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While many great wines are found around the globe, it is the unique terroir (microclimate, geography and geology of a small area) and traditional ecological production methods, which allow Germany to produce exceptional quality wines that are still some of the finest and affordable in the world.
Residing about as far north as grapes can be cultivated (49-51˚ N), Germany provides the ideal landscape for producing finicky but prized noble grape varietals, such as Riesling and Pinot Noir. There is no other country in the world where you can spend $20-30 on a bottle that can easily be aged for 20+ years.
Germany has one of the longest ripening windows for grapes in the world, which allows nature to impart a perfect sugar and acid ratio, providing for optimum balance and harmony, along with age worthiness. German Riesling grapes contain especially high levels of natural acidity and sugar, which act as a natural preservative and allow the wines to age gracefully, rewarding those who are patient to wait.
A remarkable characteristic of German viticulture is the care and attention to detail that goes into the production of its wines. German vintners are extremely adept at blending centuries-old experience with the latest in modern viticulture and are exacting in their methods: They harvest the grapes for their best wines by hand, use “green” or sustainable production techniques, age their whites in stainless steel tanks and the reds in traditional aged oak barrels or small French barriques.
What is even more outstanding is the fact that wine of such quality is produced in one of the coldest and northernmost growing regions in the world. Because of the harsher climate, Germany’s vineyards are usually found on slopes facing southward to assure the longest exposure to the sun. They are also often found in river valleys, such as the Rhine and Mosel, because of the water’s ability to moderate night temperatures and reflect the warmth of the sun.
The naturally high acidity, outstanding fruit and transparent quality of German wines are its trademark around the world. Its long finish, complex flavors and crisp zest are the benchmarks that make German wines so unique and ideal for pairing with food.