Rhinehessen: The Mineral Soils of Germany's Wine Country

The Rhinehessen region in Germany’s wine country is a study of contrasts. The vast area is planted to just over 28,000 hecters of wine, dominated not by Riesling, but by Muller Thurgau. Ultimately though, this is Germany, and in Germany Riesling is still king. Groebe, Wittman and Straub wineries all share a common bond in this wine region. The minerality of the soil is a constant expression of the wines produced here and the Rhinehessen wines are clean, minimal wines. They also share a family winemaking history that extends hundreds of years.

Germany’s Nahe Region: Wine Innovation and Tradition

The Nahe region is one of Germany’s smallest winegrowing regions comprising just under 11,000 acres of plantings. Fully 75 percent of the vines planted are to white varietals specifically Riesling and Muller-Thurgau. The remaining 25 percent of vines are dominated by the red blending grape, dornfelder. The area is home to many steep vineyard sites and the Nahe River languidly strolls by, bending just before the minuscule village of Oberhausen.

German Rieslings Wine - Vintage Chart

German Rieslings    
2010 88 D/H
2009 91 D/H
2008 9

Rheinhessen: Germany's Largest Wine Region

Size Isn't Everything
Rheinhessen's long winemaking history and large size are the building blocks of its reputation in the world of wine – and there are pros and cons associated with both.  Rheinhessen's most famous wine, Liebfraumilch, while well known as far back as the mid-1700's, might well be called "infamous" today because of its reputation for insipid sweetness.  Still, it's hard to argue with brand-name success, so you're likely to find Liebfraumilch prominently displayed in your local wine shop's German section.

Hessische Bergstrasse: A Touch of Italy in German Wine Country

Between the Rhine River and the Odenwald forest, in the area between Heidelberg and Darmstadt, you'll find a tiny German wine region, the Hessische Bergstrasse.  Its name means "Hessian Mountain Road" in English.  Long ago, the Romans named their trade route through this part of Germany the "strata montana," or "mountain road." 

Germany's Saale-Unstrut Wine Region: One Thousand Years of Winemaking

Most wine drinkers have never heard of Saale-Unstrut, unless they happen to live in Germany.  That's understandable, since nearly all the wine produced in this small German wine region is consumed locally.  Wine production varies here, because Saale-Unstrut lies so far north.  In particularly harsh years, crops are lost and production declines accordingly.  Still, Saale-Unstrut has a proud winemaking history, dating back over a thousand years. 

Sachsen: Germany’s Smallest Wine Region

In spite of its small size, Sachsen has many pleasant surprises in store for those who enjoy German wine. Sachsen is, indeed, the smallest and most eastern wine region in Germany. It’s also – by a hair – Germany’s northernmost wine region. Most visitors to the area come to see the city of Dresden, restored to splendor and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or to shop for porcelain in nearby Meißen. Since most Sachsen wines are consumed locally, a visit to the Dresden – Meißen area may be the only way you can experience the region’s wines for yourself.

The Ahr: Germany’s Red Wine Valley

Many years ago, a Navy friend brought us a bottle of German wine as a hostess gift.  Brian was elated because he’d found this wine in the U.S.  I was surprised to discover that the gift was German red wine from a region I’d never heard of, the Ahr.  No surprise, Brian told us – the Ahr is a very small wine region that produces mostly red wines, so it’s very hard to find Ahr wines outside of Germany.

Refreshing White Wine Recommendations for those Hot Summer Nights

The dog days of summer are once again upon us. Whether your remedy to beat the heat is a cool pool, a shade tree, or a blasting air conditioner, it always helps to have a relaxing beverage to help ease the pain. asked our panel of wine experts to recommend refreshing white wines for those hot summer nights:    

"On a hot summer evening, I look for a chilled white wine.  I also find that if the wine has a bit of sweetness, it offsets the heat a bit.  My go-to wines on these evenings tend to be Rieslings.  Rieslings are one of the most versatile wines for matching with food.  They are especially great with light summer fare such as a salad or fish or fruit.  They also make easy sipping on their own.

Germany’s Württemberg Wine Region: Tradition and Innovation

Tradition. Hundreds of years of winemaking. The Aldinger family has owned Weingut Gerhard Aldinger since 1492; Ernst Dautel’s weingut ancestors began making wine in 1510. Staatsweingut Weinsberg is part of Germany’s oldest wine college. Wherever you look in Württemberg, you’re surrounded by winemaking history.

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