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White Pinot Varieties Ascendant in Germany


Recent years have seen increasing cultivation of white wine varieties in Germany, particularly those from the Pinot family. This trend continued in the past year.

The German Wine Institute (DWI), drawing on surveys by the German Federal Statistics Office, reports that Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Chardonnay were planted on an additional 540 hectares collectively in 2016. Grauburgunder (6,179 ha) crossed the 6,000-hectare threshold, while Weißburgunder (5,161 ha) supplanted Silvaner (4,926 ha) for fourth place in the rankings of most important German white wine varieties. Riesling easily maintained its number one ranking, gaining roughly 100 hectares to 23,700, followed by Müller-Thurgau with 12,623 ha.

Germany thus leads the world in cultivation of Riesling and Weißburgunder, with its Grauburgunder plantings trailing only Italy. 

Germany's overall hectarage under vine remained largely constant, at 102,493 hectares. White wine varieties now represent 63.1 percent of cultivated vineyard area, a rise of 444 hectares (0.5%). 34,975 hectares (-494 ha) feature red varieties. Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) leads in this category, with an unchanged 11,787 hectares under vine, followed by Dornfelder at 7,741 ha. Those figures land Germany in third place for Spätburgunder production, behind France and the USA.

Sauvignon Blanc also saw increased plantings in the past year. 956 hectares are now planted with this aromatic variety, representing year-on-year growth of seven percent. Two other aromatic grapes, Gewürztraminer (965 ha) and Gelber Muskateller (346 ha), also saw increased cultivation.

German hectarage totals for international red wine varieties were more restrained, however. 2016 saw only an additional 20 hectares planted with Merlot (639 total), while Cabernet Sauvignon added a mere 10 hectares, to 374. Varieties such as Shiraz and Cabernet Franc held only 69 and 57 hectares respectively across Germany.

Most important grape varieties in Germany in 2016 (1)

Most important grape varieties in Germany in 2016 (2)

Grauburgunder Hectarage under vine 1964-2016

Weißburgunder Hectarage under vine 1964-2016