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  • 1. GERMAN WINES Introduction: Germany is the northern-most wine region of Europe. It does not make many wines, the total production is just 10% of France and Italy and about 1% of worlds total. But it produces some of the major dry whites and sweet whites. The wines are primarily in the valleys of Rhine (Rhein in German) and Moselle (Mosel in German) rivers. Because of this northern location, the summers are short and crops are damaged by severe frosts. The vines are planted on riverbanks. Due to shortage of sun the grapes do not ripen properly therefore making it more acidic. German wines are best consumed on their own or with dessert but not with any strongly flavored foods. History: The origins of viticulture in Germany can be traced back to the Romans, at the first century. The earliest vineyards existed at the left bank of the Rhine, and plantings spread to the Mosel probably around the 3rd century. The vine advanced further in the Middle Ages, mainly through the church, its monastries in particular. In the Rheingau, Benedictines founded an abbey which later became the Schloss Johannisberg. Kloster Eberbach was established by Cistercians in 1135. The planting of vines reached a high point in the 15th century, when the area under vine was four times larger than it is today. This included Alsace, which was the most highly esteemed region during that period. The most important early variety was probably Elbling. Silvaner, Muskat, Traminer, Sptburgunder, and Trollinger were also known. Riesling arrived relatively late, and is first reliably documented in the Rheingau in 1435 and in the Mosel not much later. Different varieties were generally mixed within a vineyard, rather than carefully distinguished. A serious crises developed around the 17th century, when prices fell, due to overproduction and competition from beer. The 30 Year War raged, which ended in 1648, with Alsace becoming a French province. In the wake of the disaster, quality improved as unsuitable land was returned to other uses. Riesling replaced lesser varieties, often by decree from political and clerical authorities. The term "Cabinet" was first used in 1712 by the Kloster Eberbach to indicate wines of superior quality. In 1720 the first monoculture of Riesling was planted at Schloss Johannisberg. Noble Rot was discovered a little later, and Kloster Eberbach produced a successful wine from botrytised grapes in 1753. The invention of Sptlese is generally dated at 1775, when the harvest at Schloss Johannisberg was delayed by accident, resulting in a late harvest of largely rotten grapes. The wines made from these grapes became a legend. In the 19th century, in the wake of the French occupation, most of the church's wine estates were secularised. Technological progress, such as the invention of the ``Oechsle" must weight scale, helped to further improve the wines. In many ways, German wine
  • 2. entered a golden age. The great estates of the Rheinpfalz and Mosel-Saar-Ruwer rose to fame, alongside the Rheingau. At the hight of its prestige, Rhine wine generally sold at prices above those of first growth Bordeaux. The Mosel's first Trockenbeerenauslese was made by the Thanisch estate from the Bernkasteler Doctor vineyard in 1921, and created something of a ``Doctor cult". Yet, times were not easy during the deterioration of the political and economic situation in the early 20th century. Phylloxera added to the troubles. The worst blow to German wine since the 17th century came with the Nazis, when the 2nd world war eventually devastated Germany's wine regions, along with much of the rest of Europe. German Wine since 1945 German wine industry slowly began to loose its way in the economic miracle". Post war western Germany saw large increases in wine production, and consumption. New vineyards were planted, usually on flat land which was accessible to machines, and suitable for production of high quantities of wine at lower costs. The Mosel area for example expanded to twice its size by planting on the valley floor and on slopes that are famously "gently rising to the south". New crossings of varieties were introduced. The notorious wine law of 1971 cemented the confusion of must weight with "quality in the glass", and allowed labels to carry the names of large, undistinguished vineyards zones, with no indication of their inferiority to the finest single sites. Facts of German wines Most Northerly of wine growing countries. Produces most lightest, and delicate white wines. Low in alcohol exquisitely balanced. Practice of harvesting grapes at various degrees of ripeness. National drink of Germany is beer. Soil: Lime Stone, Slate, Clay, Loam, Sand Climate Germany lies north of equator therefore its wine producing regions are the coldest in the world.. Short summers. Rivers regulate the temperature. Late harvesting (starting from middle or end of November) provides aromas to grapes. Lack of heat and cool nights leave ripe grapes with good sugar levels but also high acid levels.
  • 3. White Grape Varieties Muller thurgau : wine flowery bouquet, mildly acidic. Swiss Dr. Muller from the canton of thurgau developed by cloning Riesling and silvaner. Riesling : balance between sweetness and acidity. Silvaner : mild acidity full body.,more user friendly. Grauburgunder : also called Rulander makes oily sweet wines. Gewrztraminer : makes rich fruity wines. Weissburgunder : used to make dry wines. Red Grape Varieties Spatburgunder : wines are velvetty full bodied Portugieser : flavourful, light, mild Trollinger : ripens very late, fruity, good acidity WINE GROWING REGIONS Rhine Regions: RHEINGAU: Germanys most central wine region. It is a long hillside by the thick forests of the Taunus Hills and bordered by the Rhine river. The Mediterranean-type climate produce densely rich flavors and elegant wines. Famous for its sweet, botrytis affected QMP wines. Main grape varieties : Riesling, Spatburgunder Soil : quartz, clay, loam and sandy. Climate: Vines protected from cold due to mountains & river. White Wines - Schloss Johannisberg, Steinberger,Schloss Vollrads. Wines are fragrant, acidic and with great character and elegance. PFALZ: Bounded by the Rhine on the eastand Haardt mountains on the west. Formely known as Rheinpfalz and before that Palatinate (some Pope of ages past lived here) The largest producer of wines and known for its inexpensive wines Wines are aromatic,mild, round and fullbodied. Main Grape Varieties- Mueller-Thurgau,Riesling, Kerner, Silvaner, Portugieser. Soil: Laom,sandstone, limestone, granite and clay. Climate: Sunniest and driest wine producing areas.
  • 4. Popular Wines :Deidesheimer (W),Ruppertberger (W), Durkheimer (R) RHEINHEISEN: Lies in the valley of hills bordered by Nahe River on the west and north and east by the Rhine. The second largest producer. of wines and produces both red and white wines. Popular for LIEBFRAUMILCH-Generic style, of a blend of lower quality wines, that people connect with. Grapes used - Muller Thargau, Silvaner, Riesling, Portugieser, Spatburgunder. Soil : Loess , limestone, sandy. Climate: Temperate. Popular Wines : Blue Nun (S), Guntersblumer (R), Niersteiner (W),Oppenheimer (W), Bodenheimer (W) Wines are fragrant, mild, soft, medium bodied. MITTERHEIN: Lies between Bonn and Bigen on the stretch of Rhine valley. Main grape variety : Riesling. Soil: Slate and Climate: Temperate. International star wine is Toni Jost. NAHE: Named after its river and lies on the west of Rheinhessen and east of Mosel. Main Grape Varieties : Riesling, Mueller-Thurgau, Silvaner. Soil: slate, sandstone, loam. Climate: Temperate,sunny, no frosts. Popular wines: Schlossbockelheimer ( W), Munsterer ( W ) Wines are fruity, fragrant and full of flavour. Moselle Regions MOSEL SAAR RUWER: This region follows the Mosel river and its tributaries, Saar and Ruwer. The region produces the excellent white wines. Soil : sandstone, limestone and slate. Climate : Moderate. Main Grape Varieties : Riesling, Mueller-Thurgau, Elbling Wines are fragrant, piquant, fruity, and delicate White wines : Bernkastler Doctor, Piesporter, Wiltengener. Both bottles of Moselle and Rhine are tall fluted but Rhine bottles are brown while moselle bottles are green
  • 5. Mosel region has its generic equivalent to Rheins LIEBFRAWMILCH and generic wines were named selblumchen (little flower of Moselle) now called as Moselleseltaler. FRANKEN: Easternmost wine region and also known as Franconia. The wines are bottled in a flat, green, flask shaped bottles named "Bocksbeutel. These wines are often dry and similar to French wines often refered as Steinwein and drunk in stein mugs Main Grape Varieties: Mueller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Bacchus Soil: sandstone, limestone, clay and loess. Climate: Continental with warm dry summers and cold winters. Popular Wines : Casteller (W), Wurzburger (W). Wines are vigorous,earthy, robust, dry, acidic ( due to cold winters and late spring climate ) and full bodied. Other Wine Regions AHR: Germanys most northerly region, along the Ahr river, as it flows into the Rhine. Smallest Germa