South West German Wine Region: Baden and Baden-Wurttemberg
Region in the south-west of Germany, producing large quantities of red and white wines, which are not often seen on export lists. They have not, until recently, produced wines which achieve more than everyday quality on any significant scale, but improvements in winemaking and viticulture make it possible that this will not always be so. Up until the Phylloxera, Baden was the largest wine-producing region in Germany. There are some great estates and a variety of grapes is cultivated, although not a high proportion of Riesling. The main vineyards in the region are the Bodensee, Markgraflerland, Kaiserstuhl (nothing to do with the Australian vineyard of the same name), Ortenau, Bergstrasse and Krachgau. In this region, as in Wurttemberg, Weissherbst is also made, a type of rose.
This region in south Germany makes an enormous amount of wine, including large quantities of red and some rose. As the inhabitants are the largest wine consumers in Germany, it is not surprising that comparatively little is exported, and in fact the bulk comes into the category of ‘open wine’ or carafe wine. A variety of vines are used: Trollinger and Spatburgunder (the Pinot Noir), for the better red wines; Riesling, Traminer, Rulander (the Pinot Gris) and Sylvaner for the whites. The Spatburgunder makes a wine called Weissherbst, which is rather like a pale rose The best Baden wines come from the Ortenau, a region which extends north-east upwards from Offenburg to Baden-Baden, where there are some individual estates, probably the most famous being that of Schloss Stauffenburg. In Wurttemberg a pinkish wine, made from red and white grapes, is an easy carafe drink, but its name – Schillerwein – is supposed to refer to its flickering pinkish-gold colour and has nothing to do with the poet Schiller, whose name is also confusingly associated with Stuttgart.