Wine styles[ edit ] Germany produces wines in many styles:
It is believed that viticulture was brought to this area by the Romans who planted vineyards along the Mosel and the Rhine in order to have a local source of wine for their garrisons. The cost of transporting wine up from the Italian Peninsula or across the Vosges Mountains and the Roman vineyards in Gaul was very high and impractical.
Trier founded 16 BC was a major Roman outpost and it is likely that the first Mosel vineyards were planted in the surrounding hillsides sometime in the 2nd century. Viticulture was certainly flourishing in the area by the 4th century when the Roman poet Ausonius wrote a poem about the beauty of the land at harvest time.
It was said to be an easier drinking wine than that of other Roman areas.
In the winter time, the wine was heated in a kettle and drunk like a tea a practice that still has some tradition among modern vineyard workers who drink it like coffee ,[ clarification needed ] often with a little sugar added.
In warmer vintages the wine was noticeably more fruity and sweet.
This was because the warmth allowed the grapes to more fully ripen and develop more sugars. During the cold autumn the fermentation process would not be fully complete because of the low temperature, thus leaving the wine with high levels of residual sugars.
At the center was a community wine cellar where all the area's growers could store their wines.
In order to create more suitable land for vineyards, vineyard owners in the 16th century used explosives to break up the vertical spurs of rock along the rivers. Maximin's Abbey in Trier owned 74 vineyards and by had overRiesling vines.
In the 18th century, the Prince-elector of Trier, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxonymandated that over a seven-year period every vine in the Mosel area was to be Riesling only.
The rise of the House of Hanover in Great Britain saw a period of increase exportation of "moselle wine" to England. However, the wine's high price kept the wines mostly in the hands of the Royal court and English nobility rather than replacing claret in the village taverns.
For the rest of the s, there was a succession of outstanding weather and sterling wines produced. To promote the region's wine, the Prussian government lowered the tariffs for the import of Mosel wines to other regions of the Prussian kingdom.
The development of the Zollverein customs union even further benefited the Mosel by reducing the customs on their wines traveling to other regions of the German Confederation.
A string of bad weather vintages in the late s and early s would dampen the extent of prosperity that the Mosel would see. Another significant boom came a couple decades later when the British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone lowered the duties on light wine which opened up the British market to lower cost Mosel wines.
This increased prosperity had the net effect of encouraging more quantity in production rather than quality. In the 20th century, a North American taste for sweet wines saw the prominence of Liebfraumilch and brands like Blue Nun dominate the German import wine market.For connoisseurs of wine and beer, spring and summer are fantastic times to be in Germany.
From Berlin to the Rhineland, there is a great choice of wine and beer festivals to attend.. You may prefer to conduct your wine-tasting in one of the smaller towns along the Mosel or in Rudesheim on the Rhine.
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German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions (Anbaugebiete) for quality wine are .
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This is the most complete guide to the wines and vineyards of Germany that has ever been published. Almost a decade has passed since The Wine Atlas of Germany first appeared and during that period there has been a dramatic revival of interest in German wine.
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