About German Wine-- Table of Contents 

Map: Wine Regions

Principal Grape Varietals

More Grape Varietals

Pictorial Guide to Grapes

Grape Photo Gallery

New Classification


Contact us


The Wine-Growing Regions of Germany

Ahr: {short description of image} The 1,300 acre home of red wine in Germany. In spite of its northerly location, 80% of the grapes grown in the Ahr are the red varieties, Spätburgunder, Portugieser and Dornfelder so red and rosé (Weissherbst) wines predominate. Another region where the locals (Bonn is only 20 km away) consume the majority of each harvest. 
  • Deutzerhof, Kreuzberg 
Baden:  {short description of image} Germany's most southerly region, 41,000 acres in size, producing wines with a reputation for intensity and lower acidity than elsewhere in Germany. Includes the famous Kaiserstuhl, an extinct volcano which rises abruptly from the surrounding landscape. Whites include Ruländer, (too much) Müller-Thurgau, Gewürztraminer and Riesling which is at its best around Ortenau. Red varieties are dominated by Spätburgunder 
  • Ortenau, Kaiserstuhl 
Franken:  {short description of image} The region famous for the Bocksbeutel (a flask shaped bottle which is very inconvenient to stack in a cellar) and the best Silvaner grown in Germany. 15,000 acres are under vine in vineyards which follow the Main river from Aschaffenburg eastwards. Würzburg is the center of the region (both physically and spiritually) and is the home of the Stein vineyard,
  • Würzburg, Castell, Randersack, Iphofen 
Hessische Bergstrasse: {short description of image} One of the smallest (1,000 acres) of the German wine growing areas on the opposite (eastern) side of the Rhine from the Rheinhessen. Surprising Rieslings are worth looking out for but difficult to find as the majority are consumed locally.
  • Bensheim, Heppenheim 
Mittelrhein: {short description of image} Racy Rieslings as well as Müller-Thurgau and Kerner grown on forbiddingly steep slopes along the Rhine as it flows from near Bingen to Koblenz to Bonn. The small (1,700 acre) region has shrunk in size by some 30% since the seventies as some of the more impassable sites have been abandoned. A region where the Riesling does extremely well because of the slate soil to make wines which have only recently begun to appear in the USA.
  • Bacharach, Boppard 
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer:  {short description of image} 32,000 acres where the Riesling is king adorn the Mosel and its tributaries between Luxembourg and Koblenz. There are four distinct regions: the Lower Mosel, Middle (Mittel) Mosel, Saar and Ruwer. The variation in microclimates makes it almost certain that superb wine will be produced somewhere within the region in any given year. For example, the Saar and Ruwer are higher and hence a little cooler but excell it the 'hot' vintages. The combination of slate and steep vineyards produce vibrant and elegant wines with a fine acidity.
  • Too many to list! 
Nahe: {short description of image}


A 12,000 acre region just to the east of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer where the wines can range from the racy elegance of the Mosel to the robustness of the Rheinhessen. White varieties include Riesling, Silvaner and Müller-Thurgau Some spectacular landscapes are created by bizarre cliffs which rise abruptly out the rolling hills in the Nahe and Alsenz river valleys. The 180 meter high Rotenfels is the biggest rock face north of the Alps and shelters a narrow terraced vineyard at its base, one of the most famous in the region.
  • Schloss Böckelheim, Bad Kreuznach 
Rheinhessen:  {short description of image} Enormous 65,000 acre region (the largest wine growing region in Germany) producing often underrated wines especially from Riesling. Also Müller-Thurgau and Sylvaner. The best vineyards are those close to the Rhine where the soil imparts more complexity and interest to the wines. The region is home the original Liebfraulich and, more recently, to the (in)famous dry Silvaner marketed under the 'Rheinhessen-Silvaner' label.
  • Nierstein, Nackenheim, Oppenheim 
Rheingau: {short description of image} 7,700 acres along the northern side of the Rhine between Wiesbaden and Rüdesheim where the Riesling produces classic and substantial wines. The home of many famous and historical estates such as Schloss Vollrads and Schloss Johannisberg. Also, the home of Hock (derived from Hochenheim) which is the traditional English term for wines from the Rhine. A little Spätburgunder is grown near Ammannshausen. The region is the home of the German Wine Academy in Geisenheim.
  • Hatteneim, Geisenheim, Eltville, Kiedrich, Hallgarten, Oestrich, Hochenheim 
Pfalz:  {short description of image} Formerly known as the Rheinpfalz, this region has 59,000 acres under vines. Rich wines reflect the warm climate of the south of Germany. The region, home of Saumagen, (both the dish and vineyard) extends from Kirchheim-Bolanden south to the Alsatian border. The northern half, the Mittelhardt is the home of the most famous vineyards of the Pfalz. However, the southern part, the Südliche Weinstrasse has experienced a rebirth over the past thirty years. The most southerly vineyard (Schweigener Sonnenberg) is actually in France! The second largest Riesling area after Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Also Scheurebe, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Kerner and Gewürztraminer .
  • Forst, Deidesheim, Ungstein, Bad Dürkheim, Wachenheim 
Sachsen:  {short description of image} The smallest (750 acre) region is in the former East Germany along the Elbe river around Meissen and Dresden. Wines grown on small terraced vineyards are rapidly improving. Important varieties include Müller-Thurgau, Weissburgunder and Traminer which has an avid local following. 
Saale-Unstrut:  {short description of image} Slightly larger than Sachsen at 1,000 acres, this region is west of Leipzig in the former East Germany. Vineyards line the Saale and Unstrut rivers around Freyburg and Naumburg. The wines are improving following the addition of six private wineries since reunification. Sometimes the wines are tainted with a strange earthy acidity which is not to everybody's taste. Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner are the most widely planted varieties. 
Württemberg:  {short description of image} Large area (27,000 acres) producing both red Trollinger, Lemberger, Spätburgunder, and Portugieser, and white wines Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Kerner and Silvaner which are difficult to find outside Germany or indeed Württemberg itself. Most of the vineyards lie along the Neckar rivers and extend form the Tauber river valley to south of Stuttgart. Vineyards extended over almost four times the current area in the 16th century and even in the 19th century nearly 50,000 acres were under vine. 
  • Heilbronn, Weinsberg 














Copyright © 2001-2008, German Wine Society,  all rights reserved.