Country: Germany  Region: Nahe  Grape: Spätburgunder

The Nahe region is located in the Hunsrück Hills, between the Rhine and Mosel Valleys, and is named after the river that traverses it. There are over 10,430 acres of vineyards located on or near the banks of the Nahe and its tributaries. The region is a peaceful landscape of vineyards, orchards and meadows, interspersed with cliffs and striking geological formations. Although the Nahe is one of Germany’s smaller wine regions, its extraordinary range of soil types is second to none, allowing the region to produce quite diverse wines from relatively few grape varieties. The climate is grape-friendly!

Made singularly of Spätburgunder grapes (known as Pinot Noir elsewhere), the variety was brought to Germany from Burgundy in the 14th century. Today the growing area there encompasses nearly 12,000 hectares, making Germany the third largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world. Cool climates allow long maturing periods, which aid development of flavors and acidity.

A light ruby red in the bottle, chill it slightly and enjoy it tonight with sausages, burgers, ham, grilled vegetables or medium cheeses. These foods take full advantage of the wine’s charming light fruitiness with hints of raspberry, strawberry and black currant. With relatively low levels of tannins and pigments compared to other reds, it has a fruity acidity and smooth, elegant structure.

SPÄTBURGUNDER GRAPES — These grapes are finicky and challenging to grow, but the resulting wine can be one of the greatest wines available. Widely grown in Oregon and California in the U.S., and in parts of Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Chile, production is limited due to this grape’s pickiness regarding climate and soil. Flavors and aromas can be very red-berry-fruity, or woodsy and earthy. Not usually blended because this grape makes grand, stand-alone wines of notability.

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Tracie Burket
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