German Wines: A Jigsaw Puzzle

By Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr

German wines have always been a jigsaw puzzle for us to put together. Confusing categories ranging from dry to sweet, names hard to pronounce and varying degrees of quality have challenged us to both understand the wines and then like them. Their absence on store shelves and many wine lists indicates we’re not the only ones who find German wines an enigma.

Tom was able to add a couple of pieces to the puzzle during a recent river cruise along the Rhine and Mosel rivers. Vineyards planted on incredibly steep mountainsides in this cool northern region show the difficulty wine producers face to make decent wines. The Bremmer-Calmont vineyard on the Moselle River, for instance, is the steepest in the world at 65 degrees. Pickers defy death every day they take to these vineyards, which not surprisingly has one of the highest fatality rates in the world.

To read more, pick up a copy of the November/December issue of LiveIt magazine.