Wine Growing Regions
Baden is the southernmost of Germany's wine regions. It is primarily a long, slim strip of vineyards nestled between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River, extending some 400 km from north to south. Comprised of nine districts, Baden has many soil types and grape varieties. Nearly half of the vineyards are planted with Burgunder varieties: Spätburgunder, yielding velvety to fiery red wine; Grauburgunder, a dry, food-compatible wine, or marketed under the synonym Ruländer to denote a richer, fuller-bodied (and sweeter) style; and Weißburgunder, neutral enough to accompany many foods. Spicy Gewürztraminer and noble Riesling are specialties of the Ortenau district near Baden-Baden, where they are known as Clevner and Klingelberger, respectively. Light, mild Gutedel is a specialty of the Markgräflerland district between Freiburg and the Swiss border.
Geographical location: The north-central portion of the Tauber Valley and the upper Rhine Valley adjacent to the Black Forest, stretching from Heidelberg to the Swiss border and the Bodensee (Lake Constance)
Major town(s): Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Freiburg
Climate: Sunny and warm; the Kaiserstuhl district is Germany's warmest area
Soil types: Shell-limestone in Tauberfranken. Elsewhere, a wide variety including keuper, loam, loess, granite, clay, limestone and sand. The Kaiserstuhl is an extinct volcano, while glacial deposits (moraine) are typical of the Bodensee district.
Vineyard area (2017): 15,834 ha · 9 districts · 16 collective vineyard sites · 300+ individual sites
Grape varieties [white 59.2% · red 40.8%] (2017): Spätburgunder (34.3%), Müller-Thurgau (15.4%), Grauburgunder (13.1%) as well as Weißburgunder, Gutedel and Riesling
Marketing: Most growers are members of the ca. 100 cooperatives that produce and market about 85% of the region's wine. The regional cooperative cellars in Breisach are the largest in Europe and the fourth-largest in the world. Exports play a minor role. Nearly half of production is sold in supermarkets; the other half in wine shops and restaurants, or directly to final consumers.
Signposted routes through wine country: Badische Weinstraße (driving) · the northern portion of the Romantic Road (driving) traverses the Baden portion of the Tauber Valley, as does the Main-Tauber-Fränkische Radachter (cycling) · the Castle Road (driving) passes through the Badische Bergstraße at Heidelberg · Weinstraße Kraichgau-Stromberg (driving) · Markgräfler Wiiwegli from Freiburg to Weil (hiking & cycling)