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The 3 major red varieties in Germany

A guest article by Estelle Platini.

Here is an overview of the major German varieties of red grapes. German red wines are refreshing, often light, and show more fruit than tannins. They are a specialty and usually consumed after ageing in bottle.


Spätburgunder grapes(Pinot noir) is the riesling’s red counterpart (7% of the total vineyard area), producing elegant, distinctive wines. Its small grapes ripen late. It originally came from the French province of Burgundy.

Wine: velvety, full-bodied, with hints of almonds.


Portugieser grapesOriginally came from the Danube Valley in Austria (not Portugal). It ripens early (4%).

Wine: flavourful, light, mild; very pleasant, easy-going wine.


Trollinger grapesGrows almost exclusively in Württemberg (2%) and probably originated in Tyrol. It ripens very late.

Wine: fragrant, fresh, fruity, good acidity, hearty.

Related articles

As a complement you can read an overview of the white varietals in Germany.

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