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Germany

Germany is the tenth largest wine-producer in the world and produces some of the world's greatest white wines from the Riesling grape. The country's total vineyard area is divided into 13 distinct wine regions, centred around the major rivers - the Rhine and the Mosel - and their tributaries in the southern and southwest part of the country. The continental climate with its hot summers, cold winters and long, warm autumns aid the long growing season (the harvest sometimes extends into November) resulting in wines that are more delicate and less alcoholic than those in southern wine-growing countries and perfect for the production of late-harvest wines.

The 19th century could be seen as a “golden age” of German wine, a time when wines from the Mosel and the Rhine were favourites among royalty and fetched higher prices than even Champagne and Bordeaux. However, the German wine industry lost its way in quality terms during the 20th Century, expanding plantings onto less-favourable sites and increasing yields to levels at which quality was severely compromised. Thankfully, the greatest German producers, sites and wines were never completely lost, and since the turn of the 21st century considerable efforts have been made to re-establish Germany’s former glory. Today, German vintners are introducing innovative ideas to modernise their centuries-old traditions: celebrating iconic varieties like Riesling and the Pinot Noir while experimenting with new grapes, styles, and techniques.

The steep, slaty slopes of the Mosel Valley produce the lightest, most mineral Rieslings, with firm, steely examples coming from its tributaries, the Saar and Ruwer. The south-facing slopes of the Rheingau are drier and sunnier, so the wines there are fuller. The underrated Nahe lies in between the Mosel and Rheingau both stylistically and geographically, while the large Rheinhessen region can produce firm, full and racy Rieslings. The Pfalz further south is warmer, hence its wines are richer. Traditional wines have a degree of sweetness but there has been a move towards dry and medium-dry styles (ie trocken and halbtrocken), which made up just over 65 percent of production in 2012.

In an effort to help consumers distinguish dry wines from sweet, the Association of German Prädikat Estates or Verband der Prädikatsweingüter (VDP in German), an organization of almost 200 wineries, decided to introduce a classification system. The objective was to restore the prestige of significant vineyards across Germany: Erste Lage (First Site) and Grosse Lage (Grand/Great Site) refer to the best of the best German wines, made with terroir, regionality and traditional taste criteria in mind. Wines at this level must adhere to a number of regulations, ensuring the quality of bottles bearing the name of an Erste or Grosse Lage.

If the Lage is made in a dry style, it will be classed as either Erstes Gewächs (Premier Growth) or Grosses Gewächs (Grand/Great Growth). Erstes and Grosses Gewächs are premium and super-premium dry wines produced according to strict high standards, handcrafted by Germany’s finest wine-growers. The term promises us fully-fermented, dry wines from the top vineyard sites across Germany. The wines of this exclusive category are from the finest parcels sites and are subject to even stricter production criteria. Grosses Gewächs are some of the greatest dry white wines in the world; powerful, concentrated and saturated with mineral complexity.

 

 

Schloss Schönborn Spätburgunder Tradition 2018

From £14.95 - per bottle
The Schloss Schönborn Rheingau Spätburgunder is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. Still... Read More...

Schloss Schönborn Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Kabinett 2018

From £17.95 - per bottle
The Schloss Schönborn Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Kabinett is a perfumed, fruity and off-dry... Read More...

Balthasar Ress Von Unserm Riesling Trocken 2018

From £18.50 - per bottle
Von Unserm Riesling VDP Gutsweine, the Balthasar Ress calling card... Read More...

Eva Fricke Riesling Rheingau 2019

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Some of the best Rieslings in Germany are made in the Rheingau, east... Read More...

Dr. H. Thanisch Estate Riesling 2016

From £19.50 - per bottle
The Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch, Erben Thanisch Estate Riesling is sourced from... Read More...

Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Deidesheimer Riesling 2018

From £20.00 - per bottle
Top quality Biodynamic Riesling from the Pfalz region of Germany... Read More...

Schloss Schönborn Hattenheim Pfaffenberg Riesling Trocken Erstes Gewächs 2011

From £20.95 - per bottle
The Schloss Schönborn Hattenheim Pfaffenberg Riesling Trocken Erstes Gewächs is a first class... Read More...

Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 2016

From £21.50 - per bottle
The Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch, Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett forms... Read More...

Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Feinherb Gelblack 2018

From £23.50 - per bottle
The Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Feinherb Gelblack (Yellow Seal) is a medium dry style... Read More...

Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese 2017

From £26.75 - per bottle
The Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch, Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese vineyard... Read More...

Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Trocken Bronzelach 2018

From £29.95 - per bottle
A classic and expressive dry Riesling from the legendary Schloss Johannisberg Read More...

Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Altenberg Riesling Erste Lage 2013

From £34.00 - per bottle
A biodynamic Erste Lage quality Riesling from one of the finest vineyards in Wachenheim... Read More...

Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Spätlese Grünlack 2018

From £39.95 - per bottle
The Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Spätlese Grünlack (Green Seal) is a rich and fragrant Spätlese... Read More...

Dr. H. Thanisch Estate Riesling | Magnum (150cl)

£44.85
The Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch, Erben Thanisch Estate Riesling is sourced from... Read More...

Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Auslese Rosalack 2014 | 37.5cl

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The Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Auslese Rosalack (Pink Seal) is a sweet wine ideally... Read More...

Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Großes Gewächs Silberlack 2017

From £52.00 - per bottle
The Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Großes Gewächs Silberlack (Silver Seal) is one of the... Read More...