German wine has become almost synonymous with Riesling. Don’t get us wrong, we love a great glass of Riesling, but German wine is so much more than that. Cue German-grown pinot noir, a gem of a wine that offers so much.
Germany has several amazing places to grow grapes for pinot noir, where the climate is ideal. These produce a wine that is bright, fresh and with a hint of minerality — a perfect companion to a charcuterie board or to enjoy solo when you just need a glass of wine.
“Germany is one of the northernmost growing regions for pinot noir. Since pinot noir loves moderate, rather cool climate, the pinot noirs become particularly fine, feminine, elegant and cool in appearance,” says August Kesseler, managing director, founder and vintner of August Kesseler wines.
Germany, he says, has been primed for growing pinot noir for centuries, as monks from France brought the famous Clos de Vougeot clones and established the Rheingau winegrowing region.
“The Rheingau stands for Riesling, but Assmannshausen exclusively for pinot noir, and very big ones at that,” he says.
Adding to that, while pinot noir is grown throughout Germany, Kesseler points to the northernmost regions as ideal for this varietal. In valleys like the Ahr and the Rheingau, the grapes grow on steep slopes in a moderate, cool climate, which makes for excellent growing conditions, he says.
“The pinot noirs become particularly fine, feminine, elegant and cool in appearance. They become very mineral, light on the palate and easy to drink. Just as pinot noir is supposed to be,” he says.
However, the grapes are also grown throughout Germany as well, although produce different results, albeit still delicious.
“Very fine pinot noirs also grow in Franconia, and increasingly better are the pinot noirs from Rheinhessen. The Palatinate and Baden also make great pinot noirs, but they are already much heavier in appearance than the wines from the northern regions,” he notes.
Bonus: Kesseler explains that pinot noir from Germany not only tastes great, but is usually about 1/3 the price of a traditional burgundy from France. And, he says, these elegant sippers can elevate any meal, but are truly something special when paired with game.
“Fine, silky, cool, balanced and easy to drink pinot noirs goes best of all with a fresh piece of goat cheese, followed by pigeon and venison. Both the wine and the food are light on the palate and that is what great cuisine and great wines stand for,” he says.