Palatinate wine country - where the wine flows
The Palatinate wine region stretches from Alsace to Rheinhessen, and with thousands of wineries and millions of vines, it is the second largest wine growing region in Germany. However, the Palatinate wines are not distinguished by their quantity, as in the past, but by their quality, which has been increasing for years. Lively and juicy white wines as well as well structured and fruity red wines call the Palatinate their home. And sparkling wines and rosé wines are also produced locally in great abundance. And why not - the climate is almost Mediterranean, the soil is rich in nutrients and minerals. From Haardt to the Palatinate Forest, the vines find everything they need to thrive magnificently. Not least to the delight of the Palatinate people, who celebrate the local Palatinate wine with extensive wine festivals on the banks of the Rhine.
Between Dubbeglas and Großen Gewächsen
The Palatinate did not come to the viticulture, the viticulture came to the Palatinate. Because the people of the Palatinate know how to live, to laugh, to celebrate - and always with or because of wine. In every tavern, people drink the joie de vivre from the locally typical Dubbeglas, a cup decorated with indentations that holds half a litre. This is usually filled with a refreshing wine spritzer. Especially popular at wine festivals.
And there are plenty of them in the Palatinate. Among them is the largest wine festival in the world - the Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt. So there are opportunities to enjoy wine from the Palatinate at every corner. Even if you don't drive along the German Weinstraße passing small towns lined with half-timbered houses, you can still enjoy the Palatinate wines. Because together with the five other wine-growing regions Mosel, Rheinhessen, Ahr, Nahe and Mittelrhein, Rhineland-Palatinate is responsible for the majority of German wine exports. These include top-class Prädikat wines and great wines from the top sites of the Palatinate, such as Hohenburg, Jesuitengarten, Ungeheuer and Herrenberg.
Wineries and the Palatinate Wine
The quality offensive since 1990 has been successful. In the past, one could experience a big discrepancy between the southern Wine Route and the Mittelhaardt in terms of quality. While in the south mostly simply Schoppen wines were pressed, famous wineries in the northern part of the Palatinate already produced great wines. And even though rural Zechwein is still mostly used at wine festivals, the border has dissolved in the course of quality improvement and thanks to innovative winegrowers. Whether north or south - winegrowers and wineries everywhere create outstanding products that are bursting with strength and fruit.
A very big name from the Palatinate is Knipser, and not without reason. The family business, which has been based in Laumersheim since 1876, has not only been convincing with wines of unparalleled quality, but has also rendered outstanding service to the reputation of the Palatinate. In addition to classics such as Riesling and Pinot Noir, the vineyards now include Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Pressed impressively and established at the German wine top - the wines from the Palatinate by Knipser.
Winery Markus Schneider
The red wines of Markus Schneider are proof of the almost Mediterranean climate. The Black Print or the Holy Moly Shiraz show ripe fruit with spicy hints. The rising warmth and the soil will probably in the future more and more surround red grape varieties. Of course the white wines and rosé wines from the Ellerstadt winery are in no way inferior to the high quality of the other Palatinate wines.
Winery A. Diehl
The wines from the Diehl Winery have internalized the character of the Palatinate. This is again due to the warm climate, which also allows kiwis, figs and lemons to thrive in the Palatinate. This is how spirited wines are created from the winery's large portfolio of grape varieties. Whether Dornfelder, Pinot Blanc or Huxelrebe - if something grows in the Southern Palatinate, then it grows here quite excellently.
The history of wine growing in the Palatinate
Fermented grape juice may have been a concept for the Celts as early as 2,500 BC - although it may not have been intended. At that time, grapes were growing everywhere in Germany. The winegrowing culture, and the wine that went with it, only came to the Palatinate with the Romans around 50 BC. The conquest of Germania not only brought the Roman legions into the country, but also their drinking habits.
In addition to wine cultures, the first wine press houses were soon to be found between the Rhine and Moselle, as evidenced by the Villa rustica on the Weilberg in Ungstein, discovered in 1981, which in addition to the manor house also had a wine press. Roman viticulture left more than just ruins. Until today, numerous terms have also established themselves in our vocabulary.
Words we got from the Romans
- Wine - from the Latin: vinum
- cellar - from the Latin: cella - the pantry
- must - from Latin: mustum, also vinum mustum - young wine
After the Romans, it was mainly monks who romped around the vineyards under Frankish rule. The Frankish rulers gave the abbeys and monasteries fields, villages and also vineyards to cleanse their souls from evil deeds.
With the regulations of Charlemagne came the first quality regulations from the highest authority; thus wine was to be cultivated where grapes grow and cleanliness in processing was to prevail.
From 1500 onwards, there was an increasing understanding of wine. The addition of sulphur turned the previously unstable wine into long-lasting wine, whose characteristics became clearer. This made the contained grape varieties more important. Therefore it did not take long until the first 1584 vine variety regulation came into force in Neustadt an der Weinstraße.
In the past it was not unusual to pay your taxes in kind. Therefore it was not at all strange to receive his salary in kind. In the case of wine, however, the problem was that the quality of the wine varied from wine to wine. In order to guarantee a constant quality for everyone, various wines found their way into giant barrels and thus formed a giant cuvée. Whether this tasted good or not is hard to tell - but with a head usage of up to 150 litres per year, this may be a minor matter.
More wine, more quality, more Pfalz
From 1775, the fine nuances of viticulture were discovered. Spätlese and sparkling wines became interesting, as evidenced by the third oldest sparkling wine cellar in Bad Dürkheim. And after the phylloxera catastrophe, which did not spare the Palatinate either, the wineries oriented themselves in a new way. The narrow cultures with a 1.20 metre wide stand were now accessible for machines. Plant protection products, vine pruning equipment and soil care were further trends that were applied across the board.
The last few decades have been marked by sustainable cultivation and high quality. You can taste the latter, the former has been the case in the Palatinate for thousands of years.
Ideal growing conditions for wine from the Palatinate region
The climate is dignified and mild, with little rainfall and numerous hours of sunshine. The vines also benefit from the sheltered location provided by the landscape of the Rhine plain between the Palatinate Forest and Haardt, and are thus largely spared from frost or cold air.
The soil offers all sorts of things; sand, marl, lime, clay, loam and more. However, the proportions vary from place to place - not least the reason for the rich variety of characteristics of Palatinate wines. In the southern part of the Palatinate, for example, the soil is more clayey and therefore richer in nutrients. Around the Mittelhaardt, the northern part of the Palatinate, the soil is much drier. As a result, the water sinks quickly into the depths and the soil is dry. As a result, the soil stores more heat, which benefits the vines. In addition, the roots of the vine reach deep into the soil to get to the water, thus pumping the minerality of the soil into the grapes.
The grape varieties for Palatinate wine
We have clarified that the vines feel comfortable in the Palatinate, but which grapes are not yet dangling from the little tree.
A total of 126 different grape varieties have been approved for cultivation in the Palatinate, with further varieties being grown for experimental purposes. White grape varieties have the largest share, above all Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner and Pinot Blanc. The red grape varieties are led by Dornfelder, with Portugieser, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon in the wake.
Buy Palatinate wine online at your local wine store VINELLO
From Schweigen-Rechtenbach to Bockenheim, from the Palatinate Forest to Haardt, from fresh white wines to bubbly sparkling wines - to experience the Palatinate means to experience wine diversity. Taste and enjoy the Palatinate wines on VINELLO, from wineries steeped in history and young winegrowers eager to experiment.
The second largest wine-growing region shines in all classes and proves time and time again the excellent quality of wine from German lands. Order exquisite wines from the Palatinate at a low price and relax in our wine online shop. We send securely packed wines, both climate-neutral and free of shipping costs from an order value of 120€. We also offer you numerous payment options and a hotline to our sommeliers, who will always find an answer to your wine questions.