German Grape Varieties
White Grapes
  • Elbling

    This ancient white variety (origin unknown) is an early-ripening, very prolific producer that makes light, piquant wines that often are used for sparkling wine, thanks to their high acidity. From

  • Chardonnay

    Like many other ancient grape varieties, Chardonnay stems from the Middle East. As viticulture spread, the variety found a new home in France, particularly in Burgundy. Chardonnay is one of

  • Gutedel

    Known as Chasselas in France and Fendant in Switzerland, this ancient white variety is both a popular table grape and a wine grape. It ripens fairly early and produces a

  • Farberrebe

    The prolific Rheinhessen grape breeder Georg Scheu crossed Weissburgunder with Müller-Thurgau in 1929 to produce this early-ripening white variety. With sufficient ripeness, the Faberrebe can produce elegant, refreshing wines with

  • Huxelrebe

    Huxelrebe, a crossing of Gutedel and Courtillier Musqué, was bred by Georg Scheu in Rheinhessen in 1927. If left on its own, this white variety can achive record-breaking yields (and

  • Morio-Muskat

    The name of this crossing of Silvaner and Weissburgunder derives from its breeder, Peter Morio, and its characteristically strong, rich bouquet that is reminiscent of Muscat grapes. It adds a

  • Ortega

    This crossing of Müller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe is a very early-ripening white variety that achieves high must weights even in average years. Ortega Auslese and dessert wines have a rich, peachy

  • Gewürztraminer

    Roter Traminer, and its better-known synonym, Gewürztraminer, or “spicy (aromatic) Traminer,” is an old, traditional variety prized for the high quality of its wine. From the Middle Ages until the

  • Scheurebe

    Scheurebe (pronounced “shoy ray beh”) is another new crossing that is well established in a number of regions. Bred in 1916 in Rheinhessen and named after its breeder, Georg Scheu,

  • Bacchus

    Bred in the Pfalz and given the Latin name for Dionysos, the Greek God of Wine, Bacchus is a crossing of (Silvaner x Riesling) x Müller-Thurgau. It is a large

  • Grauer Burgunder

    These are synonyms for the grape known as Pinot Gris in France and Pinot Grigio in Italy. Grauburgunder denotes the more food-compatible, sleeker, drier style, while the richer, fuller-bodied and

  • Weißer Burgunder

    Synonymous with the French Pinot Blanc, this ancient variety thrives in fertile or chalky soils and ripens fairly late. Weissburgunder wines have a less pronounced, relatively neutral bouquet, yet more

  • Kerner

    Today, Kerner is the most widely planted new crossing in Germany, covering about 7% of the surface devoted to viticulture. Bred in 1969 in Württemberg and named after a local

  • Silvaner

    Silvaner is an old variety that once was the most important grape in Germany. Today, it accounts for some 7% of the country’s plantings. A reasonably abundant producer, it likes

  • Müller-Thurgau (Rivaner)

    The Müller-Thurgau, or Rivaner, is the second most widely planted grape in Germany and accounts for about a fifth of the total vineyard area. It is named after Professor Müller

  • Riesling

    Of all the grapes of Germany, the most noble is the Riesling — a variety that can do well even in stony soil and can subsist on a minimum of

Red Grapes
  • Dornfelder

    Among new varieties, the Dornfelder shows great promise. A prolific, relatively early ripener, it produces wine far deeper in color than is typical of German reds. In fact, it was

  • Portugieser

    Portugieser is a very old variety that probably originated in the Danube Valley (not Portugal). This prolific, early-ripening grape yields mild, light, easy-to-enjoy wines. A good portion of the annual

  • Trollinger

    This very old red variety probably originated in, and derives its name from, Tirol, where it is known as Schiava (Italy) and Vernatsch (Austria). A large yielder that ripens very

  • Schwarzriesling

    Although the name literally means “black Riesling,” this variety is not at all related to the Riesling, but rather, it is an earlier-ripening mutation of the Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). The

  • Blauer Lemberger

    Viticulture Lemberger thrives in a warm climate and wind-protected sites, not least because bud-burst is early and it ripens late. In very good sites, this Württemberg specialty brings forth excellent

  • Domina

    A promising, and relatively new, red wine grape, Domina is a crossing of Portugieser and Spätburgunder that was bred at the Institute for Vine Breeding in Siebeldingen in the Pfalz.

  • Spätburgunder

    In Germany, the Spätburgunder is to red wine what the Riesling is to white wine: the cream of the crop. In fact, Germany is the world’s third largest producer of

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