• The Hessische Bergstraße wine region, market square in Heppenheim
    The Hessische Bergstraße wine region, market square in Heppenheim ©Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH (DWI)
  • The Palatinate wine region, view from Kalmitwingert near Ilbesheim
    The Palatinate wine region - view from Kalmitwingert Ilbesheim ©Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH (DWI)
  • The Ahr wine region
    The Ahr wine region ©Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH (DWI)
  • The Franconia wine region, Hofkeller in Würzburg
    The Franconia wine region, Hofkeller in Würzburg ©Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH (DWI)
  • The Middle Rhine wine region, Kaub, Gutenfels Castle and Pfalzgrafenstein Castle
    The Middle Rhine wine region - Gutenfels Castle and Pfalzgrafenstein Castle ©Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH (DWI)
  • The Baden wine region, Achkarren in the Kaiserstuhl mountains
    The Baden wine region, Achkarren in the Kaiserstuhl mountains ©Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH (DWI)
  • The Rheinhessen wine region, view of Gau-Odernheim from Petersberg hill
    The Rheinhessen wine region - view of Gau-Odernheim ©Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH (DWI)
  • The Moselle wine region, Moselle loop
    The Moselle wine region, Moselle loop ©Deutsches Weininstitut GmbH (DWI)

Winegrowing regions: vintage countryside

German wines are grown in special places. The varied soil types of Germany's 13 winegrowing regions produce exquisite wines, from crisp rieslings to floral pinot noirs. The mild climate results in light, fruity wines that are typically German and full of charm and character.

The easiest and most breathtaking way to explore the Palatinate wine region is along the German Wine Route . Geared towards visitors, the scenic route links numerous towns and villages associated with wine between Bockenheim in the north and Schweigen on the French border. It is the oldest route of its kind in the world, and cycle and walking trail versions of the German Wine Route allow you to explore the vineyards between the Palatinate Forest and the Rhine on foot or by bike.

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The main grape varieties grown in the Rheingau are riesling and pinot noir. The Rheingau has a long tradition of wine-making, started by the abbeys many centuries ago. This reputation opened the doors to all the big stately homes for the Rheingau wineries as suppliers of premium vintages. The Rheingau also enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide as the home of the Centre for Viticulture and Oenology in Geisenheim.

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Germany's largest wine-growing region, Rheinhessen is a welcoming and hospitable region on the Rhine. Everyone is amazed by what is being achieved in the triangular region between Mainz , Worms and Bingen, where a group of young vintners with great enthusiasm for wine, self-confidence, incredible dynamism and a great feel for fine wines is at work. Buzzing networks such as 'Message in a bottle' or associations such as 'Grosses Gewächs Rheinhessen', 'Selection Rheinhessen', 'Ecovin' and 'Wein vom Roten Hang' provide innovation, while Mainz and Rheinhessen represent Germany in the Great Wine Capitals international club.

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The Saale-Unstrut quality wine region is characterised by unspoilt countryside swathed in vineyards, steep terraces, centuries-old dry-stone walls and romantic vineyard huts. The beauty of the river valleys and the landscape of terraced vineyards evokes an enchanting mediterranean charm. With its pleasant climate, specific soil type and yield regulations, and the experienced hands of its winegrowers, the region produces distinctive wines of the highest quality.

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Wines from Saxony are known as rare gems because the Saxony wine region is the most north-easterly and one of the smallest in Europe. People have been producing wine here on the river Elbe for 850 years. Special features include the vineyards divided into small plots that are cultivated by more than 3,000 small independent growers. Saxony has a broad range of grape varieties – including goldriesling which is only grown here. The majority of Saxony wines are drunk locally, a rarity in Germany.

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The majority (80 per cent) of Württemberg's wines are red, making it the biggest producer of red wine in Germany. A large part (71 per cent) of the area under vine is situated on slopes or steep hillsides, some of which have a 20 per cent gradient, making them more difficult to cultivate. Württemberg is characterised by a particularly broad range of grape varieties and is one of the few places where lemberger and trollinger are grown. Many of the new varieties that have become important to German wine-growing such as dornfelder come from Württemberg.

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