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Think outside the Riesling box and delve in to this
overlooked country and experience an array of
multi-layered wines

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German vineyard

Germany's top regions

Mosel vineyard

Originally called Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

Originally called Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, the region changed its name to Mosel in 2007. Taking its name from the Mosel River, the region incorporates the Ruwer and Saar Valleys. Mosel borders Luxembourg and France and has a cool climate. Lots of Mosel’s vineyards are planted on steep slate hillsides – which optimise the vineyards’ exposure to sunlight. Best known for its Riesling which is delicate, fruity, has a great acidity and pronounced minerality. The area is thought to produce to some of the best white wines in the world.

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Pfalz vineyard

The second largest wine region in Germany

It’s a narrow stretch of land that runs from Rheinhessen down to Wissembourg and Alsace on the French border. Sheltered by mountains and with the river Rhine to its east, Pfalz contains some of the warmest vineyards in Germany. The temperate climate provides the ideal conditions for viticulture. Riesling is by far the principal grape and with more of this grape grown here than in any other wine region in the world. When it comes to red grapes, it produces more than any other region in Germany, the most widely planted being Dornfelder as well as Pinot Noir.

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Rheingau vineyard

Growing some of the world’s finest Riesling

Rheingau’s vineyards are planted on the steep slopes on the Tanus Hills around one of the few points the Rhine flows from East to West. The cool climate helps create the perfect conditions for growing some of the world’s finest Riesling is by far the dominant grape and accounts for around 80% of its wines. Second is the red grape, Spätburgunder, also known as Pinot Noir. Its Riesling is elegant and powerful with a distinct acidity. Its Spätburgunder is velvety and medium to full-bodied with blackberry flavours.

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About Germany

German river city

Germany has come a long way over the last 20 years, building a reputation of producing superb complex Rieslings, structured Pinot Noir and crisp, dry Pinot Grigio all that rival those from any other region. It’s a perfect country for wine lovers to explore!

The standard of winemaking expertise across all Germany's picturesque winemaking regions is now second to none at every price level. As well as the traditional medium-dry styles, the country is now producing dry wines that are fresher, more elegant and lower in alcohol than most New World whites.

These lighter-bodied, fruity wines are ideal to drink as an apéritif, yet are versatile with food too, matching well with spicy Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Mexican dishes.

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Germany's wider wine regions


Baden is Germany’s southernmost wine district. Composing of 9 sub-regions it’s also Germany’s warmest wine region. Müller-Thurgau is the most widely planted grape in Baden but it’s best quality wines are made from Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir or Spätburgunder as it’s called in Germany.

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Nahe is a small region around the river of the same name that feeds into the Rhein. This area is often overlooked despite producing excellent wines.

Riesling is Nahe’s dominant grape and it makes elegant, piquant and slightly sweet wine. The other grape varieties grown are Müller-Thurgau and Sylvaner.

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Rheinhessen is the largest wine-producing region in Germany. Its vineyards are planted on steep slopes. Historically associated with Liebfraumilch, a wine that was known for its sweetness and tall bottles in the 20th Century. Nowadays, Rheinhessen produces pleasant and drinkable white and red wines, and makes some fantastic dry, powerful Riesling in the Rhine Terrace near Oppenheim and Nierstein.

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Franken, located east of Frankfurt, is exceptional in that it grows more Sylvaner than any other grape and its wine comes in instantly recognizable bottles that have a flat, round body. It’s cool climate and ripening seasons result in powerful Sylvaner wines unlike any other. Riesling and Müller-Thurgau are also grown here.

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Ahr, in the north of Germany, is a tiny wine region renowned for its stunning red wines, particularly Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). Ahr’s long, cool growing season results in luscious, full-bodied wines with sweet cherry flavours. Other grapes grown in Ahr include Riesling, Portugieser and Müller-Thurgau.

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Classification of German wines

This is a complex system and is still evolving, however essentially German wine production can be divided into “Fruity” wines and dry or “Trocken” wines.

Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA), or quality wine from a specific region.
Prädikatswein, (superior quality wine) These prominently display a Prädikat (ripeness level designation) on the label which range from off-dry to intensely sweet:

Kabinett - typically semi-sweet with crisp acidity, but can be dry if designated so.

Spätlese - meaning "late harvest" - typically semi-sweet, often (but not always) sweeter and fruitier than Kabinett.

Auslese - meaning "select harvest" made from very ripe, hand selected bunches.

Beerenauslese - meaning "select berry harvest" made from overripe grapes individually selected from bunches and often affected by noble rot, making rich sweet dessert wine.

Eiswein (ice wine) made from grapes that have been naturally frozen on the vine, making a very concentrated wine.

Dry wines are always labelled Dry or Trocken and the very best from specific sites are given the designation Grosses Gewachs and Erste Gewachs – this roughly equates to the French “Grand Cru” and “Premier Cru”.