Free shipping for orders over 59,90€
Delivery in Italy in 1-3 working days | Free shipping for orders over 59,90€ |Callmewine is Carbon Neutral!

Wines from Germany

When you think of Germany, beer immediately springs to mind, although it is often forgotten that this country is one of the world's best producers of white wine. German wines, despite being produced in an area characterised by cold and frost, where vines barely survive, offer some of the most important and long-lived expressions of Riesling, Muller Thurgau and Sylvaner. German production, which is regulated by a particular legislative system based on the degree of ripeness of the grapes, is concentrated mainly along the rivers that cross it. These include Franconia, washed by the river Menio, Mosel near the course of the Moselle, and Pfalz, Rheinhessen and Rehiengau on the banks of the Rhine.

103 results
12,50 € 9,90 
Promo
91 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
94 -@@-9-James Suckling
92 -@@-7-Robert Parker
69,90 € 49,90 
Promo
21,00 € 16,80 
Promo
89 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
20,00 
28,00 € 25,00 
Promo
93 -@@-7-Robert Parker
67,30 
91 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
90 -@@-7-Robert Parker
94 -@@-9-James Suckling
39,00 
97 -@@-7-Robert Parker
94 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
57,10 
93 -@@-7-Robert Parker
91 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
95 -@@-9-James Suckling
75,00 
93 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
97 -@@-9-James Suckling
99 -@@-7-Robert Parker
80,00 
94 -@@-9-James Suckling
92 -@@-7-Robert Parker
44,90 
96 -@@-9-James Suckling
92 -@@-8-Wine Spectator
97 -@@-7-Robert Parker
75,00 

When you think of Germany, beer immediately springs to mind, although it is often forgotten that this country is one of the world's best producers of white wine. German wines, despite being produced in an area characterised by cold and frost, where vines barely survive, offer some of the most important and long-lived expressions of Riesling, Muller Thurgau and Sylvaner. German production, which is regulated by a particular legislative system based on the degree of ripeness of the grapes, is concentrated mainly along the rivers that cross it. These include Franconia, washed by the river Menio, Mosel near the course of the Moselle, and Pfalz, Rheinhessen and Rehiengau on the banks of the Rhine.

The Glorious History of German Wine

The vine arrived in Germany with the Romans in the 1st century B.C., spreading mainly in the fertile areas bordered by the Rhine River and in a few small plots along the course of the Moselle. Contrary to the modern day usage, it seems that red wine was actually the most popular and appreciated drink of the time. Before the rise of Charlemagne, grape cultivation was confined to the area west of the Rhine River, extending as far as the Alsace region. The spread over the whole area, particularly in Franconia and Bavaria, occurred with the Christian monks. During the Carolingian Empire there was a rationalisation of the harvest by monks, nobles and some bourgeois estates which produced excellent quality results. In writings that have survived to the present day, German bottles and Austrian wines based on Sylvaner, Muscat and Traminer grapes are mentioned, while the first evidence of Riesling, which is the most symbolic grape of German soil, dates back to 1435 in the region known as Rheingau. The subsequent Thirty Years' War devastated the territory and considerably reduced the area under vine. It was not until 1700 that viticulture resumed, in a process that lasted more than 100 years and in which the first production rules and a new system of legislation were established. The outbreak of phylloxera at the end of the 19th century and the two world wars brought German winemaking to the brink of collapse. It was not until 1950 that wine-growing flourished again, with the reconstruction of lost vineyards, the enactment of new quality laws and the modernisation of winemaking techniques.


The Legislation

German wines are produced according to very original rules and laws. The system is based on a regulation promulgated in 1971 and amended in 1994, and consists of an initial division into the following types:

  • Tafelwein, or "table wine"
  • Landwein, or "regional" wines
  • Quality wines

The quality wines represent more than 95% of the regional production and are divided into two categories: QbA (Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete) and QmP (Qualitätswein mit Prädikat). The difference is that in the QbA, sugar can be added to the must to obtain a higher alcohol content, whereas in the QmP, which represents the top quality of the region, no sugar can be added. Based on the ripeness of the grapes, which is the degree of sweetness, these QmP German wines can be further divided into:

  • Kabinett: from grapes harvested during the classic harvest period, which have a dry profile and a rather low alcohol content.
  • Spätlese: from late harvested grapes, which can have a slight residual sugar.
  • Auslese: from very ripe grapes selected in the vineyard.
  • Beerenauslese: from selected grapes affected by noble rot.
  • Eiswein: literally "ice wines", from grapes harvested during the winter when they are frozen.
  • Trockenbeerenauslese: definitely the richest, most expensive and sweetest, produced only in the most favourable years from carefully selected grapes, which are dried and affected by noble rot.

The Grape Varieties and Production Areas

Although the climatic conditions are not particularly favourable and the cold weather does not help the vines to grow, German wine, especially white wine, is one of the world's best. Mainly white grapes are cultivated, such as Riesling, Muller Thurgau, Sylvaner and other less common ones such as Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Kerner. Red grapes, such as Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Portugieser, are less common and have only in recent years been rediscovered to produce red wines with a strong personality. The production of Sekt, which are sparkling wines produced mainly using the Charmat method, is interesting and has grown considerably.

There are 13 specific production areas in the region. The most important are:

Franconia, as the name suggests, is located near Frankfurt on the border with Bavaria, where mainly Rieslaner (a hybrid of Riesling and Sylvaner) is cultivated. The product is bottled in the pulcianella or bocksbeutel, which is a type of flask-shaped bottle with an elongated neck.

The Mosel-Saar-Ruwer is an important area for the production of great Riesling wines, which includes the wine-growing areas near the course of the Moselle river, before it joins the Rhine. Viticulture here is decidedly heroic with slopes as steep as 70%. The products of the Mosel are characterised by the famous Rhinelanders, which are tall, slender bottles with green or brown glass.

The Pfalz region covers the area from the western banks of the Rhine to Alsace. It is characterised by an excellent production of passito and botrytised wines based on Riesling or even Kerner, Gewurztraminer and Weissburgunder grapes.

The Rheingau area is the most famous and ideal for the production of white wines based on Riesling, which occupies more than 80% of the vineyard area. It includes the areas to the north and east of the Rhine River.

Lastly, the Rheinhessen area is the largest of the entire region, situated close to the course of the Rhine river. Several cooperatives and large wineries operate here, focusing on the production of simple, inexpensive bottles.

Looking for white wines on special offer? Browse through Callmewine's online catalogue and choose from a wide selection of the best bottles from all over the world.