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White wine varieties gaining ground

03/18/2020

German wine growers futher rely on planting more white grape varieties. This announcement by the German Wine Institute (DWI) is based on the latest survey on the German vineyard surface area for 2019 by the Federal Statistical Office. White wine varieties comprise 68,911 hectares, that is exactly two thirds of the nationwide total vineyard area of ​​103,079 hectares.


This corresponds to an increase of 500 hectares or 0.7% compared to the previous year, and of 3.7% compared to 2006, when the vineyard area of ​​the white wine varieties had its lowest share with 63.1 %.

"This development of vine plantings also corresponds to the wine consumption behavior of German consumers. After the red wine boom that began in the middle of the 1990s, since 2009 they have been reaching more and more for white wine”, explained DWI managing director Monika Reule.

White grape varieties on trend

In 2019, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) was, for the sixth year in a row, the variety with the largest growth in German vineyards. With an increase of 356 ha, it now has a total of 7,069 ha. Other types of Burgundy such as Pinot Blanc (5,747 ha), Chardonnay (2,222 ha) or Auxerrois (274 ha) were also popular.

The on-trend variety Sauvignon Blanc was also in strong demand by wine producers last year. The area under vines has now tripled to 1,498 hectares in ten years. Other aromatic grape varieties such as Scheurebe (1.417 ha), Gewürztraminer (1.097 ha) or Gelber Muskateller (460 ha) have also recorded slight increases in acreage.

Germany's most important grape variety remains Riesling. With 24,049 ha in 2019 (an additional 89 ha), it covers nearly a quarter of all vineyards. In an international comparison, German producers have a share of around 40% of global Riesling cultivation.

Pinot Noir remains the top red wine variety

Among the red grape varieties, the overall vineyard area recorded a slight decline of 294 ha in 2019, bringing the total to 34,168 ha. Contrary to this trend, the southern grape varieties slightly increased - Merlot by 48 ha (now 744 ha), Cabernet Sauvignon by 25 ha (now 424 ha) and Lemberger, the predominant variety grown in Württemberg at over 90 %, by 22 ha (now 1,934 ha).

Pinot Noir (11,717 ha) remains the number one red wine in Germany despite a loss of 45 ha. Globally, Germany is the third largest Pinot Noir producer after France and the USA.

The two largest German wine-growing regions of Rheinhessen (26,860 ha) and Pfalz (23,684 ha) comprise nearly half of all German vineyards. The smallest wine-growing regions with  vineyard areas of ​​less than 500 ha, are Hessische Bergstrasse (463 ha), the Middle Rhine (468 ha) and Saxony (493 ha).

The vineyard area outside of the 13 German wine-growing regions are not accounted for by the Federal Statistical Office.

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