Baden

Introduction

Baden is the southernmost of Germany’s wine regions; Nearly half of the vineyards are planted with Burgunder varieties (Spätburgunder, Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder).

Famous Baden tourist attraction Heidelberg Castle has graced the pages of Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, and Jules Verne and is home to “The Great Cask” – a wine vessel dating back to 1750, which can hold over 220,000 liters of wine, measures 23 feet wide and 28 feet long, and is big enough for a dance floor to be erected atop it.

Statistics

Major Towns: Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Freiburg

Districts: 9

Collective Sites: 16

Individual Sites: 301

Vineyard Area: 15,834

Terroir

Climate

– Long sun hours and warm summers
– Mild winters
– It is the only German wine region that climatically falls within the EU wine zone B (the warmest region in Germany)
– The Mediterranean climate allows for the growth of citrus fruits, almond trees, and orchids

Soil

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 near Lake Constance.

Top soil types:
Moraine
Clay
Loess
Loam
Granite
Sand
Volcanic soil
Shell-Limestone
Marl

Terrain

Baden is primarily a long, slim strip of vineyards nestled between the hills of the Black Forest and the Rhine River, stretching from Heidelberg and the Tauber Valley in the north to the Swiss border and Lake Constance in the south.

The sunny, warm climate is influenced by the region’s position between the ridges of the Palatinate Forest and the Oden Forest, and between the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest. They offer protection from cold wind and keep heavy rains at bay, while allowing Mediterranean airflow through the “Burgundian Gate” into the Rhine Plain.

Varietals

Riesling

With over 23,000 hectares, Germany is home of the world’s largest vineyard area dedicated to Riesling. Riesling is predestined for northerly wine-growing regions and grows in all 13 German regions. Depending on type of soil and microclimate, it yields grapes that produce wines with extremely diverse nuances. They range from bone dry to lusciously sweet and from everyday wines to rare, high-quality collectibles. A “typical” Riesling is reminiscent of peach or apple on the nose, and has pronounced acidity. It is fantastic for food pairing and sparkling wine production.

Müller-Thurgau

Known for their approachable, light and refreshing taste, Müller-Thurgau wines make for easy, everyday drinking. Bred in 1882 by Professor Hermann Müller (1850-1927) from the Swiss canton Thurgau, this namesake wine now accounts for about 12% of Germany’s vineyard area and is grown in all 13 German wine-growing regions. The wines have a light Muscat tone, usually mild acidity, and sometimes, a flowery bouquet.

Pinot Noir
(Spätburgunder)

If Germany’s finest white wines are produced from Riesling, its red wine counterpart is Spätburgunder, which reaches top form in German sites. Germany ranks third worldwide in area devoted to Pinot Noir, after France and the USA, with almost 12% of the vineyard areas planted with the grape. Ranging from ruby to garnet red, Pinot Noir wines are slightly tannic, mild in acidity, and have a long finish with aromas reminiscent of blackberry and cherry.

Pinot Gris
(Grauburgunder)

Although it is a mutation of Pinot Noir and has pinkish skin, Grauburgunder is a white wine grape. It produces pale to golden yellow wines reminiscent of mango, nuts, almonds, and quince. It is vinified in stainless steel or oak, and typically denotes a dry, medium-bodied wine with fairly lively acidity. Germany now ranks third worldwide in terms of vineyard area devoted to Pinot Gris.

Pinot Blanc
(Weissburgunder)

Weissburgunder wines’ fresh acidity and delicate fruitiness make it not only an ideal food wine, but also a light summer wine. A white mutation of Pinot Gris, the grape has shown a steady upswing for several decades; its area has doubled within the past ten years, with Germany having the second highest number of plantings after Italy. German Pinot Blanc is typically vinified dry and have a slightly nutlike aroma.

Gutedel

Gutedel has been grown for 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest cultivated grape varieties in the world. In Germany, the grape dates back to the early 17th century. Gutedel achieved its international popularity as one of the most delicious and easy to drink table wines with unique expression of terroir. In southern Baden, it has maintained a local specialty.

More Images of Baden