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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 vineyards through promotional measures. In the 5th century, winegrowing in the area of present-day Germany was so widespread 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. 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. In 1972 there were more than 100,000 winegrowing enterprises, since then there has been a continuous structural change and an enormous reduction to less than half.

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) belongs to the Weinbauzone B. The following table shows the vineyards of the years 1999 and 2009. In these ten years, there were only two percentage changes in percentage. In Mosel (1999 Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) this was a reduction of 26.5% and 3.239 hectares respectively and in the growing area Saale-Unstrut an increase of 39.1% and 198 hectares respectively. There were only minor changes in the remaining 11 growing areas. The total area decreased by 3.5% and 3,688 hectares, respectively:

% -ANT
% -ANT
Ahr 1 1 43 637 557 14.2 85.8 510
to bathe 9 15 315 14056 15836 55.9 44.1 15852
Franconia 3 23 216 4830 6104 80.3 19.7 6080
Hessian mountain road 2 3 23 454 427 79.2 20.8 455
middle Rhine 2 11 111 245 458 84.9 15.1 620
Moselle 6 19 524 4415 8976 90.9 9.1 12215
Near 1 7 328 781 4163 75.1 24.9 4590
palatinate 2 25 325 4151 23467 61.5 38.5 23764
Rheingau 1 11 123 814 3062 85.2 14.8 3249
Rheinhessen 3 24 434 3440 26480 69.0 31.0 26436
Saale-Unstrut 3 4 37 679 704 73.3 26.7 506
Saxony 2 4 23 2559 461 81.1 18.9 373
Wuerttemberg 6 17 207 10831 11435 28.6 71.4 11224
remaining areas (Landwein),
z. B. Brandenburg
- - - 90 56 - - -
TOTAL 40 164 2709 47982 102186 64.0 36.0 105874


Karte mit den 13 Anbaugebieten Deutschlands

Vineyards and grape varieties

German wine differs from wine from other countries by its lightness, liveliness and fruitiness. The long growing season and the low summer heat make the wines filigree and not too rich in alcohol. The secret lies in the good balance of sweetness and acidity; this, combined with the lower alcohol content, results in a particular breed. The wines are often characterized by an amazing longevity. Over 140 grape varieties are officially approved, but only a dozen of them have market significance. In the last ten years, the grape variety has changed significantly. Almost two-thirds of the grape varieties are white wine and a good third, with a tendency to red wines. In 1998, the ratio was still 71% white wine varieties to 29% red wine varieties.

The most common grape variety in Germany is still over one fifth of the Riesling, whose stock has decreased only slightly in the last ten years by 513 hectares. The clear climbers are the red ones new varieties Regent (12 times), St. Laurent (4.3 times) and Dornfelder (3.7 times), then the Burgundy varieties Burgundy (94%), Grauer Burgunder (76%), Pinot Noir (58%), Auxerrois (171%) and Chardonnay (268%), as well as the new varieties from France (which did not even exist in 1999) Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.

Amongst the strongest descendants are Müller-Thurgau (-40%), Grüner Silvaner (-31%), leading in Germany until 1995, as well as the white new breeds Bacchus, Faberrebe, Huxelrebe, Kerner, Ortega and Scheurebe (halving). It is to be expected that the trend will continue and, above all, the Burgundy varieties and French varieties continue to rise sharply. Grape variety status 2009 (0 = less than 0.5 ha):

German main name
In Germany
common synonyms
colour hectare
% -Ant
Riesling White Riesling, Rhine Riesling White 22580 22.1 23093
Müller-Thurgau Rivaner, Riesling-Silvaner White 13628 13.3 22973
Pinot Noir
included Samtrot
Pinot Noir, Blue S., Blauburg.
Blue Spätburg. Clone velvet red
red 11733
(~ 400)
11.5 7453
Dornfelder - red 8000 7.8 2142
Green Silvaner
Blue Silvaner
Sylvaner, Sylvaner White 5187
Ruländer Pinot gris, Pinot Gris White 4517 4.4 2565
Portuguese Blue Portuguese red 4202 4.1 4603
White Burgundy Pinot Blanc, Pinot Blanc White 3941 3.9 2032
Kerner Kerner White 3584 3.5 7465
Trollinger Blue Trollinger, Schiava Grossa red 2431 2.4 2542
Müllerrebe Meunier, Pinot Meunier red 2303 2.3 2152
regent - red 2122 2.1 178
Bacchus Early Scheurebe White 1977 1.9 3463
Limberger / Lemberger Blaufränkisch, Blue Limberger red 1747 1.7 969
Scheurebe Seedling 88 White 1655 1.6 3538
Chardonnay - White 1228 1.2 334
White Gassedel
Red Chasselas
Chasselas, Gutedel White 1132
Red Traminer Traminer / Gewurztraminer White 838 0.8 893
Saint Laurent St. Laurent, Blue St. Laurent red 657 0.6 152
Ortega - White 622 0.6 1213
Huxelrebe - White 613 0.6 1419
White Elbling
Red Elbling
Elbling, Kleinberger White 567
Faberrebe - White 551 0.5 1807
Sauvignon Blanc Muskat-Sylvaner White 516 0.5 0
Morio Muscat Morio White 488 0.5 1481
Acolon - red 482 0.5 0
Merlot - red 469 0.5 0
Domina - red 405 0.4 ?
dark fields - red 341 0.3 213
Cabernet Mitos - red 320 0.3 0
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 295 0.3 0
Frühburgunder Blue Frühburgunder, Clevner red 256 0.2 ?
Cabernet Dorsa - red 234 0.2 0
Yellow Muscat
Red Muscat
muscatel / Muscat Blanc White 190
Auxerrois Little Heunisch White 190 0.2 70
Heroldrebe - red 147 0.2 ?
Siegerrebe - White 102 0.1 188
Reichensteiner - White 100 0.1 ?
Blue Zweigelt Zweigelt, Rotburger red 100 0.1 ?
Rieslaner Main Riesling White 87 0.1 ?
Johanniter - White 77 0.1 ?
Ehrenfelser - White 85 0.1 ?
Muskat-Trollinger Trollinger nutmeg red 65 0.1 ?
Würzer - White 65 0.1 ?
Solaris - White 66 0.1 0
Nobling - White 61 0.1 ?
Cabernet Cubin - red 59 0.1 0
Optima Optima 113 White 59 0.1 ?
Dakapo - red 58 0.1 ?
Phoenix - White 48 - ?
Regner - White 42 - ?
Cabernet Dorio - red 37 - 0
pearl Pearl of Alzey White 33 - ?
chancellor - White 33 - ?
Cabernet Cortis - red 28 - 0
Bouvier foundling White 27 - ?
Syrah Shiraz red 27 - 0
jewel - White 23 - ?
Goldriesling (1) Gelbriesling, Goldmuskat White 21 - ?
Deckrot - red 20 - ?
Schönburger - White 20 - ?
Helfensteiner Blue Weinsberger red 19 - ?
Kernling - White 17 - ?
Cabernet Franc - red 16 - 0
Rotberger - red 15 - ?
Albalonga - White 14 - ?
Tauberschwarz Blue hanging man red 14 - ?
Rubinet - red 13 - 0
Muscat Ottonel - White 12 - ?
Ehrenbreitsteiner - White 10 - ?
Hegel - red 10 - ?
rondo - red 10 - ?
Palas - red 8th - ?
Green Valtellina Weißgipfler White 7 - ?
Hoelder - White 6 - ?
André - red 5 - ?
malmsey Frühroter Veltliner, Formerly red White 5 - ?
Freisamer - White 4 - ?
Merzling - White 4 - ?
Orion - White 4 - ?
Blauburger - red 3 - ?
Bronner - White 3 - ?
Marie Steiner - White 3 - ?
principal - White 3 - ?
Silcher - White 3 - ?
Septimer - White 2 - ?
Arnsburger - White 1 - ?
teinturier Teinturier du Cher red 1 - ?
Fontanara - White 1 - ?
hibernal - White 1 - ?
Pearl of Zala Zala Gyöngye White 1 - ?
Sirius - White 1 - ?
Staufer - White 1 - ?
Précoce de Malingre Former Malingre, Malinger White 0 - ?
Osteiner - White 0 - ?
otherwise red varieties - red 175 0.2 ?
otherwise. white varieties - White 256 0.3 ?
RED VARIETIES     36825 36.0 30704
WHITE VARIETIES     65361 64.0 75170
TOTAL     102186 100 105874


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-stable 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 (Mosel, 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.

ancestry / 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 natural alcoholic strength): For all types of wine (irrespective of 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 in Germany for agricultural and quality wines. 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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