Classic grape varieties


Classic grape varieties

The Classic wine logo always appears on labels in conjunction with the name of a traditional grape variety. Grapes, such as Riesling or Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), instantly come to mind. Yet numerous other traditional varieties are equally well-suited for Classic wines, not least those that have long been associated with a particular wine-growing region or district. Classic wines are made exclusively from one grape variety – with one exception: a Trollinger-Lemberger cuvée is permitted in Württemberg.

During the past few years, authorities in the German states where vines are cultivated compiled lists of the grape varieties that are regarded as "traditional" in their respective states (and wine regions). These formed the basis for the final list of varieties eligible for designation as a Classic wine.

Here is a regional overview of the traditional grapes varieties from which German Classic wines may be produced:

Ahr: Riesling, Spätburgunder, Frühburgunder
Baden: Riesling, Rivaner, Silvaner, Gutedel, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Spätburgunder
Franken: Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Weissburgunder, Domina, Spätburgunder
Hessische Bergstrasse: Riesling, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Spätburgunder
Mittelrhein: Riesling, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Spätburgunder
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer: Riesling, Elbling, Rivaner, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder
Nahe: Riesling, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Rivaner, Scheurebe, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Spätburgunder, Dornfelder, Portugieser
Pfalz: Riesling, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Rivaner, Dornfelder, Spätburgunder
Rheingau: Riesling
Rheinhessen: Rivaner, Silvaner, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Riesling, Spätburgunder, Dornfelder, Portugieser
Saale-Unstrut: Müller-Thurgau, Traminer, Kerner, Portugieser
Sachsen: Riesling, Traminer, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, Spätburgunder
Württemberg: Trollinger, Lemberger, Schwarzriesling, Dornfelder, Spätburgunder, Riesling, Silvaner, Kerner, Grauburgunder

Note: The German word "Burgunder" denotes a member of the Pinot family, e.g. Spätburgunder (late-ripening Pinot Noir), Frühburgunder (earlier-ripening Pinot Noir), Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), or Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). Schwarzriesling and Pinot Meunier are synonyms, as are Rivaner and Müller-Thurgau.
©2003 Deutsches Weininstitut, info[at]deutschewein(dot)de, Impressum