LW and LW Tauber valley.

Growing area : There are 13 regions, which are divided into regions, regional sites and individual documents. Only in this, the description or quality wine QbA be used. They are mainly in the southwest in the valleys of the Rhine and Moselle rivers and their numerous tributaries concentrated. In the south, they are rather loosely scattered in the landscape. Through the unification in 1990 was the two new regions of Saxony and Saale Unstrut came to the east. Outside the vine-growing areas are on a total of 56 hectares of vineyards also still grown in Bavaria, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein. Which it produced wines may be marketed only as country wines.

Area (BER): With the exception of the Ahr, Nahe and Rheingau wine-growing regions in two or more areas are organized. The areas are divided into large-scale operations.

Great location (L): This comprises a plurality of adjacent, but not necessarily adjacent individual layers. Usually carries the name of this major site formerly famous single location (before reduction). Whereas the indication on the label it is not apparent whether there is a single location or a large position.

Single location (EL): This is the smallest vineyard unit area is large seldom less than five hectares. There are, however, the bandwidth of less than one up to 200 ha. Over the centuries, some 25,000 vineyard names have often developed with a few rows of vines. These were prepared by the Wine Act 1970 and the Country Consolidation in 1971 greatly reduced. Of the remaining 2,709 individual layers but are currently about 50 non-income or under such land partly planted no more.

The following table shows the vineyards of years are shown 1999 and 2009. In this decade, there were only two growing areas percentage considerable changes. When the Mosel region (1999 still Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) this was a reduction of 26.5% or 3,239 acres in cultivation and Saale-Unstrut an increase of 39.1% or 198 hectares. Growing areas of the remaining 11, there were only minor changes. Overall, the total area of ​​Germany decreased by 3.5% or 3,688 hectares:

PRODUCTION AREA BER GL EL OPERATION HECTARES
2009
%-ANT
WHITE
%-ANT
RED
HECTARES
1999
Ahr 1 1 43 637 557 14.2 85.8 510
Baden (Germany) 9 15 315 14,056 15,836 55.9 44.1 15,852
Franconia 3 23 216 4830 6104 80.3 19.7 6080
Hessian Mountain Road 2 3 23 454 427 79.2 20.8 455
Middle Rhine 2 11 111 245 458 84.9 15.1 620
Moselle 6 19 524 4415 8976 90.9 9.1 12,215
Near 1 7 328 781 4163 75.1 24.9 4590
Palatine 2 25 325 4151 23,467 61.5 38.5 23,764
Rheingau 1 11 123 814 3062 85.2 14.8 3249
Rheinhessen 3 24 434 3440 26,480 69.0 31.0 26,436
Saale Unstrut 3 4 37 679 704 73.3 26.7 506
Saxony 2 4 23 2559 461 81.1 18.9 373
Württemberg 6 17 207 10,831 11,435 28.6 71.4 11,224
Rest areas - - - 90 56 - - -
TOTAL 40 164 2709 47,982 102,186 64.0 36.0 105,874

Germany's growing areas are, with one exception in the European Growing zone , only the region of Baden counts (such as Austria) wine-growing zone B. Derived from this, special EU wine law requirements, which under Enrich (alcohol increase), Deacidification , Acidification and sweetening detail are described. Quality and quality wines have an Analytical Review and sensory assessment is carried out, the result is positive, the Official test number provides.

German wine differs from wines from other countries because of its lightness, liveliness and fruitiness. The long growing season and low summer make wines filigree and keep their alcohol. The secret lies in the good balance of sweetness and acidity, in conjunction with the lower alcohol content, this gives a special breed. The wines often by a surprising longevity. Over 140 varieties are officially approved, market significance of it but it just a dozen. In the last ten years, the Blend has changed dramatically. Nearly two-thirds of the grapes are white wine and a good third and rising red varieties. In 1998 the ratio was 71% to 29% white wines red wines had been.

The most common vine is still with over one-fifth share of Riesling, whose stock has fallen in the last decade, only slightly (about 513 ha). The unique climbers are the red New breed Regent (around 12-fold), St. Laurent (about 4.3-fold) and Dornfelder (by 3.7 times), then the Burgundian varieties Pinot Blanc (94%) , Pinot Gris (76%), Pinot Noir (58%), Auxerrois (171%) and Chardonnay (268%), and the new varieties from France (which in 1999 there were not yet), Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Among the losers are the strongest in Germany leading up to 1995 Müller-Thurgau (-40%), Sylvaner (-31%), and the new breeds white Bacchus, Faberrebe, Huxelrebe, Kerner, Ortega and Scheurebe (halving). It is expected that the trend will continue, and especially the Burgundian varieties and French varieties continue to rise sharply. The Blend status 2009 (0 = less than 0.5 ha):

Grape
German main name
In Germany
common synonyms
Color Hectare
2009
% Ant
2009
Hectare
1999
Riesling White Riesling, Rhine Riesling white 22,580 22.1 23,093
Müller-Thurgau Rivaner, Riesling-Silvaner white 13,628 13.3 22,973
Pinot Noir
including Samtrot
Pinot Noir , S. Blue, Blue Castle.
Pinot castle. Clone Samtrot
red 11,733
(~ 400)
11.5 7453
Dornfelder - red 8000 7.8 2142
Sylvaner
Blue Silvaner
Silvaner , Sylvaner white 5187
38
5.1
-
7475
?
Ruland Pinot Gris , Pinot Gris white 4517 4.4 2565
Portuguese Blue Portugal red 4202 4.1 4603
White Burgundy Pinot Blanc , Pinot Blanc white 3941 3.9 2032
Kerner Kerner white 3584 3.5 7465
Trollinger Blue Trollinger, Vernatsch red 2431 2.4 2542
Müllerrebe Meunier , Pinot Meunier red 2303 2.3 2152
Regent - red 2122 2.1 178
Bacchus Early Scheurebe white 1977 1.9 3463
Limberger / Lemberger Blaufränkisch , Blauer Limberger red 1747 1.7 969
Scheurebe Seedling 88 white 1655 1.6 3538
Chardonnay - white 1228 1.2 334
White Chasselas
Red Chasselas
Chasselas , Chasselas white 1132
0
1.1
-
1294
?
Gewurztraminer Traminer , Gewurztraminer white 838 0.8 893
Saint Laurent St. Laurent , St. Laurent Blue red 657 0.6 152
Ortega - white 622 0.6 1213
Huxelrebe - white 613 0.6 1419
White Elbling
Red Elbling
Elbling , Kleinberger white 567
9
0.6
-
1125
?
Faberrebe - white 551 0.5 1807
Sauvignon Blanc Muskat-Sylvaner white 516 0.5 0
Morio Muscat Morio white 488 0.5 1481
Acolon - red 482 0.5 0
Merlot - red 469 0.5 0
Domination - red 405 0.4 ?
Dark Fields - red 341 0.3 213
Cabernet Mitos - red 320 0.3 0
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 295 0.3 0
Frühburgunder Blue Frühburgunder, Clevner red 256 0.2 ?
Cabernet Dorsa - red 234 0.2 0
Yellow Muscat
Red Muscat
Muscatel , Muscat Blanc white 190
2
0.2
-
?
?
Auxerrois - white 190 0.2 70
Heroldrebe - red 147 0.2 ?
Siegerrebe - white 102 0.1 188
Reichensteiner - white 100 0.1 ?
Blauer Zweigelt Zweigelt , Rotburger red 100 0.1 ?
Rieslaner Main Riesling white 87 0.1 ?
John - white 77 0.1 ?
Ehrenfelser - white 85 0.1 ?
Nutmeg Trollinger Trollinger nutmeg red 65 0.1 ?
Würzer - white 65 0.1 ?
Solaris - white 66 0.1 0
Nobling - white 61 0.1 ?
Cabernet Cubin - red 59 0.1 0
Optima Optima 113 white 59 0.1 ?
Dakapo - red 58 0.1 ?
Phoenix - white 48 - ?
Sprinklers - white 42 - ?
Cabernet Dorio - red 37 - 0
Pearl Pearl Alzey white 33 - ?
Chancellor - white 33 - ?
Cabernet Cortis - red 28 - 0
Foundling - white 27 - ?
Syrah Shiraz red 27 - 0
Jewel - white 23 - ?
Gold Riesling (1) Yellow Riesling, Muscat Gold white 21 - ?
Deckrot - red 20 - ?
Schönburger - white 20 - ?
Helfensteiner Blue Weinberger red 19 - ?
Core Modeling - white 17 - ?
Cabernet Franc - red 16 - 0
Rotberger - red 15 - ?
Albalonga - white 14 - ?
Tauberschwarz Blue Hängling red 14 - ?
Rubinet - red 13 - 0
Muscat Ottonel - white 12 - ?
Ehrenbreitsteiner - white 10 - ?
Hegel - red 10 - ?
Rondo - red 10 - ?
Palas - red 8 - ?
Grüner Veltliner Weißgipfler white 7 - ?
Hölder - white 6 - ?
André - red 5 - ?
Malmsey Early Roter Veltliner , Early Red white 5 - ?
Freisamer - white 4 - ?
Merzling - white 4 - ?
Orion - white 4 - ?
Blueburger - red 3 - ?
Bronner (Variety) - white 3 - ?
Marie Steiner - white 3 - ?
Principal - white 3 - ?
Silcher - white 3 - ?
Septimer - white 2 - ?
Arnsburger - white 1 - ?
Dyers grape Teinturier du Cher red 1 - ?
Fontanara - white 1 - ?
Hibernal - white 1 - ?
Pearl of Zala Zala Gyöngye white 1 - ?
Sirius - white 1 - ?
Staufer - white 1 - ?
Malinger Previously Malingre , Early white 0 - ?
Osteiner - white 0 - ?
usual red varieties - red 175 0.2 ?
usual white varieties - white 256 0.3 ?
RED VARIETIES 36,825 36.0 30,704
WHITE VARIETIES 65,361 64.0 75,170
TOTAL 102,186 100 105,874

As a consequence, important wine legal provisions are given. All the resulting valid from August 2009 EU wine market changes are taken into account:

Most weight : The German wine law specifies for each quality grade of a minimum must weight (see further down). It is within the quality classes again differentiated by variety. In order to meet different climatic conditions, these quantities by production area are different.

Yield : The maximum amounts ha hl / defined responsibility of the growing areas and are by production area and in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate also varies quality group. Regardless of the quality group are the 80 hl / ha (Saxony), 90 (Baden, Franken, Saale Unstrut), 100 (Ahr, Hessian Mountain Road, Rheingau), 105 (Middle Rhine, Nahe, Pfalz, Rheinhessen), and 110 (Württemberg) . In Rhineland-Palatinate (regions Mosel, Nahe, Pfalz, Rheinhessen), these are quality wine 105 or 125 for Moselle, 125 for land and grape wine, 150 for German wine, and 200 for base wine (use wine) for the production of sparkling wine or distillates.

Origin / Year / Grape : A Wine must be at least 85% from the specified origin, grape variety and vintage to the specified date. If the foreign share (expressed from a different origin, variety or a year other than in the name), the limit of 15% is reached, then a maximum of 10% foreign unfermented grape juice are added. Because under German law allowed the entire minority interest, including the sweet reserve may not exceed 25%. "German wines" must come from 100% domestic grapes harvested. As of April 2008 with seed varieties are legally 87 Earnings (66 of which are cited in the table), 15 and 12 rootstock varieties Ornamental Vines admitted. Specifying unmixed is only allowed if the wine is 100% from the specified variety.

Sugar content : The name of a certain amount of residual sugar is subject to EU Regulation on optional label included. When dry apply a wine with a maximum of 4 g / l or 9 g / l when the acidity is not more than 2 g / l is lower than the residual sugar. For example, with 8 g / l, this requires at least 6 g / l total acidity. The other levels are medium-dry with 12 g / l or 18 g / l, when the total acid is not more than 10 g / l is lower, sweet with a higher value than for semi-dry but a maximum of 45 g / l, as well as sweet with at least 45 g / l Legally relevant terms are not wine -dry , Franconian dry and tart .

Sweetening (increase of residual sugar): The wine may be sweetened by more than 4% alcohol content (to understand the meaning). It must be restricted as a Fining designated grape used, concentrated grape must and RTK is for wine, quality wine and quality wine forbidden (even limitation of EU law, reason is to preserve the authenticity of the wine). With the addition of grape must to Prädikatswein surface must meet the same quality wine stage.

Enrich (increase in natural alcoholic strength): May (independent wine color and quality) for all types of wine by more than 2% alcohol content are made ​​by the authorized agent (see details below enrichment). Previously was in Germany for agricultural and quality wines only sucrose (dry sugar) allowed. Following a judgment of the European Court was but in 1989 the German wine law changed. Following a successful application may at Quality wines. A. an alcohol content of 15% by volume are not exceeded. When wine is an enriching predicate is generally not permitted (even restriction is against EU law).

Wine categories: In August 2009, EU wine market was valid with fundamental changes to the wine labels and quality levels. In Germany, the new names PGI and PDO were banned by 2011. From 2012, the scheme was in force, the old traditional names wine, quality wine and quality wine (with all predicate stage names) to be allowed to continue to use. In addition, (but need not) the label of the new descriptions "Protected Geographical Indication" and "protected designation of origin" are listed, but not in an abbreviated form. The new levels of quality (see also under Quality System ):

* Wine - equivalent to the now banned as a term table wine
* Wine with grapes and / or vintage indication
* = PGI wine wine with Protected Geographical Indication = Wine Country
* = PDO wine wines with a protected designation of origin = quality wine

Without wine varieties and / or vintage indication - German Wines (formerly Table wine ): Must be made ​​exclusively from grapes harvested within the country. Must come exclusively from vine varieties. Has a minimum natural alcohol content in the zone A of 5% vol (44 ° Oe) and in Zone B of 6% volume (50 ° Oe). Need for any enrichment an actual alcoholic strength by volume of 8.5% vol = having 67 g / l in the zones A and B. Must have a value expressed in tartaric acid total acidity of not less than 3.5 g / l.

Wine varieties and / or vintage indication - German Wine: It may use only approved varieties and stated.

Wine Country or (However, using the end of 2011 to provisionally banned) PGI wine : Do at least 85% of grapes harvested in the circumscribed area, eg Ahrtaler wine. A concentration through cooling is not allowed. An enrichment of the must before fermentation is allowed. The maximum yield per hectare is 15,000 liters of wine. Must taste "dry" or "semi-dry" or higher.

QbA or (However temporarily forbidden to use the end of 2011) PDO wine : Sensory and analytical testing with positive results and awarding the Official test number . The wine must have the characteristics typical of his review and in appearance, smell and taste free of errors. He can for growing areas, but also closer geographical names such areas Großlagen, place names, and individual layers are used. Even vineyard and field names (the site), the wine after the 1971 law were no longer permitted, can continue to be used under certain circumstances again. The wines need product specifications, describe the production (grapes, income, tastes, etc.) and the specific, source-related flavors.

The grapes used must exclusively from vine varieties of the species Vitis vinifera come. They must be in a single "specified region" generally harvested and processed in the specified region for quality wine. The product obtained from the grapes used must in fermentable filled container must be at least the driving of the wine-producing countries for any given region and for each variety set minimum natural alcohol content, have shown. The actual alcoholic strength must be at least 7% vol = 56 g / l of wine and a minimum total alcohol content of 9% vol = having 71 g / l. Addition of concentrated grape must and cold concentration is prohibited.

Prädikatswein : Must meet at least the QbA-criteria. The steps:

Cabinet : At least 67 ° to 82 ° Oe Oe vary region. At least 7% vol = 56 g / l actual alcoholic strength. At least 9% = 71 g / l minimum total alcohol content.

Late vintage : At least 76 ° to 90 ° Oe Oe vary region. By default, there is a "late harvest" and fully ripe condition of the grapes.

Selection : At least 83 ° to 100 ° Oe Oe vary region. There must be a setting apart of all sick and unripe berries.

Beerenauslese : At least 110 ° to 128 ° Oe Oe vary by region. Only largely noble rot or at least over-ripe grapes are used. The naturally occurring alcohol content must be at least 5.5% vol.

Trockenbeerenauslese : At least 150 ° to 154 ° Oe Oe. Must be pressed largely from botrytis grapes.

Icewine : At least 110 ° to 128 ° Oe Oe (as Beerenauslese). The frozen grapes are pressed and pressed, the ice remains in the pomace.

Champagne : A higher quality sparkling wine is called "German sparkling", in this case it is made ​​100% from grapes grown in Germany. The term "bA" indicates that the grapes come from 100% in a specified region.

Other wine labels and wine types: Baden rose gold , Classic , Federweißer , Liebfraumilch , Rotling , Schieler , Schiller wine , Selection and white autumn may be used differently by type under certain conditions.

In Germany, important institutions, bodies, government agencies and research institutions, in connection with viticulture perceive researching, organizing, controlling, journalistic or educational functions: German Wine Academy , DLG (German Agricultural Society), DWF (German Wine Fund), DWI ( German Wine Institute), Freiburg (Germany) , Geilweilerhof , Geisenheim , Society for the History of Wine , VDP (Association of German Wine Estates), ring Franken wine-growing , Vineyard .

The standard German work with regard to wine law is "right wine" (Walhalla-Verlag, William and Joseph Schevardo Koy), which appeared in the June 2012 edition comprises 4068 pages in four folders plus CD-ROM. It offers the right wine to the EU, the Federal Republic of Germany and the federal states. Another major work is the "Wine Law Commentary" by Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Hans-Joerg Koch . See also Wine Law .
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