Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weinwirtschaft: Germany's Top 100 Wines 2009

Picture: Germany's Financial Center Frankfurt am Main

Top 100 Wines in the German market - Weinwirtschaft January 2010

The German wine journal WEINWIRTSCHAFT just released its list of the Top 100 Wines for the year 2009. It is a bit like the Wine Spectator Top 100 list, where a below $20 wine from Washington State won last year. It is a list of the most successful wines in the German wine market.

The WEINWIRTSCHAFT Top 100 Wines is a subjective selection and ranking of the WEINWIRTSCHAFT, on the basis of 4 criteria: (1) the tasting results, (2) the price-quality-ratio, (3) how the wine sells and (4) the views of the readers of the Weinwirtschaft, who are overwhelmingly professional from the industry. Wines were nominated by larger producers, importers and retailers. This year, 700 wines were submitted. Only wines that sold more than 10.000 bottles in 2009 were included in the contest. That left many of German’s top wines from smaller top wine makers out of the rating.

Overall, the list is dominated by Old World wines, as the German consumers continue to be reserved vis-à-vis New World wines, lead by the assumption that mother nature plays a much smaller role in growing and making the wine in the New World than in the Old World. Not a single wine from the US made it to the list, although I typically find inexpensive American wines on the shelves of the large supermarkets when I am in Germany. Perhaps the importers of American wine did not submit their wines.

The red wines continue to be dominated by Italy, with 29 of the 60 red wines coming from almost all Italian wine regions. Germans like Italian food, beaches and wine. There are only few German red wines, although the area growing red grapes is rapidly expanding in Germany. There is indeed a red wine boom in Germany right now. 6 of the red wines are from Germany, two more than last year.

The red wine of the year award, however, went to a wine from Portugal, the 2007 Fabelhaft (A German word! - faboulus) from the Douro valley from Niepoort Vinhos. The top German red wine of the year is the 2007 Spätburgunder Weingut Knipser from the Pflaz region. Knipser is one of Germany's best red wine producers, with 4 Gault Millau Grapes.

For the white wines, it is just the opposite. About half (22) of the 40 wines are from Germany, with Terra Montosa 2008 vom Weingut Georg Breuer im Rheingau taking the lead. Breuer is also a 4 Grapes Gault Millau producer. Again, no American wines and just one wine from the New World, from New Zealand.

The list reflects the wine consumer behavior in Germany well. For white wines, you go for German, in particular Riesling, wines. For red wines, you look to other European countries, in particular Italy, France, Portugal and Spain.

Prices are in Euros.

1Euro = 0.88BP = 1.38US$ = 124 JPY

The winners

White Wine of the year

Weingut Georg Breuer, Riesling Terra Montosa 2008, Rheingau (ca. 16 Euro)

Red wine of the year

Niepoort Vinhos, Fabelhaft 2007, Douro/Portugal (ca. 10,95 Euro)

German Red Wine of the Year

Weingut Knipser, Spätburgunder 2007, Pfalz (ca. 8,80 Euro)

Champagne of the Year

Champagne Veuve Clicquot, Yellow Label Brut (ca. 34,90 Euro)

Prosecco of the Year

Villa Sandi, Il Fresco, Prosecco Spumante (ca. 9,90 Euro)

German Flaschengärsekt of the Year (methode champenoise)

Sekthaus Raumland, Cuvée Katharina, Blanc de Noirs Brut (ca. 13,90 Euro)

Best-Buy Red Wine

Lamberti Santepietre; Merlot delle Venezie IGT 2008 (ca. 3,99 Euro)

Best-Buy White Wine

Peter & Peter; Zeller Riesling feinherb 2008, aus der Steillage (ca. 5,99 Euro)

Here and here is the list with all the 100 wines.

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

German Wine Basics: How does a Sweet German Riesling Become Sweet?

Wine Ratings: Riesling Cup 2009 - Germany's Top Dry Rieslings

German Wine Basics: Erstes Gewaechs, Grosses Gewaechs, Erste Lage

Prinz zu Salm-Salm elected President of the International Wine Competition

Wine Video: Germany's Top Wine maker Guenter Kuenstler interviewed by Hendrik Thoma

Tasting Notes: German Wines Imported into the US by Valckenberg

German Wine Basics: Sugar in the Grape - Alcohol and Sweetness in the Wine

Winemaker - winery: Generation Riesling

Germany's Best Red Wines: The 2009 VINUM AWARDS

Ambitious Rheinhessen, Germany, Winemakers:"Message in a Bottle Group"

Wine Ratings: Top 100 of the Wine Spectator 2009 includes Wittmann and Loosen

Wine Ratings: Gault Millau Germany Wine 2010

Wine Ratings: German Wine Eichelmann 2010

Wine Ratings: The Top 100 Wines in Germany - Weinwirtschaft 2009


  1. As a Sauvignon Blanc lover, I paid particular attention to those wines and was surprised to find quite a few on the white wine list. I usually find this varietal difficult to locate in Germany. I see two from New Zealand and two from South Africa. South Africa is also considered "new world", correct? Thanks for posting and linking!

  2. Yes, South Africa is considered to be new world, although with a long wine making tradition, like other new world countries, such as Argentina.