Copyright: T’s Communications Corp. 2009-2017 The Grape Varieties Riesling The Riesling is one of the truly great grapes and virtually the embodiment of German wine culture. Riesling has been grown in Germany since the 15th century. The vines are robust and the grapes' fairly long ripening period is typical for this wine. While the Riesling is rather undemanding when it comes to the soil in which it’s grown, the grapes' development depends greatly on the amount of energy they can absorb. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that the Riesling can be found on the steep hills along the Rhine and the Moselle. A vast variety of Riesling wines are available in Germany. But they maintain the characteristics of the Riesling, its natural acidity and its exquisite suitability for storage of the wines on the higher end of the quality range. Grauer Burgunder (Pinot Gris) In the 14th century the vines of the Pinot Gris took a little detour from Burgundy via Switzerland and Hungary until they reached the present German wine-growing districts. It was called „Rulaender“ in the 18th century, after Johann Ruland, a businessman from Speyer (Rhineland-Palatine) – known for its sweet and heavy wines. Nowadays, however, the Pinot Gris grapes are converted mostly into dry wines. This rich wine comes in a multitude of varieties –both in colour and fruity aroma. Chardonnay Chardonnay may very well be one of the most famous grapes for white wine - and it is, at the same time, one of the premium grapes. Those who mention it in one breath with the Riesling or the Sauvignon Blanc, are already on the right track where quality is concerned. Even though the Chardonnay is mostly associated with France, the largest producing region is California. Growing Chardonnay in Germany has been approved in 1991. The home of our wines in Rhineland-Palatine offers the best conditions for its cultivation - and the “Wohlgemuth-Schnuerr”- estate’s Chardonnay late vintage (Spaetlese) demonstrates successfully that their wines do not have to fear the competition with the products of other regions. Spaetburgunder (Pinot Noir) The Pinot Noir is surely one of the kings of grape varieties – as far as quality is concerned. Among the reds, the Pinot Noir is on a par with Riesling in the white wine segment. Pinot Noir has been grown in Germany since the 9th century. Its cultivation is rather sophisticated – climate- and soil-demands need to be met as well as the proper care that needs to be ensured. In return, wines made from Pinot Noir grapes are among the best in the world. Interesting note: the red grapes of the Pinot Noir also make a very delicate white wine (“Blanc de Noirs”). Pinot Noir red wines stand out from the crowd with their velvety taste and fruity aroma. It's best enjoyed at temperatures around 16 to 18°C. Cabernet Sauvignon Wine makers all over the world have put their trust in this famous grape variety since the 17th Century. This wine is rich in tannins, has a dark-red colour and a multitude of fruity aromas. Most Cabernet Sauvignon wines are also very suitable for prolonged storage. Merlot The Merlot is among the top class of vines – and it requires the utmost care and prime conditions for its growth and a decent harvest. Its one of the “early bloomers” and quite receptive to the cold of spring nights. On the other hand also its grapes can be harvested fairly early. Most likely the Merlot grape took its origin in the Bordeaux region in France in the 18th century. In Germany it can be found only since 1997. Its dark red, fruity and smooth wines make it a perfect companion for quite a variety of food. Dornfelder This very German grape dates back only to the 1950s when it was created in Wuerttemberg (southwest Germany). The Dornfelder combines the special characteristics of different grapes: “Fruehburgunder”, “Trollinger”, “Portugieser” and “Limberger”. Initially the strongly red-colored grapes had been created to add colour to other lighter red wine varieties. Meanwhile, Dornfelder has established itself as an independent grape. It is not only extremely popular, but has also reached a remarkable quality that permits comparison with other more classical grape varieties. The Dornfelder grape presents wines that are full in body and very smooth. Almost all of them can also be recognized by their extremely dark colour. Saint Laurent Little is known about the origins of this grape, but it is most likely that it came from France. Until  recently, there wasn't as lot of wine to be found in Germany made from this grape. Now, however, the  Saint Laurent enjoys a growing interest.  The name of the grape derives from Saint Laurentius – his memorial day is August 10th, the time when  the Saint Laurent grapes begin their ripening process.  Even though there is only a medium amount of harvest to be expected from these vines, they provide  the basis for the most refreshing and fruity red and rosé wines, satisfying even the most demanding  wine connoisseur.