German wine, not only Riesling

In the last two weeks, we had a wine trip in Germany. We had a fun time, despite the totally messed up German train system.

It is very convenient to have a wine trip in Germany, you don’t even need a car. Wine countries are accessible by train. In these villages, wineries are more concentrated than Italian coffee shops, you can always find a winery within 20 meters from another one. while vineyards are mostly surrounding these villages.

and at least in Baden there is the policy that if you check in a hotel, you will get a free ticket to all the public transport in the region.

Both of us don’t like Riesling, but German wine is much more than Riesling. personally I recommend pinot noir(it is called Spätburgunder in Germany, means late burgundy), Syrah(I recommend you to try all the Syrah grow in cool climate you can find ),and pinot blanc(called Weissburgunder in Germany) because pinot blanc have a typical taste of white asparagus, and April-May is the season for asparagus, everyone is crazy about it in Germany.

We start in Baden, traveled toward the north, through Pfalz, Nahe, Rheinhessen, Rheingau, and

Mittelrhein. and at least in Baden and Rheingau, we found quite some premium quality pinot noir taste like Grand Cru of Burgundy and might beat Grand Cru in blind tastings, because burgundy is already too warm for pinot noir due to climate change.

Baden is a long stripe, the southern part is very close to Alsace, and the climate is similar too. but the wines are different. Alsace is more focused on Riesling、Muscat, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, while Baden is more focused on pinot noir. harvest time in Alsace is much later than Baden, so Alsace has very mature, very rich wines, while Baden has a more fresh, elegant style, I really can’t tell which style I like more.

grapes in Rheingau are growing on very steep sunny slopes along the river, impossible to harvest with a machine, and basically impossible to make bad wines.

vineyard of rheingau

Germany has a history of judging wine by sugar content, the more sugar the better. they are still not over that, sweetish wines are still more popular. I think Germans don’t give Rheingau wines the appreciation they deserve. We get a bottle of Rheingau pinot noir in a supermarket, and it definitely tastes expensive. It has a clear cherry taste, fresh forest leaves, and a bit of moss(maybe there are more flavors but I only had 40% of my nose because I had a cold or a Covid ). It was abstain and classy, and only cost 9 €! In another time we also get a bottle of nice Crement Loire for less than 7€ in another supermarket.

so, in Germany there are also many high quality wines been under-appreciated because of their refrained, austere style, if it makes you feel better…but I have to say, adopting the concept of GG(Grosses Gewachs), basically the German version of Grande cru, is a particularly good move for premium dry wines.

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