German Grape Varieties
The wide range of grape varieties cultivated in Germany is impressive, from Albalonga to Zweigeltrebe. Data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Statistics lists some 140 grape varieties grown in Germany!
Riesling and Müller-Thurgau, which account for some 35.4% of Germany's 102,000 hectares of vineyards, have the most commercial importance. Over 11% of the vineyard area is planted with Spätburgunder, or Pinot Noir, making it the most important red wine grape in Germany.
Germany is the home of the world's third largest producer of Pinot Noir, after France and the U.S., and Pinot Gris, after Italy and the U.S. As dry wines have surged in popularity in Germany, acreage of Pinot Gris, also known as Grauburgunder, has expanded as well - there are currently over 4,800 hectares under vine.
Another member of the Pinot family found in Germany is Pinot Blanc, or Weissburgunder. Plantings in Germany have doubled within the past 10 years and today, more than 4,200 hectares — more than 4% of Germany’s vineyards — are planted with Weissburgunder, making Germany the second largest producer of Pinot Blanc in the world.
Because climatic factors vary from region to region, so does each region's varietal profile. In the more northerly areas, Riesling predominates, while further south, the Burgunder, or Pinot, varieties and red wine grapes play a more important role. Roughly 80% of the Rheingau's vineyards are planted with Riesling, which is also the premier grape in the Pfalz, Mosel, Rheinhessen, Württemberg, Baden and Nahe regions.
In terms of area, Müller-Thurgau (Rivaner) is a widely popular grape variety in Rheinhessen and Baden, as well as Franken, Mosel and Nahe. Silvaner is a traditional variety in Rheinhessen and Franken, while the Burgunder (Pinot) family is widely planted in Baden, particularly the red wine grape Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).