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Study Cards on wine, german, climate

What is the latitude of the German wine producing regions and what is the overall climate?
  • 49–50°N with the exception of Baden.
  • Amongst most northerly wine regions in the world
  • Cool, continental climate
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Germany's latitude makes several factors essential for the wine regions. Which are these?
  • Site selection; Most along river Rhine & tributaries
    • radiates heat
    • moderates temperature
    • extending the growing season
    • steep, south facing slopes for maximum sun exposure (70% in Mosel)
    • Mitigates spring frost
    • morning mist ideal for botrytis
  • Mountain ranges; Taunus, Haardt
    • shelter from cold winds and rain
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Soils in Germany are very varied. Which ones can you recall and how do they play an important role?
  • Very varied; in certain areas, stony soils radiate heat, key for grape ripeness.
  • Slate: red, blue and black - Riesling does well on slate (Mosel, Ahr), distinct mineral character.
  • Calcareous soils in Baden, Pfalz and Rheinhessen – good for Spät- and Weissburgunder and Chardonnay
  • Clayey soils, Franken – best for Silvaner, Grauburgunder prefers heavy, clayey soils.
  • Erosion on steep slopes is a major problem: keeping it back up is a adding cost.
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Who and why were German crosses developed?
Who: various German wine institutes
Why: to cope with the cool climate of Germany
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Name some white and black German crosses
White:
  • Müller Thurgau
  • Scheurebe
  • Kerner

In particular, acidity levels are low and sugar high. Suitable for Liebfraumilch

Black:
  • Dornfelder, most successful second most planted black variety.
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