Basics on Grape Varieties in and around Deidesheim

1. White Riesling
The best-known German grape type, which probably originates from native wild grapes of the Rhine region, has been known since the 15th century. In a vineyard, you can identify the grape by its upright growth, proclivity for a poor fruit set, late maturity and its minor sensitivity to frost. Due to the wine’s expressive fruity acidity, it is also elegant when it is fully mature.

2. Green Silvaner
This grape variety, whose dialectal names hint at the religion and rule of the region at that time, was been introduced during the 17th and 18th centuries. “Österreicher” = reformed = Rule of Leiningen or the Electoral Palatinate; “Franken” = catholic = Prince Electoral Rule of Speyer. In Ungstein, the grape is called “Österreicher”, as the village was under the rule of Leiningen. In Deidesheim, which was under the rule of Speyer, it is called “Franken”.

3. Müller-Thurgau, Rivaner (Riesling-Silvaner)
In 1882, Professor Helmut Müller from Thurgau, Switzerland, crossbred the most extensively cultivated grape variety in Germany in Geisenheim. It is very unlikely that Riesling and Silvaner are the parents of the breed, although the grower states this. Gene analyses, carried out in Klosterneuburg in 1996, show that chasselas is the father breed. Reliable returns, early maturity and low acidity are its major advantages, which, together with the flowery bouquet, explain the success of the grape variety.

4. Blue Portuguese
Native to the Iberian Peninsula, the vine was taken to Bad Vöslau in Austria at around 1770. In around 1840, Philipp Bronner (1792-1864) brought it to Germany, where the “Portuguese” quickly spread due to its undemanding nature, reliable returns, early maturity and low acidity.

5. Blue Pinot Noir
This nationally and internationally renowned grape was brought to Lake Constance from Burgundy by Charles the Fat in 1884. The wines, which are best suited for long periods ageing, have become renowned due to their high degree of maturity, expressive acidity, sometimes woody, berry-like taste and their wooden, Burgundian nature.

6. Blue Trollinger
A widespread table grape known as Frankenthal or Fleischtraube. It is still used for winegrowing in Württemberg and South Tyrol (Vernatsch).

7. Blue Limberger, Lemberger, Blaufränkisch
This grape variety from Austria was introduced in 1840 by Johann Philipp Bronner (1792 – 1864) together with the Blue Portuguese. It is grown in Württemberg in particular and produces light, fruity, acidic red wines in its youth. Once mature, the wines are of full character.

8. Gewürztraminer, Red Traminer
This grape variety was already famous in the 16th century for its rosy bouquet and high maturity. As it has a proclivity for poor a fruit set and poor returns, the fruity, elegant wines are a true specialty. Even Albertinus warned the ladies against drinking this specialty in 1593.

9. White Chasselas
Just like the Elbling, the Chasselas, mixed with other grape varieties, was also widespread in areas with a climate favoring high degrees of acidity.

 

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