Visiting Wilhelm Weil at his Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich, Germany and Tasting with Wilhelm Weil the 2010 Weingut Weil Wines in Kiedrich, Germany and German Riesling and International Grape Varieties – Top Wine Makers Wilhelm Weil and Markus Schneider at Kai Buhrfeindt’s Grand Cru in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
The German Wine Market
In terms of annual wine consumption, "the big 4" are France, Italy, the US and Germany, with total consumption exceeding 20 million hectoliters. Whereas France and Italy have a high (a round 50 liters and declining) per capita consumption, as does Germany, although a bit lower (40 liters), the US consumes very little per capita (only a bit more than 10 liters), but there are a large number of American consumers.
At the same time, annual wine production in Germany is around 8 million hectoliters, of which about 20 percent is exported. Thus, German wine imports account for about 14 million hectoliters. Overall, one out of 3 bottles of wine consumed in Germany is locally produced and 2 bottles out of 3 bottles imported.
A Global View: Who Makes and Who Drinks Wine?
Weinwirtschaft: Top 100 Wines in Germany in 2012
The German wine journal Weinwirtschaft just released its list of the top 100 wines of the year 2012. It is a bit like the Wine Spectator Top 100 list in the United States: the wines that make it to the list are not the qualitatively best wines, but the best wines according to a combination of several criteria: (1) the tasting results, (2) the price-quality-ratio, (3) how the wine sells and (4) the marketing efforts of the wine producer.
This year, more than 500 wines competed for the 100 top spots. 50 white wines and 50 red wines made it to the list. They convinced with top quality, good price-quality ratio, a clear retail structure and example-setting marketing. Only wines that sold more than 10.000 bottles in 2012 were included in the contest. That of course left the many smaller top wine makers out of the rating.
Overall, the list is dominated by Old World wines. The German consumers continue to be hesitant to buy New World wines, led 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.
Here are the 3 top wines for 2013.
1 2008 Muga Reserva, Rioja Bodegas Muga; Deuna
2 2010 Famiglia Zingarelli, Chianti Classico Rocca delle macíe; Pellegrini
3 2009 Fabelhaft Tinto, Douro Niepoort; Ardau Weinimport
Overall, the red wine list continues to be dominated by Italy - Germans like Italian food, beaches and wine – although the dominance is declinging and Spain – with Portugal – coming up.
Disappointingly, only 2 German red wine made it to the list - 2010 Malterdinger Spätburgunder, Baden Weingut Huber and 2010 Das kleine Kreuz, Pfalz Weingut Rings – although there is a red wine revolution going on in Germany. Not too long ago, German Pinot Noirs impressed Tim Atkin and others at a tasting in London that has received quite a bit of attention internationally.
For the white wines, it is just the opposite. Almost 50% of the winning white wines come from Germany. Here are the 3 top wines, all three of them dry Rieslings and from Germany.
1 2011 Saar Riesling Weingut Van Volxem, Saar
2 2011 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken Erstes Gewächs Weingut Robert Weil, Rheingau
3 2011 Riesling trocken Weingut Wittmann, Rheinhessen
Interestingly, 6 New World wines made it to the top 50 list, including 4 wines from Marlborough in New Zealand. The other two wines are from South Africa.
The Complete List
The complete list of the Weinwirtschaft Top 100 Wines 2012 of Germany can be seen here.
Prices are in Euros. 1Euro = 1.30US$ as of March 2013.
For earlier years, see:
The "German Wine Spectator Top 100 List" - Weinwirtschaft: Top 100 Wines in Germany in 2011
The "German Wine Spectator Top 100 List" - Weinwirtschaft: Top 100 Wines in Germany in 2010
Weinwirtschaft: Germany's Top 100 Wines 2009
The 100 Top Wines in Germany in 2008 - Weinwirtschaft
schiller-wine: Related Postings
The Size and the Structure of the German Wine Industry
A Global View: Who Makes and who Drinks Wine?
Wine Consumption by Country: Total and Per Capita
Who Drinks Germany’s Wine? The US Remains Germany’s Most Important Export Market, German Producers are Eying China – 2011 First Half Numbers