December 12, 2016

2898 GERMANY - German wine grapes varieties

German wine is primarily produced in the west of the country, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60% of the wine production is situated in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions for quality wine are situated. Germany is the eighth largest wine-producing country in the world, and white wine accounts for almost two thirds of the total production. Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of German wines is the high level of acidity in them, caused both by the lesser ripeness in a northerly climate and by the selection of grapes which retain acidity.

Overall nearly 135 grape varieties may be cultivated in Germany - 100 are released for white wine production and 35 for red wine production. According to the international image, Germany is still considered a region for white wine production. Since the 1980s, demand for German red wine has constantly increased, and this has resulted in a doubling of the vineyards used for red wine. Nowadays, over 35% of the vineyards are cultivated with red grapes. Some of the red grapes are also used to produce rosé.

Of all the grapes of Germany, the most noble is the Riesling, an aromatic variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity, originated in the Rhine region. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. It has an incomparable fragrance and taste, often reminiscent of peaches, or when young, apples. It is Germany's premier grape variety in terms of area (ca. one fifth of all plantings). To reach its full potential, Riesling needs extra days of sun; ripening is very late, usually not until the latter half of October.

Morio-Muskat was created by viticulturalist Peter Morio in the Palatinate in 1928. It is highly aromatic, but is rarely used for varietal wines because it requires a high level of ripeness to avoid producing wine with a "mousey" flavor, a coarse texture and overabundance of acidity. It was used extensively in the 1970s as a blending companion to Müller-Thurgau to enhance the aroma of the latter, but has been in steep decline in recent years. Müller-Thurgau was created by Hermann Müller from the Swiss Canton of Thurgau in 1882, and is a crossing of Riesling with Madeleine Royale.

Bred in 1916 in Rheinhessen and named after its breeder, Georg Scheu, Scheurebe is highly aromatic, being often used for sweet wines, although dry Scheurebe wines have become more common in Germany. Kerner was bred in 1929 by August Herold by crossing Trollinger (a red variety) and Riesling. Named after a local poet, Justinius Kerner, the wine is fresh, racy and fruity, milder in acidity, with a more pronounced bouquet, often with a Muscat tone. Silvaner is an old variety that once was the most important grape in Germany, today best known as a component of Liebfraumilch

For the red wines, Spätburgunder, the domestic name for Pinot noir, is in the lead. This grape produces elegant, velvety wines with a distinctive bouquet reminiscent of bitter almonds or blackberries. The traditional style of German Spätburgunder is lighter in color, body and tannic acidity than its counterparts from warmer climates. Blauer Portugieser is a very old variety that probably originated in the Danube Valley (not Portugal). Wine cellars usually vinify a simple light red wine, which is characterized by a fresh, tart and light body. It is also frequently vinified as a rosé.

Ruländer, the German name for Pinot gris, thought to be a mutant clone of the Pinot noir variety, has been known since the Middle Ages in the Burgundy region. The wines produced from this grape vary in color from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink, and it is one of the more popular grapes for orange wine. Gewürztraminer is a variety with a pink to red skin colour, which has high natural sugar and the wines are white and usually off-dry, with a flamboyant bouquet of lychees. From the Middle Ages until the 19th century, it was widely planted in central and eastern Europe.

About the stamp
The stamp belong to the set Blumen, about which I wrote here.

German wine - Wikipedia
Wines of Germany - German Wines

Sender: Dominik Häffner (direct swap)
Sent from Talheim (Baden-Württemberg / Germany), on 28.11.2016

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