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The Country of White Wines

The most famous wine in Germany goes to the elegant and fruit-aromatic white wines made from the Riesling grape variety. Being reputable of its powerful and pure aroma, it varies from dry and crisp to a well-balanced body. Riesling is also distinctive in retaining its high level of acidity even at the state of high ripeness levels. For decades, Germany has been recognized as the country of white wines.


From the ancient times to present, German wines have been principally developed in the west side of Germany, along the riverside of Rhine. The oldest wine plantation had evolved since the Roman Era.

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Riesling Grape

Despite the primary focus on white wines, red wine also began to surge in the 1990s and early 2000s. German wine-growers were mainly devoted in cultivating dark-skinned grape varieties, and Pinot Noir has been in the lead. Today, Germany holds 13 wine-growing regions with vineyards total of 102,000 hectares of which only account for one-tenth of those areas in France and Italy. With limited growing regions, Germany is known as the eighth largest wine-producing country in the world with white wines occupying almost two thirds of the total yield.

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Located Northerly in the world, the micro-climate near the rivers is conducive to produce high quality wines. Naturally, the river balances the temperature of the region while the hilly landscapes allow plants to absorb most of the sunshine. However, the steep hills results in low producing efficiency due to the difficulty in harvesting. Given the difficulties, Germany is still among the top ten countries for the annual wine production in the world. German grape varieties are mostly lower in ripeness level with a higher content of acidity.

Riesling vineyards at Rudesheimer Berg along the River Rhine

The German wine classification system imposed by the German Wine Law in 1971 has put emphasis on the ripeness level of grapes and must weight- the amount of sugar content in the grape juice. Misconceptions lies in between some consumers who assume the system as identifying the quality of wines. The ripeness refers to the sugar content at harvest instead of reflecting the sugar content in the final wine. German wines has been officially classified as Table wines and Quality wines. Table wines are generally light and natural wines with inexpensive prices while the quality wine is distinguished by specific regions and by the specific attributes of superior quality wines.

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German Wine Classification

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