German winegrowers plant more white varieties

 Following a period of steady growth until 2006, the vineyard area of red grapes in Germany has since recorded a slight downward trend. As the German Wine Institute (DWI) announced on the basis of figures from the Federal Statistical Office, in the period up to 2015 the area devoted to white grapes rose again by approximately 2,700 ha to 67,074 ha.
This represents a 65.4 per cent share of the total domestic vineyard of 102,543 ha. Correspondingly, the share of red grapes amounted to 34.6 per cent or 35, 469 ha.
Of the cultivated varieties, Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) and Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder) posted the biggest rise last year of 320 and 269 ha respectively. With a current 4,973 ha of plantings, Germany continues to be the world´s largest producer of Pinot Blanc. In the case of Pinot Gris, they take second place behind Italy with 5,947 ha.

Riesling traditionally holds the top position in the German Grape Statistics. Its share of plantings was up slightly again in 2015 by 0.7 per cent to 23,596 ha. The Pfalz with 5,814 ha is Germany´s largest growing area for Riesling, followed by the Mosel with 5,387 ha. In a worldwide comparison, roughly half of all Riesling vines are grown in Germany.

Of the speciality grape varieties, Sauvignon Blanc continued its relatively dynamic growth last year. 894 ha are now planted with this sought-after variety, up five per cent on the previous year. The similarly aromatic Scheurebe grape, which is this year celebrating its one hundredth birthday since its breeding by Georg Scheu in 1916, remained largely stable compared to the previous year at 1,414 ha.

Of the red varieties, Pinot Noir (Spaetburgunder) takes the top spot in Germany. Its vineyard area of 11,784 ha remained unchanged last year. In an international comparison, Germany is thus the third-largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world, behind France and the USA.

The increase in vineyard area of international red wine grapes in the country remains very modest, with Merlot increasing in 2015 by only 20 to 619 ha and Cabernet Sauvignon by 5 to 364 ha. Nationwide plantings of varieties such as Shiraz and Cabernet Franc stood last year at 61 and 51 ha respectively.