German Pinot has arrived, and the journey from obscurity has been rapid. Fifty years ago grapes struggled to ripen in the marginal climate, and reds tended towards the mean and barely drinkable. Mercifully they were rarely exported. Only a few pockets in the south were able to produce wines of quality.
Climate change has completely altered the picture. The marginal zone now looks to be somewhere around Norway, and red wine production has exploded, focussing mainly on the Holy Grail of Pinot Noir, so much so that in terms of global production Germany is now third behind France and the US. And the quality can be outstanding: seeing that they can properly ripen their fruit, growers have invested and experimented intensively, finding the right sites, vine material and equipment to produce an exciting range of wines from a broad range of soils, from the classic Burgundian clay and limestone to slate, loess and keuper. The variety of styles is correspondingly broad and quite fascinating to taste.
The great thing is that prices have largely not caught up with quality, so there are still superb values to be found.
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