German wine: Making Waves

“I believe German producers are missing out in specifying themselves. Rather than focusing on one wine to establish a name, such as Yquem, Petrus, Opus One, they are losing themselves in Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA), Kabinetts, Spätlese, from different vineyards. 

“They should introduce vineyard classification like France. Erstes Gewächs and Grand Cru is the first step in the right direction but again too much diversity,” says Raebel.

“Food and wine pairing with German wines is as diverse as the styles Germany is offering. In general the sweeter styles go well with Indian and Chinese cuisine. 

“A few of my favourite pairings are pot au feu with an aged Riesling, or seared tuna with sour cherries and a Pinot Noir from Rheingau. Bouillabaisse with a powerful Riesling from red slate terroir,” he says.

As to exports, Loosen says: “The US and the UK are obviously established and Norway and Sweden as well. As far as up-and-coming markets, China is obvious, but it is not as easy as people think. Germany is many times forgotten as a market for German wine as we are such a large importer of wines from around the world. 

German consumers

“But for years now, German wines are more and more appreciated by German consumers. Last year’s sales statistics showed the first time that more German wines had been consumed in Germany than imported wines.”

Langguth says: “Established markets are certainly the US, the UK and Scandinavia, while we experience best potential still in the US as well as in Asia. With our two major wine brands Blue Nun and Erben, we offer a diversity of classic German white wines to contemporary German red wines, such as our Erben Pinot Noir. The response to these wine styles is encouraging for us.”

Schindler nails it: “The US, Netherlands, the UK and Norway are hugely important export markets for Germany. These markets all vary in terms of style and size – the US is very much Riesling led. The UK is currently experiencing double-digit growth above £5, and in Norway, every third bottle of white wine comes from Germany. 

“Then we have a whole range of long-established export markets such as Sweden, Finland, Canada and Switzerland, where German wine has a very sound fan-base. On top of that we are seeing a growing demand for our wines from Asia, especially in China and Hong Kong but also in Japan, Korea and Singapore.

“We think it’s fair to say that in all markets, the shift we’re seeing is towards growth at the top end with quality German Riesling driving this shift, and a growing demand for our dry and our red wines,” says Schindler.

Bourger concludes: “It takes someone to recommend the wine but I think in a few years German wines will be more successful.”