Wurttemberg – red wines of Southern Germany

When I think of German wines, I think of their delectable rieslings. Be they kabinnett or trockenbeerenauslese, whenever I think of German wines, my mind goes immediately to the striking white wines of the Mosel and the Pfalz. But did you know that Germany also does red wines? And have done for centuries? I have written a fair amount on German reds but mostly as anomalies that stood out from the white wine crowd. They were,to those outside of Germany, obscure wines from small producers who wanted to show what Germany could do with syrah or pinot noir. Well, I learned that riesling is not the only wine that Germany grows on my recent trip to Wurttemberg ( with the German Wine Institute), a wine growing region in the south of the country, where they have been growing and making red wines for centuries. If you’ve never heard of trollinger, lemberger, heroldreb, fruhburgunder or schwarzriesling, join the club. The most comprehensive tasting we had was of the wines of the Collegium Wirtemberg, a co-op of local growers just outside of Stuttgart, they are one of the biggest and after tramping up a rather large hill, we got a lovely view of the surrounding vine covered hills and a taste of their Cuvee blanc sparkling wine before heading to the main winery/tasting room downhill. Trollinger is probably the wine they are most proud of and it has been called the “national drink of Wurttemberg”. A light and fruity wine with a bite to it, it reminded me, when done right, of a Beaujolais cru. Other times, it was a rather rustic wine but Collegium Wirtemberg managed to produce a lovely little wine, perfect for a sunny afternoon amongst the vines. More substantial wines they produced came from the lemberger, St. Laurent and spatburgunder or pinot noir grapes. While I say they were more substantial, I would say that is in relation to the trollinger. All the wines were medium bodied and were more savoury in...

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