German Reds – Don’t Worry About Pronouncing Them, Just Drink Them!


After a quick break for lunch it was onto the second master class of the day down at the ABS Wines tasting day. Anne Krebiehl, Master of Wine, chaired the panel of winemakers made up of the great and the good of German red wine production. This was all about why German reds deserve their time in the spotlight!

I guess it’s fair enough to feel the need to run a session like that. Think of German wines, you naturally think of Riesling in the tall thin bottles. You don’t think of it as a hot bed of red wine production.

I’m lucky enough to have driven down the Deutsche Wein Strasse a couple of years back, so had a fair idea of the German reds. But again the beauty of master classes is get to listen to the winemakers themselves tell you what they think is the most important things to consider. So I sat back infront of my tasting glasses of Spätburgunder (German for Pinot Noir), Dornfelder, and Lemberger and let them take it away!

In a self-admitted German stereotype, they came heavily armed with statistics! In fairness they were pretty interesting. Did you know that over a third of German vine plantings are red grapes? And that Germany is the third largest Pinot Noir producer in the world? I didn’t!!

Germany has a great tradition of red wine production, but in the past it’s been tailored to the local market. Dornfelder was a crossing from the 1950s designed to get a grape that’ll ripen in the cool climate of German regions and give lots of deep red colour. The local market loves it, but does the rest of the world know about it? That’s the challenge now. Use the distinct and superb Pinot Noirs to get the world’s attention and then send in the Dornfelder and Lemberger.

Fingers crossed they’ll be on the shelves soon for us all to try even more!



The panel of the master class were:

Anne Krebiehl MW

Konstantin Guntrum from Louis Guntrum in Rheinhessen

Alexander Stodden from Weingut Jean Stodden in Ahr

Rainer Schnaitmann from Schnaitmann in Württemburg



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