Germany, as we are well aware of, is probably more inclined to excelling in engineering than in mere wining and dining. Nevertheless, the country still produces sweet white wines, sparkling wines that are called Sekt and some quantity of red wines as well. There are many European countries that make a few of the best wines in the world, and Germany as a country does not want to lack in this, and so now they are also trying to make their wines stand out and gain international reputation.
Due mostly to the geographic location of the country, Red wine has always been hard to produce in Germany though recent demands both in home and the international market have resulted in the production of darker, richer red wines (barrique aged) from grapes known as Dornfelder and Spatburgunder.
German wines – what is the nature
But the fact is that, German wines are predominantly white, and are usually made from Riesling. They taste sweet, are usually low in alcohol and are light and un-oaked. Yet another distinctive feature of German wines are their high level of acidity, due no doubt, to lesser ripeness in the grapes (riesling) for the northernly location of the vineyards. Also, as the technique to halt fermenataion was rather unknown previously, they are troken or of a dry variety. These dry wines are mostly sold in restaurants, having failed to gain reputation in the overseas market, and thus the export numbers are quite less really.
However, Germany’s key export market for best produced sweet wine comprise three independent countries, namely Great Britain, both in terms of value and volume, the United States which is second in value and third in volume while the Netherlands figure third in value and second in volume. Sadly enough, despite Germany producing some of the finest white wines you can ever come across, it is known in the international wine market for producing sweet or semi-sweet, low quality mass-produced wines like the ‘Libfraumilch.’
Since the German wine regions are located mostly northward, in fact, most northernly in the world, there has always been an effort to find grape varieties that could be frost resisting and that could be harvested before the winter set in because of the obvious advantages. Many permutations have been done at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute with very little or no result. This is sad news indeed. Looking at the problem more closely, one may find quite a handful of reasons for the lack of internationally approved type of grapes that are right for the production of acceptable wine quality.
German wines are mostly produced in areas that are close to rivers (Rhine) and the tributaries of this major European river. The river is known to cause an important microclimate effect, and this moderates the soil and the temperature. This allows the the soil to absorb solar heat and retain it overnight. These places where wine is grown are so sloping and steep that mechanical harvesting is almost impossible. Also, the vineyards are quite small when you compare them to the ones that are found in some other places in the world. These are the factors that are holding German wine back.