Wines : Red wine varieties
The ruby-red Spätburgunder wines belong to the noblest red wines of the world. In its home region of Burgundy this variety can be traced back to the 4th century. It found its way to Germany five centuries later. Internationally known as 'Pinot Noir', it requires much care and places high demands on the climate and the vineyard. It is a labour-intensive variety both in the vineyards as well as in the cellars and rewards the producer with elegant, full-bodied red wines which show a fine earthy fruitiness (strawberry, violets) as well as revealing good structure and body on the palate.
This international grape variety is only cultivated in Germany on a small scale. It is most-widely planted in the Bordeaux region of France and serves there as a wine for blending with 'Cabernet Sauvignon' and 'Cabernet Franc' softening the distinctive tannin of the latter-named wines by virtue of its fruitiness and smooth body. Single variety Merlot wines are to be found in Pomerol ('Château Petrus') and in the Ticino region of Switzerland. Merlot wines have also recently been increasingly more successful in the New World (South Africa, Argentina) due to their full-bodied and smooth-textured nature. In Germany it is a wine with a deep and dark colour coupled with a fine fruitiness and a well-balanced play of tannic acid.
This highly successful new German red wine variety was discovered in 1955 by August Herold in the Württemberg region; it is a cross between Helfensteiner (Frühburgunder x Trollinger) and Heroldrebe (Portugieser x Limberger). As a fast-growing and robust variety, it requires much sensitivity on the part of the winegrower in order to increase the concentration of the wines by appropriately reducing the yield. These uncomplicated red wines are always intense in colour, smooth-textured and well-balanced, and reveal an excellent fruitiness (sour cherry, blackberry).