If you’re remotely into wine, you’ve probably heard of the major wine regions and famous wineries in some of the world’s top wine-producing countries such as France, Italy, and Spain. But did you know that Germany is home to some great wineries that are producing wines widely recognized around the world?
The following is a list of some of Germany’s best wineries in vineyards broken down by wine region.
The Moselle Region
The oldest wine region in Germany, Moselle has a history of winemaking going back 2,000 years, to the times of the Romans and Celts. The region features such steep hills that the grapes must be harvested by hand. Bordering France and Luxembourg, the region makes some of the world’s best Rieslings.
Weingut Willi Schaefer
With a history going back to 1121, Weingut Willi Schaefer is a small winery with just 4.2 hectares of land featuring ungrafted, 100-year-old vines. The winery exclusively makes Riesling, and the result is a selection of wines that have just the right structure and acidity. The Riesling grape variety thrives in the Devonian slate soil and cool climate of the region, yielding Riesling wines that are widely celebrated throughout the world.
An ideally located vineyard, Selbach Oster features south-facing slopes where the vines receive both direct sunlight and light reflected from the river below. Further, the vineyard benefits from slate stones that provide the vines with heat absorbed from the sun. With 440 years of winemaking experience, Selbach Oster continues to make award-winning Rieslings and small batches of Pinot Blanc.
The Baden Region
The largest wine region in Germany, Baden runs along the French and Swiss borders where it receives ample sunshine and enjoys the ideal soil and mild temperatures for cultivating Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gutedel.
Weingut Markgraf von Baden at Schloss Staufenberg
Located above the town of Durbach, Weingut Markgraf von Baden at Schloss Staufenberg features cellars and a tasting house surrounded by steep hills on both sides. The name is fitting for the unique landscape, as Stauf, meaning “chalice,” is a name applied to cone-shaped hills in Germany. This historical site was once an 11th-century fortress built by the Duchy of Zähringer, with some evidence suggesting grapes were cultivated even prior to the fortress’s existence. Nowadays, visitors to the wine bar can try a variety of wines, including Rosé of Pinot Noir, Klingelberger Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Durbacher Schlossberg, and Pinot Gris.
Badischer Winzerkeller consists of the largest group of producers in Baden, who collectively oversee 1,700 hectares of the region’s land. The group produces some of Germany’s most well-known wine brands, including Martin Schongauer and Heinrich Hansjakob. To make the most of the sunny climate of the Baden region, Badischer Winzerkeller even produces a selection of sun wines. Further, visitors to the winery can take a 2.5-hour tour of the cellar, which includes a tasting of both traditional and sparkling wines.
The Rheingau Region
Located approximately 30 minutes from Frankfurt, the Rheingau region features medieval wine villages along the banks of the Rhine river. In addition to tasting high-quality wines steeped in tradition, visitors can take in the castles, monasteries, and other architectural treasures in this storied region of Germany.
Located at the old Eberbach Monastery, Kloster Eberbach continues a 900-year tradition of winemaking. Guests can sign up for a special strolling wine-tasting tour to learn about the various rooms of the convent, including the cloister rooms for the choir monks, the High Gothic Chapter Hall, and the Baroque refectory. The tour slowly takes visitors through the winemaking process dating back to the time of the Cistercians and gives them the opportunity to sample six wines as they make their way through the monastery.
One of Germany’s oldest wineries, Schloss Vollrads features a tower that rises over the building complex and beautiful surrounding vineyard. The tower was formerly the home of the Barons of Greiffenclau, who belonged to the nobility in Lorraine and cultivated grapes many years ago. Visitors to Schloss Vollrads can sample the winery’s Riesling in the Kutscher, or converted coach house, followed by a delicious meal at Gutsrestaurant prepared with fresh ingredients.
The above wineries are just a small sample of all that Germany has to offer to wine enthusiasts. With centuries of viticulture, Germany produces wines that are the result of age-old processes that have been passed on from generation to generation. A visit to German wine country offers not only great tasting experiences but also a glimpse of the country’s rich history and architecture. When visiting Germany, you’ll leave with a greater appreciation for its astounding Rieslings and other wines, as well as a deeper knowledge of the history of its beautiful wine regions.