The Pfalz is Germany’s second largest wine growing region with a vineyard area of about 23,000 hectares. Bordered by Rheinhessen to the north, the Haardt Mountains to the west, the Rhine River to the east and the French region of Alsace to the south. Its climate is much like that of Alsace and it is one of the sunniest and driest of the German wine regions. 45 white and 22 red grape varieties are grown, with approximately 60% of the total area under vine planted with white wine grapes and 40% with red. The Pfalz has the largest acreage planted with the ‘noble’ Riesling grape. Here, it yields wines of substance and finesse, with a less austere acidity than their Mosel counterparts and aromas of peach and apricot rather than green fruit. Pleasant, mild white wines rich in bouquet and full of body are produced from Müller-Thurgau, Grauburgunder (Pinot Grigio), Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Scheurebe grapes, while smooth, fruity red wine is made from the Portugieser grape. In response to the growing demand for red wine, there are many new plantings of Dornfelder which, depending on the winemaking techniques employed, produces a deep-coloured and complex wine. The world-renowned Pinot Noir is one of the most important red varieties grown in the Pfalz region, particularly in the south.