Wine for Normal People Podcast: Ep 173 — Pfalz, Germany

Pfalz is the region for you if you have the question: How do I get into German wine If I hate sweet stuff? Here’s the outline from
the show…fulllogo-color-2

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Overview

  • Pfalz is an important region in terms of quantity and quality. It’s one of the most promising German wine regions for Riesling and Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir)csm_mandelbluete_fruechte_suedlicheweinstrasse_pfalz_01_c3ca3c7c2a
  • In Western Germany, Between Rhine and lower lying Haardt mountains – continuation of Vosges, just south is Alsace

    • Warmer climate

      • Summers are dry, not too hot, winters mild. almost Mediterranean in some sections (almonds grow here)
      • Excellent viticultural conditions

pfalz-map
History:

  • There are traces of winemaking from 550 BC. Pfalz is from the Latin for for palace and it’s named for Palatine Counts of the Holy Roman Empire, who held court in the nearby city of Heidelberg from the 13th to the 18th century. The region languished for a while after Romans left, viticulture was not a priority for a long time.23228f59-a878-4f47-a933-1bde9d029731_1 
  • German wine route (Deutsche Weinstrasse) was created in 1935 and is an easy path for tourists, and it’s great for Pfalz wine — it has helped with the wine revival in modern times
  • Today: Pfalz is one of the most innovative regions in Germany – young winemakers, less expensive land

Grapes and Wine Styles…

  • 60% white, 40% red

    • Riesling 25%
    • Dornfelder 14%csm_bad-duerkheim-pfalz-weinberge-wander_5a3d460b6f
    • Muller-Thurgau 10%
    • Blauer Portugieser 9%
    • Spatburgunder 7%
  • Mittelhaardt – top Rieslings, South – increasing plantings of Riesling but also Spatburgunder, Portugieser, Dornfelder
  • Different from many German regions – 
    • Dry, fuller-bodied wines, not sweet
    • Reds – can ripen fully and each 13% alcohol (rare in Germany)

Pfalz is the place dry wine lovers should try first in Germany! So go explore! 

  • Jessica

    Because this podcast totally piqued my interest in these wines, I tried a Koehler-Ruprecht 2008 Pfalz Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling – what a fun and delicious find! Thanks for expanding my somewhat cautious love of Riesling!

    • Elizabeth Schneider

      So glad you are getting into Pfalz. It is really an amazing place with value and innovation galore. They can be hard to find, but when I can locate a great producer, I’m never disappointed! I’ll look out for that Riesling! Thanks for writing and for taking a chance on Pfalz!

  • Hrishi Poola

    Great episode Elizabeth! You’re totally right that they’re more adventurous and experimental. I just had a, believe it or not, Syrah from Pfalz. I was skeptical beforehand, but it turned out to be the best one in our Syrah tasting. I definitely need to delve deeper into Pfalz!

    • Elizabeth Schneider

      So cool! Not at all surprised that someone would do a Syrah from Pfalz. Was it peppery or fuller in fruit? Would love to know! Thanks for listening and writing!! : )

      • Hrishi Poola

        It was from the producer Schreieck (I always think of Shrek and giggle
        to myself). I haven’t been impressed with their
        other stuff so was very skeptical about the Syrah beforehand. A swirlf, a whiff,
        and a sip proved me so wrong – concentrated blackberry, cassis, nutmeg,
        and the oak character you often find in Pfalz Spatburgunders (butter,
        caramel, hazelnut, toast). Most striking was how silky it was. I’ve
        found that a lot of German reds are strikingly silky in texture, maybe
        because the Germans are such perfectionists when it comes to picking and
        extracting.

        FYI, I’ve also tried a Chenin Blanc as well as a Cabernet Sauvignon-Tempranillo blend from Pfalz.

  • Love Pfalz wines. On top of that, the region is studded with star rated restaurants.