Riesling in Germany Part 2

Riesling in Germany Part 2

Posted by EWWines on 1st Jul 2022

We are once again celebrating all things German Riesling this July at EWWines with the 31 Days of German Riesling campaign. We are big fans of German Riesling - it is highly aromatic with lip smacking acidity and has the ability to produce wines of every style from bone dry to sweet luscious dessert wine and everything in between. Easy to see why it is Germany’s most planted grape variety!

Read our previous blog from July last year which highlights the typical styles of Riesling to be found and a few of our favourites.

As part of our celebrations this year, we are excited to announce that will be interviewing Tom Surgey, the 31 Days of German Riesling Ambassador for the UK on the 13th July. Get ready to say Prost! with Tom and purchase your mixed German Riesling case HERE LINK: or pop in-store for a free taste of our range for the whole of July and discover or rediscover German Riesling and help us celebrate!!

In this blog, we will dive a little deeper into 3 of the 13 regions on the above map of Germany with the aim to explain what makes their wines so special and what you can expect to find in a glass due the micro climates or each region.

The Mosel

The Mosel is considered the oldest of Germanys regions. It is one of the most northerly and is a long and beautiful valley that follows the Mosel River and its tributaries, the Saar and the Ruwer (pronounced Roo-vair) as it loops and meanders through the valley. Due to its latitude, the Mosel is one of the coolest regions which in the glass translates into the lightest, freshest and most floral Rieslings of German with lower alcohol and the highest lip-smacking acidity which balances the sugar levels. The river offers an essential helping hand for ripening the grapes by refracting the sunlight allowing extra ripening with a longer hangtime made possible by Germany’s dry autumn conditions. The impossibly steep terraces of slate and schist are also key for the region. All work must be done by hand due to these steep slopes and harvest is often a long and protracted affair with several back breaking passes to pick at optimal ripeness. The steep slopes also allow for better exposure to the reflected sunlight which promotes even ripeness and greater sugar accumulation. The slate warms the vineyards acting like a radiator emitting heat during nights. Both add a salinity to the wines or aromas of wet stones which is also a typical Mosel Riesling characteristic. Although all quality levels and styles of wine can be found here, these factors mean the Mosel is most famous for its outstanding quality Rieslings such as the prestigious Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Muller-Burggraef Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Spatlese.  The legendary Berncasteler Doctor vineyard is located behind the village of Bernkastel and is one of the most famous vineyards in Germany. Due to the steepness of the slope, everything must be handpicked with some of the vines over 100 years old. There is about 84g/l of sugar in this Spatlese (late harvest) but it is beautifully balanced by the incredibly high acidity and low alcohol, blossomed character and texture from extended lees contact. This wine has many well-deserved accolades and is at an accessible price when one considering the quality level and reputation of the wine and producer. Pairs well with good company, spiced Asian aromatic duck, any seafood or Gravadlax. From the same producer we have the Mosel Riesling Feinherb which is seriously delicious and shows all the characters expected from a Mosel Riesling and offers brilliant value!


To the East of the Mosel, Rhinehessen is Germany’s largest wine region with vast plantings in the rolling hills to the South of the region and provides adynamic and fun region with an interesting variation of wine styles at all quality levels and price points. However, in the North of the region just to the south of Mainz and close to Bingen one can find the steep vineyard sites along the river Rhein better known as the Rhein Terrasse. Here Riesling is king once again as in Mosel. The south facing steep terrasses create more powerful Riesling wines than in the Mosel due to the wider river which offers more sunlight refraction and steep slate terraces but still with Rieslings textbook aromatic and floral character and trademark high acidity. All Praditkat levels can be produced here but typically with more alcohol than in the Mosel, with more ripe citrus fruit and fuller body due to the warmer sites and more accumulated sugars from extra ripening on the vine.

We list a classic example of a Riesling Kabinett (the lowest pradikat in terms of sugar accumulation or must weight) from Weingut Gunderloch, Jean Baptiste Riesling Kabinett. This Kabinett could easily be mistaken for a Spatlese due to its ripe character which reflects the potential quality of the three grand cru sites of which this wine is composed. One of the wines of Rhinehessen and simply a must try! Off dry style with a bright floral nose of magnolia and roses, key lime pie, great structure to the palate with creamy citrus and apple mid palate with a slight nuttiness from start to finish. This pairs well with the traditional local crostini, any Asian spiced dish or roast butternut squash curry.


Pfalz shares a border with Rhinehessen in the North and to the South Alsace in France. Combined with the shelter from the Harrdt mountians to the West, which provide a rainshadow for the region making it similar to Alsace; the sunniest and driest of the German wine regions. Perfect for quality focused viticulture. The Pfalz has the largest acreage planted with the Riesling grape. Riesling loves these warmer conditions and Pfalz produces wines of substance, with a less austere acidity than their Mosel and Rhinehessen counterparts and aromas of stone fruit (peach and apricot) rather than citrus (lemon and lime) and orchard fruit (apples) are common to be found in the glass as a result of these climatic influences and absolutely a region to explore. There is a vast variation of soils, slopes and micro climates which allow all six levels of the pradikat to be produced here too with as mentioned typically offering a little more substance and lower (but still relatively high) and less austere acidity.

We highly recommend our Reichsrat Von Buhl Bone Dry Riesling which displays a typical Pfalz stone fruit character and added depth with less austere acidity makes this Riesling versatile and food friendly. Pairs perfectly with lighter seafood dishes or fantastic as an aperitif with hors d'oeuvres in the summer sunshine.

Pfalz is also a rising star for German Spatburgunder aka Pinot Noir with 40% of the regions total production now in red wines with a particular focus to the warmest and driest Southern area and the friendly help from global warming to aid ripeness! Reichsrat Von Buhl Spatburgunder - we strongly recommend any Burgundy lovers to have a try of this excellent value Pinot Noir!