German White Wine List

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Before getting down to the details of a German white wine list, let’s take a brief look at German wine, in general. This nation is, of course, known as one of the world’s great wine-producing countries, with a history dating back hundreds of years.

Many of the long-standing vineyards and wineries go back to the time when the Roman soldiers and administrators established towns along the Rhine and its several tributaries.

There are at least a dozen well-known wine regions in Germany that produce a total of more than a billion bottles each year. The country and its producers are well known for great white wines, which make up almost 70 percent of the wine production here.

Any list of German white wines has to start with Riesling grapes, known to produce wines with a fruity presence that is also elegant, with a nice aroma. This grape is used to produce a range of wines, from dry/crisp to sweet but very palatable. However, the United States and two or three European countries are very fond of the drier varieties made from the Riesling grape.

German vineyard near the city of Trier.

German vineyard near the city of Trier.

When putting together a list of favorite white wines, it is essential to include German whites. The growing regions are in the most northern of grape growing areas on the planet, giving the grapes and the wines a unique color, flavor and aroma. Grapes grown here need to be hardy, to withstand the possibility of frost. They must also be harvested relatively early. All of this contributes to a wonderful selection to make up a German white wine list.

Start your list with white wines from the Baden region, which also produces reds. The pinot wines from this area are very popular. Some of the more recent whites from Rhein-Hessen have become popular, especially since this region has moved to higher-quality wines after producing low-cost varieties for many years.

Nearby Rheingau may be home to the longest-running use of Riesling, according to most records. This region combines some of the best wine-making techniques and should be on every list of “should try” German wines. Mosel is generally known for its sweeter wines, a tradition in this area. But some excellent, dry whites have come from the Mosel region as well.

In fact, some international connoisseurs state without doubt the finest white wines from the Riesling grape come from the Ruwer and Saar river valleys (they are tributaries of the Moselle). These same experienced wine lovers put two names at the top of the wine-producer list - Carl Ferdinand von Schubert and Hans-Joachim Zilliken.

At restaurants where only the best wines are served with top-quality cuisine, at least two of these wines are on the German white wine list. Consider Erben Von Beuwitz 2006 from Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, or Langwerth Von Simmern 2004 from Rheingau.

In addition to the well-known Riesling, those with a penchant for good white wines may want to experience these names: Muller-Thurgau, Silvaner and Kerner (a combination of Riesling and Trollinger). Careful selection of a white wine from certain regions in Germany will undoubtedly please the most discerning palate.

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