Wine Regions of Germany HTML version

German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its
tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60
percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-
Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions for quality wine are situated. Germany has about
102,000 hectares (1,020 square kilometers) of vineyard, which is around one tenth of the
vineyard surface in Spain, France or Italy. The total wine production is usually around 9
million hectoliters annually, corresponding to 1.2 billion bottles, which places Germany as
the eighth largest wine-producing country in the world. White wine accounts for almost two
thirds of the total production.
The wine regions in Germany usually referred to are the 13 defined regions for quality
wine. The German wine industry has organised itself around these regions and their
division into districts. However, there are also a number of regions for the seldom-exported
table wine (Tafelwein) and country wine (Landwein) categories. Those regions with a few
exceptions overlap with the quality wine regions. In order to make a clear distinction
between the quality levels, the regions and subregions for different quality level have
different names on purpose, even when they are allowed to be produced in the same
geographical area.
German wine regions are classified according to the quality category that the wine falls
into - Tafelwein, Landwein, Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA) and
Prädikatswein. The wine regions allowed to produce QbA and Prädikatswein are further
subdivided into four categories, in descending order of size - Anbaugebiet (a major wine
region), Bereich (a district within the wine region), Großlage (a collection of vineyards
within a district) and Einzellage (a single vineyard). A small number Einzellagen do not
belong to a Großlage and are called "großlagenfrei", but all belong to a Bereich and
The 13 major wine regions (Anbaugebiete) for quality wine are Ahr, Baden, Franconia,
Hessische Bergstraße, Mittelrhein, Mosel, Nahe, Palatinate, Rheingau, Rheinhessen,
Saale-Unstrut, Saxony, and Württemberg. As you can see on the map on page 3, with the
exceptions of Saxony and Saale-Unstrut, most of Germany's major wine regions are
located in the western part of the country.
On the following pages we introduce the most important German wine regions, the grape
varieties that are cultivated and the geographical and historical background of these
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