. . . Main, Elbe, Ahr, Mosel, Saar, Ruwer, Nahe, Neckar and Saale rivers. These are the rivers in areas that are known to produce great German wines. I know many of us associate beer with Germany but Germany is also known for its wine.
To be clear, I am not a wine expert of any kind. Nope, not me. I am just a wine drinker that gets great enjoyment out of trying local wine when traveling.
So what is the story on German Wine?
There are actually 13 wine regions in Germany! That’s a lot of acreage allocated to growing grapes that produce wine. Germany is the most northern country that grows wine, and in fact, its wine began about 100 BC with the Romans. Today Germany produces some very good and diverse wines. Of the grapes grown in Germany, 87% are white and 13% are red. In Germany, if the wine is made from at 85% of one kind of grape that name must be on the label.
Here is a little information on the 4 major wine regions in Germany. Not only do they produce excellent wines but you will also find stunning landscapes, cultural adventures and history to boot!
The Saar and Ruwer rivers are tributaries of the Mosel River where some of the best Rieslings are from. These wines are delicate, fragrant, light bodied and fruity. Well-known labels in this area include: Dr. Loosen, Weingut Von Hovel and S. A. Prum.
This area is full of remarkable villages hugging the river. You could also enjoy a bike ride along the river, tasting wine as you go! Bernkastel-Kues hosts the Middle Mosel Wine Festival which comes complete with fireworks.
This area is home to some of the world’s oldest wine growing estates. The Rheingau is known for its Rieslings that are spicy, fruity and full of flavor. The monastery famous for the Johannisburg Riesling is also in this area and you can enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace while glimpsing beautiful views of the Rhine.
Both Mainz and Rudesheim host wine festivals during August and September where you can take part in the festivities along with sampling wines of the region.
The Pfalz region is the largest wine producing region in Germany! This one region produces wines ranging from Rieslings, to full-bodied Muller-Thurgau and Silvaners to a smooth fruity red from the Portugieser grape.
The region goes on for more than 50 miles and is home to the “German Wine Road” where you can discover romantic spots, history, museums and the wonderful wine. Every September there is a “Sausage Festival” in Bad Durkheim which is actually the largest wine festival in the area! Another item to note, the last Sunday of August the Wine Road is closed to traffic. This would be the perfect time to get out the bikes, skates or walking shoes!
This region is the largest wine producer in Germany and is home to the famous Liebfraumilch wine. Today there are a variety of grapes grown in this region ranging from the red Portugieser and a Pinot Noir from the Spatburgunder grape. You will also find traditional Rieslings and Silvaner wines.
Two wine festivals you won’t want to miss are the Roter Hang Festival in June where the wine tasting booths are out in the vineyards and the Kellerwegfest in Guntersblum. This festival also takes place in the vineyards and has cellars carved out of the hills.
Not one of the larger wine regions in Germany but the Franken region is special for the traditional vessel their wines are bottled in. It is a short, green container called a Bocksbeutel! Very unusual and worth a purchase just for this bottling!