German wine trends favour white, rosé and dry


German wine producers are adapting to consumers’ prevailing tastes. As the German Wine Institute (DWI) concludes from last year’s mandatory testing of all quality wines, exactly half of all Qualitätswein and Prädikat wines were offered in a dry style. 

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This corresponds to an increase of two percentage points compared to the previous year and confirms an ongoing trend. 20 years earlier, only 35 percent of German quality wines were dry.

The share of semi-dry wines, on the other hand, remained constant compared to the previous year at 21 percent and has hardly changed in the past 20 years. By contrast, the production of sweet wines has declined. In 2022, they accounted for only 29 percent of all quality-tested wines, in contrast to 45 percent in 2002.

White wine represents 66 percent of the total

In regard to colour, rosé wines not only increased in consumption last year, but also in the range of wines offered by wine producers. With an increase of one percentage point to 13 percent of all Qualitäts- and Prädikat wines, rosés have again reached the previous peak level of 2020.

The share of quality-tested white wine grew by two percentage points to 66 percent in 2022. The increase in white and rosé wine production came at the expense of red wines , which still account for 21 percent of all quality-tested German wines.

This development in supply is clearly reflected in the range of vines in the vineyards.

Cultivation is also dominated by white wine varieties

In 2022, the share of white wine varieties cultivated in Germany increased again from its lowest level of 63.1 percent in 2006 to 68.4 percent. The area under vines of white wine varieties totalled 70,752 hectares in 2022, an increase of 614 hectares compared to the previous year. Germany's total vineyard area, on the other hand, remained virtually constant at 103,391 hectares.

Pinot varieties have the biggest increases

As in previous years, the most popular grape varieties with the largest increases in area were the white Pinot varieties, above all Pinot Gris (a.k.a. Grauburgunder) by 396 ha, followed by Chardonnay (+173 ha) and Pinot Blanc (a.k.a. Weißburgunder) by 119 ha. With a total of 6,181 ha of Weißburgunder vines, Germany is the world's largest supplier of wines made from this variety. The cultivation of all white Pinot varieties, including Auxerrois, grew to a total of 17,308 hectares.

The cultivation of Germany's most important grape variety, Riesling, also continued to grow slightly (+92 ha), with around a quarter of the national vineyard area planted with this flagship variety in 2022.

New, sustainable white wine varieties on the rise

The white varieties were also most sought after in 2022 for the new, sustainable grape breeds that hardly need any plant protection. The favourite variety here was Souvignier Gris, which, after an increase of 74 hectares, rose to third place among the most important white fungus-resistant grape varieties, behind Solaris (207 ha) and Cabernet Blanc (260 ha) varieties. The combined area under vines of the new white varieties was 1026 hectares (+144 ha).

Regent accounted for 90 percent of the red sustainable varieties, with a cultivation area of 1,794 hectares. However, this has been declining slightly for years. Instead, varieties such as Cabernet Cortis (60 ha) or Pinotin (36 ha) are developing as new red wine alternatives in this segment.

Aromatic varieties popular

Of the vineyards planted with aromatic varieties, Sauvignon Blanc increased the most with 120 hectares to 1,923 hectares. Other aromatic varieties with slightly increasing shares include Scheurebe (1,483 ha), Gewürztraminer (1,120 ha), Gelber Muskateller (579 ha) and Goldmuskateller (86 ha).



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