How much do we know of modern German wine? In this five-part series Chris Losh visits the winemakers that are reshaping the country’s landscape, and debunks some worn-out clichés in the process
German reds are all about Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir might be the most starry of the red success stories of the last 20 years, but it’s not the only one. Plantings of Lemberger (aka Blaufränkisch) have doubled, and those of Dornfelder tripled over the same period. Neither is likely to command the kind of prices that Spätburgunders do, but they’re an interesting option for restaurants looking for wines that combine ripeness and freshness at a good price.
‘Blaufränkisch from Austria is very powerful,’ says Rainer Schnaitmann, who makes a range of interesting reds down in Württemburg. ‘We like the cool-climate Lemberger because it has good freshness. People won’t just drink a glass, but a bottle.’ Schnaitmann also makes a spirited defence of the largely ignored Trollinger grape – the red stocked in a bajillion Stuttgart wine bars.
Pale and chillable it might be, but it’s hard to see it changing the rule book any time soon.