We’ve recently jumped on the German bandwagon by adding the wines of Weingut Reinhold & Cornelia Schneider to the portfolio. So we thought it might be a good idea to take a look behind the scenes of what’s going on in Germany.
A recent historical perspective……..
Most people of a certain age (us included) might not have very fond memories of drinking German wines! A lot of German wine produced and consumed in the 1970’s and 80’s was insipid, overly processed and overly sweet (A couple of brands that come to mind were at the vanguard of this heinous crime to wine). Riesling got a bad name, even though Muller-Thurgau was the grape which dominated a lot of the wines. Unfortunate for what is possibly the best white grape variety out there!
Trends in the last few decades……...
Since the 1990’s though, things have changed entirely and nearly all to the good. Firstly, many producers made the decision to make mainly dry wines which has made German wines more in line with modern trends and more food friendly. Secondly, and helping to make drier wines the warmer climate in the last few decades has meant the more Northerly regions like the Mosel make fuller bodied, drier whites whilst in the South areas like Baden and Pfalz have been able to make richer and more concentrated reds. Planting superior grape varieties has also helped, Riesling is now the undoubted king of white grapes with over 20% of all plantings. Lower quality varieties like Muller-Thurgau have fallen too. There’s also a major swing to growing more red varieties with Spätburgunder (aka Pinot Noir) predominant – Germany is now the 3rd largest grower of Pinot Noir in the world.Look out for Lemberger too (Blaufrankisch in Austria) especially in Württemberg where a dramatic improvement in quality winemaking is sweeping the region. Lastly, the new generation of winemakers have been totally committed to quality – cutting yields, planting in the best sites and using organic viticulture and low intervention methods in the winemaking process.
What are modern wines from Germany like………
Reinhold & Cornelia Schneider – Baden (closest city Freiburg)
Reinhold and Cornelia along with son Alexander make 40,000 bottles from a number of grapes cultivated on the estate including Spätburgunder, Weißburgunder, Ruländer and Silvaner. The viticulture is all organic with spontaneous fermentations in the cellar and only small additions of sulphur at bottling. The whites are rich and full bodied and the reds are complex and mineral very much in the Burgundian style.
You can explore their wines here: https://www.h2gwines.ie/producers/weingut-reinhold-and-cornelia-schneider/
Weingut Schumann Nagler – Rheingau (closest city Wiesbaden, with Frankfurt to the East)
Schumann Nagler is one of the oldest estates in our portfolio having made wine for the last 575 years! The wines come from the Rheingau, one of the most important regions in Germany for Riesling – it thrives here at altitude on the loam, slate and shale soils by the Rhine river. Both Rieslings we sell have pure fruit, aromatic personality and minerality. The Kabinett is the less structured of the two wines, drier and crisper with less alcohol.
You can explore their wines here: https://www.h2gwines.ie/producers/schumann-nagler/
So do give German wines a try – you’re unlikely to be disappointed!