Mosel: wine traveller ante portas
Rheingau: old press for new wine
The German wine regions are to be found on the same degree of latitude as Newfoundland, but its climate is very much influenced by the Gulf Stream. The German wine growing regions are: Pfalz (Palatinate), Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Rheingau, Nahe, Franken (Franconia), Rheinhessen, Baden, Württemberg, Mittelrhein, Ahr, Hessische Bergstrasse, Saxony and Saale-Unstrut.
Germany produces mostly white wine varieties (75%), but also produces some very good reds - usually from the Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).
Rheingau: Another hidden winery
Rheinhessen: Tradition, not just in wine.
Also known as "the Tuscany of Germany" where you can find fig trees and oleander growing wild beside the vineyard. Bordered by the Rheinhessen region to the north and France on the south and west, the vineyards of the Pfalz cover 50 miles of this beautifully scenic landscape and produce some of the best Riesling wines in the world.The best ranked wineries are found in the northern half of the Pfalz in the villages of Deidesheim, Wachenheim, Forst and Ruppertsberg.
The Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region comprises the valley of the River Mosel from where it joins the Rhine at Koblenz to just south of Trier and its two small tributaries the Saar and the Ruwer. The Mosel River winds its way past incredably steep, slaty slopes covered with some of Germany's most famous vineyards.The best wines come from the mineral-rich, slate slopes and are made from Riesling (which accounts for 55% of total plantings). Riesling wines of great elegance grow best on the steep, southern-facing slopes, particulary around Scharzhofberg and Wiltingen in the Saar-Ruwer district and in the Middle Mosel district around Piesport, Bernkastel, Wehlen, Graach, Brauneberg, Zeltingen and Erden.
The Rheingau, located between Hochheim on the Main River and Lorch near the Mittelrhein produces some of the finest German wines. Riesling predominates plantings with over 80% of vines being this grape variety. Here the Riesling develops to perfection, producing noble, elegant wines.
The valley of the Nahe, to the west of the Rhine and south of the Mosel comprises a variety of different soils. In the North it is predominantly sandy loam, here Muller-Thurgau and Silvaner are grown. On the southern slopes, Riesling is the main vine variety.
The vineyards of Franken are to the east of Frankfurt in the River Main valley. The wines are made from Muller-Thurgau and Silvaner and generally have a firm steely taste. The Frankish Silvaner is probably the best that you will find. The Franken region is also famous for its traditional flat flagon-shaped 'Bocksbeutel'.
The other wine-growing regions, Rheinhessen, Baden, Württemberg, Mittelrhein, Ahr, Hessische Bergstrasse, Saxony and Saale-Unstrut are also covered in our programme.
Baden: Where the vines meet the lake
Baden: Vineyards at Lake Constance
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