It’s true that for some, Germany may be better known for its beer than its wines. And in some ways those people may be right – German beer is well-known among those who love beer and those consider it to be the BMW of brew, no pun intended. However, the beautiful weather along the Rhine River and breathtaking regions of Germany make it prime for wine production, and the truth is that German wines are some of the finest in the world. Germany is the ninth largest wine producer in the world, and makes some 1.2 billion bottles annually. This is despite the fact that German vineyards take up less then one-tenth the area of the vineyards of France, Spain, or Italy.
German beer is known for being thick and hearty, and German wines are not very different. They are typically a bit drier and less fruity than most other wines produced; they also have a higher acid content. Reisling is the most popular wine produced, although the cheaper table wine of Liebfraumilch is also a favorite of those who want a hearty wine while watching their budget. This is one of the few wines of Germany that is mass-produced; the rest are typically produced very painstakingly.
Because of the climate of the country, red wines are difficult to produce, so most of the darkest of the German wines are typically blush or rose. There are however some very high quality pinot noir wines, and other varieties of red wine, that are produced in the country, and they are often considered some of the best in the world.
While Germany is somewhat limited in the types of grapes that can be made for German wines, the biggest problem that seems to be presented from the land is the steep elevations that make it almost impossible to harvest those grapes mechanically. Most German vineyards still are harvested manually. Most winemakers do not hesitate to continue this tradition, as they are used to the hard work and labor that is needed to produce the best of wines.
The Germans have never been ones to shy away from the hard work also needed to consistently improve their product. German wines are no different. The plantings of grapes for red wines has seen an upsurge in some years, and then a downturn in others, all in response to customer demands for better and more exotic tasting wines. Germans are not to be put off by how difficult it is to grow the wide variety of grapes that are needed for the varieties of wines that the world loves.
So it seems that while Germany may also be known for its beer and polka, there’s no doubt that its wines deserve just as many accolades as its fermented cousin. While you may not want to try to order some at Oktoberfest, a celebration typically reserved to celebrate beer brewing, you may very well want to try some German wines the next time you have the chance.
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