Germany’s Baden Wine Region: Land of Wine & Sunshine

I begin this article with a disclaimer: Baden is one of my favorite wine regions in all of Germany – not that I’ve ever visited a German wine region I didn’t like. I’m heartily biased toward Baden, however, not least because I’ve spent so much time there. Our good friends – the ones who arranged last fall’s winery tour – have taken us all over Baden, ensuring that this warm and inviting part of Germany will always have a special place in my heart.

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Warm Climate, Diverse Soils

When you read about German wines or look for them in your local wine shop, you won’t see Baden wines at the top of anyone’s list, and I can’t figure out why. Perhaps it’s because Baden’s climate is warm, with plenty of sunshine, unlike that of any other German wine region, and so the grapes develop differently. Baden is the only German wine region in climatic zone B – comparable to France’s Loire Valley and Alsace wine regions.

Perhaps, instead, it’s the diversity of Baden wines that make them so hard to characterize. Baden has many different soil types, ranging from clay to limestone to granite to sand. There’s plenty of volcanic soil around the Kaiserstuhl, itself an ancient volcano. About 41 percent of the grape varieties grown here are reds, and the dominant white variety, Müller-Thurgau, is only planted in 21 percent of Baden’s vineyards.

For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.

Baden’s diversity is so pronounced, in fact, that the region has been subdivided into districts. Within these districts, winegrowers plant many types of grapes on different soils. You can find everything from riesling to silvaner to spätburgunder in Baden. The only thing you won’t find is stereotypical descriptions of Baden’s wine.