Württemberg Wine Country
Wine from Württemberg; this is mainly red wine. But on the diverse soils, protected by the Black Forest and the Swabian Alb, white vines also thrive magnificently. Riesling, Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Kerner and Pinot Gris can be found in the south of the nation. Along the Neckar River and its tributaries, the Sulm, Enz, Rems and Zuber, steep slopes are lined up on keuper, loess soil, shell limestone, sand and volcanic rock. Up in the north of Württemberg, the Kocher-Jagst-Tauber wine region stretches across the vineyards, with soil conditions as varied as the cycle routes. And what was enough for great writers to balance literary effusions with wine can certainly not be wrong for wine lovers in particular.
Specialities - connoisseurs drink Württemberger
And that's why few wines make it across national borders. But the taverns from the Tauber valley to Lake Constance are full of them. The wine lists then feature the classics of Württemberg wines.
The most widely cultivated grape variety in Württemberg is the Blue Trollinger. The thick-skinned red-blue grapes grow, with the tiniest exceptions in Baden, only in the Ländle. Outside Germany, its original home is South Tyrol, from which the grape variety probably takes its name.
The mostly light red Trollinger red wine is extremely high in acidity and is therefore usually enjoyed in the typical local spritzer. High-quality wines develop higher extract values and must weight thanks to careful cellar work, although the acidity is noticeably reduced. This makes the Trollinger wine more full-bodied and gives it a colour-intensive body. The bouquet exudes nuances of cherry and red currant and thus offers a sparkling and light wine for every occasion.
Lemberger / Blaufränkisch
Number two on the list of the most popular wines from Württemberg is the Lemberger, also known as Blaufränkisch or Limberger. This red wine exudes the lightness of a Moselle white wine and the structure of a noble Burgundy. The late-maturing grape variety is ideal for storage, so that the full-bodied Lemberger wine will delight connoisseurs for a long time. In the glass, the Lemberger shows a dark colour and harmony with a pleasant acid-tannin balance.
Black Riesling / Pinot Meunier / Müllerrebe
The old Burgundy variety has been preserved in Germany for the most part in BaWü, but especially in Württemberg. The demands of the Schwarzriesling grape variety are relatively low, although the quality usually lags behind the large Burgundy varieties. Nevertheless, the Schwarzriesling enchants with fullness and elegance as well as aromas of bitter almonds, cherries and ripe plums.
White wines from Württemberg are divided into Riesling, Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Kerner and Pinot Gris. The former grape variety accounts for the lion's share - the vineyard area lies only a few hundred hectares behind the Trollinger. The Riesling, which is widespread throughout Germany, is therefore almost solely responsible for the 30% white wine yield. The best products can easily compete with Riesling from the Moselle or the Palatinate, because there are always Große Gewächs in Württemberg. Just like the simple Riesling Landwein, which, like many wines from the Ländle, comes in the 1 litre bottle.
The Schiller wine bears a sonorous name, but without reference to the writer Schiller. It is a Rotling, i.e. a wine with a pale to light red colour, which is created by mixing white and red macerated grapes. Apart from the elastic indication of colour and the directive that the grapes must come from a single vineyard, there are hardly any binding rules for its production. For example, all grape varieties grown in Württemberg can be found in Rotling. This makes a Rotling not only extremely fruity and pleasurable, but also always exciting.
The Württemberg grape varieties
In Württemberg, vines grow on a total of 11,500 hectares. About 70% of these are red grape varieties, ergo 30% white grape varieties on the vineyards, about ⅔ of which are steep slopes.
Red grape varieties
- Black Riesling
- Velvet red
- Pinot Noir
White grape varieties
Winegrowers and vintners' cooperatives
The wine landscape in Württemberg is characterised by the numerous vintners' cooperatives, such as the Collegium Wirtemberg, an association of several winegrowers for the joint marketing of wine. There are some advantages for the winegrowers resulting from an association, because more vineyard area also means more grapes from which the best can be picked. In this way, high-quality wine is produced in a systematic way, which enhances the reputation of an entire region. Production costs from the vineyard to the cooperative's cellar are also significantly reduced, as are marketing costs. Only the individual winegrower is pushed into the background, because on the label of a cooperative wine the winegrower can hardly be traced.
The counterpart to this is the independent winemaker, such as the Hirth Winery or the Aldinger Winery. Wonderful, high-quality wines from Württemberg are available both here and there. We can only rejoice that the wines also leave the Ländle. After all, the Württembergers are at the top of the list in per capita wine consumption statistics.
Wine growing regions in Württemberg
The wine-growing region of Württemberg consists of 5 regions, from north to south:
In the north of Württemberg, the three rivers Kocher, Jagst and Tauber unite to form a wine region specialising in white wine. Steep slopes facing south, skeleton-rich shell limestone, keuper soils from Öhringen to Steinbachertal - ideal conditions for Riesling, Sauvignon blanc and Silvaner have a long tradition here. The wines present themselves lively and vital with a smooth harmony of acid and aroma. So if you are looking for a white Württemberg wine, you should take a trip to the Kocher-Jagst-Tauber wine region.
The Württemberg Unterland around Heilbronn is at the centre of the Württemberg wine-growing region. The shell limestone and keuper soils stretch south to Ludwigsburg, making the region the largest area for wine from Württemberg. There are also numerous large vineyards and individual sites where top-quality red wines from the classics Trollinger, Lemberger and Samtrot are produced.
Probably the best red wines from Württemberg come from the steep sites at up to 400 metres above sea level around the state capital Stuttgart and the Rems valley. The terraces near Stuttgart offer the winemaker a variety of soils, including shell limestone, keuper, marl and fossil-rich loam soils. This is the perfect soil for the rich cultivation of Trollinger, Lemberger and Riesling. Especially the latter grape variety benefits from the cooler and rainy climate.
The Upper Neckar wine region stretches from Tübingen to Rottenburg. Approximately 30 hectares of vineyards are cultivated here - in contrast to the Württembergische Unterland, they are almost disappearing. And yet, with modern equipment and innovative methods, the local winegrowers have been creating more than just palatable wines from Trollinger for years. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the Upper Neckar.
Württembergischer and bayerischer Bodensee
The southernmost wine region for Württemberger wine is largely located in Bavaria, but entirely on Lake Constance. Vineyards thrive from Kressbronn, Wasserburg and Nonnenhorn to Lindau, one of the three larger islands in Lake Constance. The lake between the Alb and the Alps serves as a heat-retaining reflector for the vines, which pampers the grapes at night with pleasant temperatures. The stony, sandy and loamy soil is highly permeable to water, which promotes the cultivation of the vines when it rains frequently. Unique is the foehn from the Alps, which again feeds the lake with warmth and dries the vines quickly. Along with Müller-Thurgau and Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir profit from these conditions. The Pinot Noir is also used to make Weißherbst, a rosé wine made from red grapes, but vinified like a white wine. Other sites are located around the towers and gates of the town of Ravensburg.
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