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Germany (GB)
Alemania (ES)
Alemanha (PO)
Allemagne (F)
Duitsland (N)
Germania (I)

Germany or the area belonging to it today has more than two thousand years old wine culture. But already before, imported wine was drunk, which was one in one Celtic Grave found Greek wine bottle from clay from around 400 BC Chr. Proves. The oldest vineyards were on the shores of Rhine, Neckar and Moselle, These rivers with their elongated valleys, as well as their tributaries are still the classic growing areas today. Viticulture was founded by the colonization of the Greeks in Gaul and then brought to perfection by Roman culture. By the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar (100-44 BC), the Roman viticulture of the Rhone Valley to the Rhine.

The Roman emperor Probus (232-282) contributed to the further expansion of the vineyards through promotional measures. In the 5th century, viticulture was already so widespread in the area of present-day Germany that Chlodwig (466-511) issued the so-called "Salic Law", which criminalized the theft of a vine. In the 6th and 7th centuries, viticulture spread to southern and northern Germany. The Frankish king Dagobert I (610-639) is documented as donor of vineyards churches or monasteries testifies. A viticulture in the Pfalz is by a document king Siegbert III. dating back to 653, and in the 8th century, well over a hundred wine-growing communities in the Palatinate are mentioned.

Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) gave important impetus, because it had dense forests cleared and planted with vines from Hungary, Italy, Spain, Lorraine and Champagne. He issued the first laws and gave permission for the self-produced wine Buschenschanken for sale. Decisive for cultivated viticulture were the Cistercian, who founded thousands of monasteries in Europe and joined in professionally Weingarten Care, Grape selection and winemaking employed. In 1136 twelve monks founded Burgundy the famous monastery Eberbach in the Rheingau. Over the next 100 years, between Worms and Cologne, 200 branches were established on the Rhine, In the 12th and 13th centuries, the monastery and its offshoots was, so to speak, the largest wine-growing company in the world. First, the monks from Burgundy planted vineyards, especially red wines. But they soon realized that white wines were the best in the Rheingau.

In the High Middle Ages (1050-1250) ranged from the effects of Medieval warm period the cultivation limits about 200 m higher than today, so that agriculture and wine growing experienced a large extent. The largest vineyard was then reached in the 15th century with about 400,000 hectares (about four times as much as today). At the time, though, that counted Alsace with extensive vineyards added. The vineyards were mainly in low-lying flat areas clearing heavily wooded areas in the northern franc. The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) left behind, as in the rest of Europe destruction in apocalyptic extent, of which the German viticulture recovered only very slowly. Many former flourishing wine regions such as Bavaria, northern, eastern and central Germany were no longer planted with vines. But also the advent of beer as a mass drink, viticulture greatly increased. The wine became more and more rare and expensive. In 1563 was one piece Rheinwein (1,200 liters) for 300 gold talers, a few years later 500 gold talers.

Further setbacks with cold spells and the resulting many crop failures were caused by the effects of Little ice age (1450-1850) with particularly cold periods from 1570 to 1630 and 1675 to 1715. Nevertheless, from the beginning of the 18th century, viticulture picked up again. By the secularization The monasteries at the beginning of the 19th century were replaced by noblemen monks to whom today's standard is due. Quality began to play a big role. In this connection took place in 1868 and 1897 the Prussian layer classification, From the beginning of the 1860s came over Germany the Reblaus- and the Mildew-Plage which in turn led to severe devastation.

During the French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1815) emerged from the under Napoleon (1769-1821) secularized possessions of the church, mostly owned by the state winegrowing domains, The objective of these "sample / educational wineries" was and still is to some extent still today to disseminate modern viticultural production methods. This was done by testing new methods in the vineyard, as well as production and distribution refined Grafted. In 1892, the first wine law was introduced, where, among other things, a controlled sugaring was allowed. In the first half of the 20th century, there was a great recession during the two world wars and the vineyard shrank to less than 50,000 hectares by 1945. Of the Wine Export reached a low. From the 1950s, then slowly took a positive change.

wine-growing areas

The German Weinbaugebiete belong to the northernmost the world and are thus in the border area between the humid Gulf Stream climate in the west and the dry continental climate in the east. The partly very different soils consist of basalt, Buntsandstein, rock, loess, Muschelkalk, porphyry, schist and volcanic rock. The best vineyards are in the north. In 2012, were produced by 102,000 hectares of 9,012 million hectoliters of wine (see also Wine production volumes ). The export is about 25%, the traditional buyers are Great Britain, USA, Netherlands and Japan.

Country wine region

This quality level was introduced in 1982. There are a total of 26 land vineyards, most of which are subdivisions within or outside of the production areas. These are Ahrtaler LW, Badischer LW, Bayrischer-Bodensee LW, Brandenburg LW, LW Main (formerly Franconian LW), LW the Mosel, LW Neckar, LW Upper Rhine, LW Rhine, LW Rhine Neckar, LW the Ruwer, LW the Saar, Mecklenburger LW, Central German LW, Nahegauer LW, Palatine LW, Regensburger LW, Rheinburgen - LW, Rheingauer LW, Rhenish LW, Saarland LW, Saxon LW, Schleswig-Holstein LW, Swabian LW, Starkenburger LW and Taubertäler LW.

growing region

There are 13 growing areas, which are divided into areas, large and single layers. Only with these the designation Qualitätswein or QbA may be used. They are mainly concentrated in the southwest in the valleys of the Rhine and the Moselle and their numerous tributaries. In the south, they are rather loosely interspersed in the landscape. Due to the reunification in 1990, the two new growing areas of Saxony and Saale-Unstrut were added to the east. Outside the cultivation areas, vines on a total of 56 hectares of vineyards are also still in Bavaria, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein. However, the wines produced by them may only be marketed as land wines.

Area (BER): With the exception of Ahr, Nahe and Rheingau, the production areas are divided into two or more areas. The areas are structured in large locations.

Great location (GL): This includes several adjacent but not necessarily adjacent single layers. Usually this large layer bears the name of the once most famous single layer (before the reduction). However, the indication on the bottle label does not indicate whether it is an individual situation or a large location.

Single Location (EL): This is rarely less than five hectares in size. But there is a range of less than one to 200 hectares. Over the centuries, about 25,000 vineyard names have often developed with few vines. These were created by the Wine Law 1970 and the Land Consolidation 1971 very much reduced. However, of the remaining 2,709 individual layers, around 50 are not earning or are no longer planted.

cadastral location : The now smallest geographic origin protected unit. Since 2014 can be applied for by any winery, registered in the cadastre bath to be defined as a cadastral situation, which can then be indicated on the label.

Germany's growing areas are in the European one single exception Wine growing zone A, only the Baden region (like Austria) counts to the Weinbauzone B. In the year 1972 there were still more than 100,000 winegrowing enterprises, since then there was a continuous strong structural change and an enormous reduction to 42,000. The 16,827 farms in the table are only those from 0.5 hectares of vineyards. Around 4,300 farms manage less than 1 hectare; that's a quarter. Around 3,100 farms manage more than 10 hectares, of which 890 are more than 20 hectares. They manage more than 60% of the total area. The average farm size grew from 4.8 to 5.9 hectares. Since 2009, there has been little change in the area of cultivation. The total area increased by 688 hectares, which is only 0.7%.

% -ANT
% -ANT
Ahr 1 1 43 157 563 17.1 82.9 557
to bathe 9 15 315 4111 15828 59.5 40.5 15836
Franconia 3 23 216 1635 6130 81.9 18.1 6104
Hessian mountain road 2 3 23 70 467 79.2 20.8 427
middle Rhine 2 11 111 115 470 85.1 14.9 458
Moselle 6 19 524 2116 8798 90.5 9.5 8976
Near 1 7 328 484 4237 76.0 24.0 4163
palatinate 2 25 325 2287 23554 65.3 34.7 23467
Rheingau 1 11 123 383 3211 85.6 14.4 3062
Rheinhessen 3 24 434 2348 26758 71.2 28.8 26480
Saale-Unstrut 3 4 37 92 786 74.2 25.8 704
Saxony 2 4 23 83 501 82.2 17.8 461
Wuerttemberg 6 17 207 2946 11461 31.8 68.2 11435
remaining areas (Landwein),
z. B. Brandenburg
- - - 90 56 - - -
TOTAL 40 164 2709 16827 102874 66.5 33.5 102186


Karte mit den 13 Anbaugebieten Deutschlands

Grape varieties and vineyards

Around 140 grape varieties are permitted, but only a dozen of them have market significance. In the last ten years many new grape varieties were used, most of them are so-called PIWI varieties, The trend towards red wines in all growing areas has now passed its peak and is declining slightly. Exactly two thirds of the grape varieties are white wine and one third red wines. In 1998, the ratio was still 71% white wine varieties to 29% red wine varieties. The most common grape variety in Germany, which continues to grow, is still Riesling, accounting for more than one fifth. The newcomers are the Burgunders Chardonnay, Pinot Gris (Pinot Gris) and Pinot Blanc (Pinot Blanc) and Sauvignon Blanc, the relegated Müller-Thurgau, Kerner and Blauer Portugieser. Grape variety status 2018 (0 = less than 0.5 ha):

German main name
In Germany
common synonyms
colour hectare
% -Ant
Riesling White Riesling, Rhine Riesling White 23960 23.3 22580
Müller-Thurgau Rivaner, Riesling-Silvaner White 12057 11.7 13628
Pinot Noir incl. Samtrot Pinot Noir, Blue S., Pinot Noir red 11762 11.4 11733
Dornfelder - red 7581 7.4 8000
Ruländer Pinot gris, Pinot Gris White 6713 6.5 4517
White Burgundy Pinot Blanc, Pinot Blanc White 5540 5.4 3941
Green Silvaner Sylvaner, Sylvaner White 4744 4.6 5187
Portuguese Blue Portuguese red 2799 2.7 4202
Kerner Kerner White 2463 2.4 3584
Trollinger Blue Trollinger, Schiava Grossa red 2172 2.1 2431
Chardonnay - White 2100 2.0 1228
Limberger / Lemberger Blaufränkisch, Blue Limberger red 1912 1.9 1747
Müllerrebe Meunier, Pinot Meunier red 1910 1.9 2303
regent - red 1784 1.7 2122
Bacchus Early Scheurebe White 1667 1.6 1977
Scheurebe Seedling 88 White 1412 1.4 1655
Sauvignon Blanc Muskat-Sylvaner White 1324 1.3 516
White Gassedel Chasselas, Gutedel White 1121 1.1 1132
Red Traminer Traminer / Gewurztraminer White 1057 1.1 838
Merlot - red 696 0.7 469
Saint Laurent St. Laurent, Blue St. Laurent red 618 0.6 657
White Elbling Elbling, Kleinberger White 493 0.5 567
Acolon - red 461 0.5 482
Ortega - White 440 0.4 622
Huxelrebe - White 424 0.4 613
Yellow Muscat muscatel / Muscat Blanc White 423 0.4 190
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 399 0.4 295
Domina - red 366 0.4 405
Morio Muscat Morio White 361 0.4 488
Cabernet Mitos - red 300 0.3 320
Faberrebe - White 270 0.3 551
Cabernet Dorsa - red 263 0.3 234
Auxerrois Little Heunisch White 267 0.3 190
dark fields - red 227 0.2 341
Frühburgunder Blue Frühburgunder, Clevner red 241 0.2 256
Solaris - White 160 0.2 66
Cabernet Blanc - White 158 0.2 0
Johanniter - White 124 0.1 77
Blue Zweigelt Zweigelt, Rotburger red 114 0.1 100
Muskat-Trollinger Trollinger nutmeg red 113 0.1 65
Heroldrebe - red 97 0.1 147
Syrah Shiraz red 79 0.1 27
Cabernet Franc - red 76 0.1 16
Rieslaner Main Riesling White 76 0.1 87
Siegerrebe - White 75 0.1 102
Cabernet Cubin - red 62 0.1 59
Muscaris - White 58 0.1 0
Dakapo - red 50 0.1 58
Nobling - White 50 0.1 61
Souvignier Gris - White 50 0.1 0
Phoenix - White 48 0.1 48
Cabernet Cortis - red 46 0.1 28
Reichensteiner - White 43 0.1 100
Ehrenfelser - White 39 0.1 85
Goldmuskateller - White 39 0.1 0
Cabernet Dorio - red 30 - 37
Blue Silvaner - White 29 - 38
Green Valtellina Weißgipfler White 29 - 7
Goldriesling (1) Gelbriesling, Goldmuskat White 28 - 21
Viognier - White 26 - 0
chancellor - White 25 - 33
Bouvier foundling White 24 - 27
Optima Optima 113 White 24 - 59
Pinotin - red 21 - 0
Red Elbling Elbling White 18 - 18
Kernling - White 16 - 17
Muscat Ottonel - White 16 - 12
prior - red 16 - 0
Schönburger - White 16 - 20
Tauberschwarz Blue hanging man red 16 - 14
Rubinet - red 15 - 13
Helios - White 13 - 0
jewel - White 13 - 23
pearl Pearl of Alzey White 13 - 33
Regner - White 13 - 42
Albalonga - White 12 - 14
Deckrot - red 12 - 20
Helfensteiner Blue Weinsberger red 12 - 19
monarch - red 11 - 0
rondo - red 11 - 10
Saphira - White 11 - 0
Cabertin - red 10 - 0
Rotberger - red 10 - 15
Tempranillo - red 10 - 0
Cabernet Carbon - red 9 - 0
Red Muscat Muscat Blanc. muscatel White 8th - 2
Ehrenbreitsteiner - White 7 - 10
Neronet - red 6 - 0
Bronner - White 5 - 3
Cabernet Carol - red 5 - 0
Hegel - red 5 - 10
malmsey Frühroter Veltliner, Formerly red White 5 - 5
Palas - red 5 - 8th
Piroso - red 5 - 0
Wildmuskat - red 5 - 0
Merzling - White 4 - 4
Freisamer - White 3 - 4
hibernal - White 3 - 1
Hoelder - White 3 - 6
Blauburger - red 2 - 3
Staufer - White 1 - 1
Villaris - White 1 - 0
André - red - - 5
Arnsburger - White - - 1
teinturier Teinturier du Cher red - - 1
Fontanara - White - - 1
Marie Steiner - White - - 3
Orion - White - - 4
Pearl of Zala Zala Gyöngye White - - 1
principal - White - - 3
Septimer - White - - 2
Silcher - White - - 3
Sirius - White - - 1
otherwise red varieties - red 117 0.1 175
otherwise. white varieties - White 239 0.2 256
RED VARIETIES     34461 33.5 36825
WHITE VARIETIES     68413 66.5 65361
TOTAL     102874 100 102186


Wine categories / quality levels

In August 2009, the EU wine market with basic changes of the wine types and quality levels (see under quality system ). In Germany were the new names PGI and PDO banned until the end of 2011. From 2012, the scheme came into force to continue to use the old traditional names Landwein, Qualitätswein and Prädikatswein (with all predicate levels). In addition, alternatively at label the new terms "protected geographical indication" and "protected origin" are cited, but not in abbreviated form:

  • Wine without a closer indication of origin (formerly the now forbidden term table wine )
  • Wine with grape varieties and / or vintage
  • Wine with protected geographical indication (PGI) logo CNRS logo INIST country wine
  • Wine with protected designation of origin (PDO) logo CNRS logo INIST quality wine and Prädikatswein

Wine without variety and / or vintage - German wine

Must be made exclusively from grapes harvested domestically. Must come exclusively from approved grape varieties. Must have minimum natural alcoholic strength in zone A of 5% vol (44 ° Oe) and in zone B of 6% vol (50 ° Oe). Must after any enrichment have an existing alcohol content of at least 8.5% vol = 67 g / l in zones A and B. Must have a total acidity of at least 3.5 g / l expressed in tartaric acid.

Wine with variety and / or vintage - German wine

Only approved grape varieties may be used and declared.

Land wine and / or wine with protected geographical indication

Only the long text is allowed; the short form "wine PGI" is not allowed. The wine must come from at least 85% of grapes harvested in the area, e.g. B. Brandenburg country wine, Cold concentration is not allowed. Enriching the must before fermentation is permitted. The hectare maximum yield is 15,000 liters of wine. Must be "dry" or "semi-dry".

Quality wine and / or wine with protected designation of origin

Only the long text is allowed; the short form "Wine PDO" is not allowed. The traditional name QbA (quality wine from certain growing areas) is still possible (but hardly used anymore). After postive sensory and analytical examination the awarding of the Official test number, The wine must have typical characteristics and be free of defects in appearance, smell and taste. It can be used for growing areas, but also for narrower geographic names (area, location, place name, single location). Vineyard and field names (parcels), which were no longer permitted under the Wine Law of 1971, may under certain circumstances be reused. The wines require product specifications that describe the production (grape varieties, yields, etc.) and the origin-related taste.

The grapes used must come exclusively from approved varieties of the species Vitis vinifera. They must have been harvested in a single "designated area" and, in principle, processed into quality wine in the designated area. The must obtained from the grapes used in the fermentation-proof container shall have at least the natural minimum alcoholic strength by volume specified for each specific region and for each variety. The actual alcoholic strength must be at least 7% vol = 56 g / l and the wine must have a minimum total alcoholic strength of 9% vol = 71 g / l. Addition of concentrated grape must and cold concentration are prohibited.


Also a quality wine under EU law, since there are officially only the three quality levels mentioned. However, traditional names may continue to be used, which is also true of other countries such. Austria, Italy (DOC and DOCG) and Spain. According to German wine law, a predicate wine is thus a higher grade of quality wine. There are the six predicate wine types Cabinet, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein. These must at least correspond to the Qualitätswein criteria. In addition, higher must weights apply (detailed descriptions can be found under the relevant keywords):

cabinet : At least 67 ° Oe to 82 ° Oe Mostgewicht different depending on the growing area. At least 7% vol = 56 g / l of existing alcohol content. At least 9% = 71 g / l minimum total alcohol content.

late vintage : At least 76 ° Oe to 90 ° Oe must weight varies per growing area. The default is a "late harvest" and fully ripe state of the grapes.

choice : At least 83 ° Oe to 100 ° Oe must weight varies per growing area. There must be a separation of all sick and immature berries.

Beerenauslese : At least 110 ° Oe to 128 ° Oe Mostgewicht different depending on the growing area. Only largely noble rotten or at least overripe grapes may be used. The naturally existing alcohol content must be at least 5.5% vol.

Trockenbeerenauslese : At least 150 ° Oe to 154 ° Oe Mostgewicht different depending on the growing area. Must be pressed largely from noble rotten grapes.

Eiswein : At least 110 ° Oe to 128 ° Oe must weight (like Beerenauslese). The frozen grapes are pressed and pressed, the ice remains in the pomace.

special types of wine

There are a number of specific names or types of wine with wine legislation. These are Badish rose gold. Classic. Federweißer. Liebfraumilch. Rotling. Squint. Schillerwein. Selection and Weißherbst,

sparkling wine : A higher-quality sparkling wine carries the name "German sparkling wine", in this case it consists of 100% grapes grown in Germany. The name "sparkling wine bA" means that the grapes are 100% from a specific region.

Biowein : The manufacture is subject at least according to the guidelines EU Organic Regulation, as well as the often stricter rules of organic associations. The German umbrella organization is BÖLW (see also in detail under the keyword Organic viticulture ).

important wine regulations

The German standard reference regarding wine law is "Weinrecht" (Walhalla-Verlag), which in the edition published in June 2012 contains 4,068 pages in four folders plus CD-ROM. It offers the wine law of the EU as well as of Germany and the federal states. Another extensive work is the "Weinrecht commentary" by Prof. dr. Hans-Jörg cook, See also under the keyword wine law,

Mostgewicht For every quality level there is a minimum must weight (see above). Within the quality levels is again differentiated by grape varieties. In order to cope with the different climatic conditions, these quantities vary per growing area.

earnings : The maximum amounts in hl / ha are defined by the growing areas and are per growing region and in the federal state Rheinland-Pfalz also different per quality group. Regardless of the quality group, these are 80 hl / ha (Saxony), 90 (Baden, Franconia, Saale-Unstrut), 100 (Ahr, Hessische Bergstrasse, Rheingau), 105 (Middle Rhine, Nahe, Pfalz, Rheinhessen), and 110 (Württemberg) , In Rhineland-Palatinate (Moselle, Nahe, Pfalz, Rheinhessen) these are for quality wine 105 and 125 for Mosel, 125 for land and varietal wine, 150 for German wine, and 200 for basic wine for the production of cults or distillates.

origin / vintage / vine : A wine must be at least 85% from the specified origin, grape variety and the given vintage. If the foreign content (from a different origin, grape variety or other vintage than indicated in the description) reaches the maximum limit of 15% then a maximum of 10% foreign sugar reserve may be added. Because the entire foreign portion, including the sweet reserve, must not exceed 25%. "German wines" must be 100% sourced from grapes harvested domestically. There are 87 farmed grape varieties (66 of which are listed above), 15 sub strains and 12 ornamental varieties authorized. A detailed description of the viticultural characteristics is contained in the "descriptive grape variety list" of the Bundessortenamt (see under variety protection ). The indication unmixed is only allowed if the wine is 100% from the grape variety.

sugar content : The salary residual sugar is optional on label contain. When dry applies a wine with max. 4 g / l or 9 g / l if the total acidity not more than 2 g / l lower than the residual sugar. At z. B. 8 g / l requires this for. 6 g / l total acid. The remaining degrees are medium-dry 12 g / l or 18 g / l, if the total acidity is not more than 10 g / l lower, lovely with higher value than for semi-dry but max. 45 g / l, as well sweet with to. 45 g / l. Wine-legally not relevant terms are feinherb. Franconian dry and tart,

sweetening (Increase residual sugar): The wine may not be sweetened by more than 4% vol alcohol content (to understand mutatis mutandis). It may only be used as a Süßreserve denominated grape must, concentrated grape must and RTK are prohibited for land, quality and predicate wines (even limited by EU law, because of the preservation of the originality of the wine). If grape must has been added to the predicate wine, it must correspond to the same predicate wine level.

enrich (Increase of the natural alcoholic strength): For all types of wine (irrespective of the wine color and quality level), a maximum of 2% vol alcohol content may be used by the approved means (see enrichment below). In the past, only sucrose (dry sugar) was authorized for agricultural and quality wines in Germany. Due to a judgment of the European Court of Justice, however, the German Wine Law was changed in 1989. After a successful application may quality wine b. A. an alcohol content of 15% vol. In the case of predicate wine, enrichment is in principle not permitted.

Institutions and bodies

Important institutions, committees, authorities and others Research institutes which carry out researching, organizing, controlling, journalistic or educational functions in connection with viticulture German Wine Academy. DLG (German Agricultural Society), DWF (German Wine Fund), DWI (German Wine Institute), DWV (German viticulture association), Freiburg. Geilweilerhof. Geisenheim. Society for the History of Wine. Julius Kühn Institute (Geilweilerhof) VDP (Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter), Wine growing franc and vineyard (Weinbauinstitut).

Influential German wine authors or wine critic are / were Paula Bosch, Armin Diel, Gerhard Eichelmann, Marcus Hofschuster, Rudolf Knoll, Norbert Pobbig, Jens Priewe, Mario Scheuermann and Eckhard Supp, They work in many wine magazines and wine guides such as The Berlin Wine Guide, Busche Winzer & Weingüter, Eichelmann Germany's Wines, Gault Millau, Meininger's wine world and Wein-Plus,

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