Württemberg

Introduction

Württemberg is one of only a few places in the world that produces the Trollinger grape, and most of it is consumed locally. With more than half of its vineyards planted with red wine varieties, Württemberg is known as Germany’s premier red wine region – 70% of its vineyard area is planted with red wine grapes. Most of these wines are light, fruity and easy to enjoy; but deep-colored, rich, full-bodied red wine with great class is also produced here.

Statistics

Major Town: Stuttgart, Heilbronn

Districts: 6

Collective Sites: 21

Individual Sites: 196

Vineyard Area: 11,421

Terroir

Climate

– Mild temperatures
– Minimal wind
– Rivers temper the climate
– Hot and dry summers

Soil

The soils are varied and include shell-limestone, keuper, marl, loess and clay.

Top soil types:
Shell-limestone
Keuper
Marl
Loess
Clay

Terrain

Württemberg is east of the Rhine and Baden, between the Tauber Valley and the foothills of the Swabian Jura. The vineyards are located primarily along the valleys of the Neckar River and its tributaries, the Enz and the Rems, north and east of Stuttgart. The Black Forest and Swabian Jura buffer the vineyards from strong, cold winds and excessive rain.

Apart from the urban centers of Stuttgart and Heilbronn, Württemberg is a rural, hilly countryside with vineyards and orchards scattered amidst forests and fields.

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.

Trollinger

Trollinger is Württemberg’s premier red grape variety. In fact, these agreeable wines are known as the “Swabian national drink.” Except for a few growers in the Pfalz and Baden regions, Trollinger is almost exclusively grown in Württemberg. The majority of Trollinger wines are light and fruity with a delicate scent reminiscent of strawberry or cherry. Usually light brick red to pale ruby red, Trollinger is meant to be enjoyed young, and can be used to produce Rosé or blended with Lemberger.

Pinot Meunier
(Schwarzriesling)

Schwarzriesling wines are ruby red in color and have a fairly delicate body and a fruity aroma similar to that of Pinot Noir. They are popular in Württemberg, where the majority of plantings are cultivated. As a wine with meals, Schwarzriesling can be served as an alternative to Pinot Noir.

Lemberger

Lemberger has enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years as evidenced by its growing vineyard area, concentrated in Württemberg, where it accounts for about 15% of the region’s vineyard area. Various styles of Lemberger (also known as Blaufränkish in other wine-growing areas) are produced. Light, fruity versions as well as wines produced from grapes of Spätlese and Auslese concentration that yield reds rich in extract and tannins. Usually, the wines are intense in color, with aromas reminiscent of blackberry, cherry, plum currant or vegetal notes, such as bell pepper.

Kerner

This Trollinger x Riesling crossing was only first introduced in the early 1970s but already saw its peak in 1992. Since then the number of plantings has declined. Known as Riesling’s “little cousin,” this aromatic wine is perfect for everyday drinking with aromas of pear, apple, currant, apricot, and more, and can be vinified dry to sweet.

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