The climate in Germany is very cool - this means the grapes grown must be cold hardy. As a result, the majority of the grapes are white varieties - about ⅔ of German vineyards produce white grapes, although reds are also now increasing in popularity with prominent winemakers.
Whether red or white, German wines tend to be more acidic than their French or Italian counterparts - this comes back to the cooler climate which means less ripeness, as well as the grape varieties themselves, like Riesling, which retain more acidity when ripe.
The southwest of Germany has an ideal climate for winemaking, and of the 20+ prominent natural wine producers in the country, most can be found in Rheinhessen. On the other hamd, While not the largest, Mosel might be Germany’s most well-known wine region, famous for its lower-alcohol white wines and especially Riesling. The most popular grape varieties in Germany include Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Dornfelder, Silvaner, Lemberger (Blaufränkisch), Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc).
A new generation is focusing on natural wines
In the past, Germany has had a reputation for its cheap and sweet white wines, unfortunately originating from the export of the mass-produced “liebfraumilch” in the 80s - but it's now a top-contender in the production of elegant, quality wines. With the rise in popularity of natural wines, we’re also seeing a lot of amazing natural wine producers coming from Germany.
Perhaps the driving force of the natural wine movement in Germany is the “junge winzer” (young winemakers). Many of these young winemakers have taken over generations-old family vineyards, have often gathered knowledge while studying or working abroad, favour a collaborative approach, and aim to make wines that truly express the unique terroir. With passion and commitment, they have transformed the vineyards into producing only natural wines for the first time.
Popular young producers include (but are definitely not limited to!) Weingut Freitag, Marto Wines, Brand Bros, Vin de Lagamba, Glow Glow, BD Schmitt, and Andi Weigand.