Best German Rieslings (For the Money)

German Rieslings are, to put it bluntly, misunderstood wines. German winemakers will tell you that Riesling is their country's flagship wine and that the Riesling grape works perfectly with the cooler climates and slaty soils of German river valleys. If, however, you ask a group of non-German wine drinkers to tell you about Riesling, several of them will probably use phrases like "too sweet" and "doesn't pair well" in their descriptions. In my opinion, they are missing out on one of the world's great wines.

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 90 D/H 2007 90 D/H 2006 90 D/H 2005 95 H 2004 93 D/H 2003 88 D 2002 93 D/H 2001 98 H 2000 88 D 1999 90 D 1998 89 D 1997 85 D 1996 90 D 1995 83 D 1994 85 D 1993 86 D 1992 89 D 1991 78 D 1990 95 D Vintage Charts should be used for a generalized guide in...

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.

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.