True confession time: I’m starting my D3 studies ‘early’ because as I’m working through my D2, I’m finding that I need real life references as to how the D2—Wine Business—material works in today’s wine industry. It’s like fate that the below question came at the bottom of a newsletter from the Napa Valley Wine Academy. So, I’ve decided that, in an effort to connect the dots between D2 and D3, I’m going to ask this question of every region I study.
Explain how wine law and regulation influence the style, quality, and price of wines from Germany.
Would that I could have a bottle of every single wine variety. I bet I could learn a whole heap that way (not to mention have a whole heap of fun). But, alas, the money tree seems to be in its dormancy. So the title of this post is a bit mis-leading, as I won’t be physically tasting through these wines, but more putting together what I can gather from my readings about the style and structure typical to these varieties, as it pertains to German winemaking.
Afterwards, I want to take a walk through a few of the other notable wine producing regions of Germany and talk about what non-Riesling grapes thrive best there and why. Sound fun? Totally. Let’s go…
I don’t know why, but I found that, during my WSET Level 3 studies, starting with Germany was really helpful. Maybe because the regions are completely foreign to me; the wines not regularly available in my area. Perhaps, embarking on a whole new adventure was the way to jump in. And, now, studying for my Diploma, I find the country calling to me again.
When I first started posting about my studies, I began with an exploration of major German regions via the country’s most popular grape. The kind of “dry” tasting notes, if you will, gave me a good idea of what kind of climate and terroir each individual region has. (See German Riesling: Location Matters) But Diploma studies are so much more detailed.
Indeed, this exploration, though it follows the same path, is going to dive a bit deeper and, for fun and educational purposes, I want to actually experience a few of the wines myself to see if I can actually taste what I’m reading about. Hence, “Taste and Learn.”
Here’s a fun exercise to helping to learn the different German regions: think about them in reference to the country’s most popular grape variety—Riesling. Going from North to South, let’s talk about Mosel, Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, and Baden.