Subtle in aroma and mild in acidity, hearty Silvaner wines go well with down-home country cooking; more elegant versions enhance many dishes with a refined touch. It is probably the offspring of a spontaneous crossing of Traminer and Österreichischweiss (Austrian white).
The widespread cultivation of Silvaner dates from the early 19th century. It displaced old, inferior varieties in the Pfalz. By the middle of the 20th century, it was the most important grape variety in Germany: more than half of the country's vineyard area was planted with Silvaner. In the decades since then, this area continually declined and now stands at 5%, but holding steady at 5,200 hectacres. Silvaner has long been a traditional variety in Rheinhessen and Franken.