Pfalz wine region

Germany’s second-largest wine region, the vineyards of the Pfalz (Palatinate in English) stretch for 80 km along the eastern foothills of the Haardt Mountains.  In effect it’s a northerly extension of France’s Alsace region.  At the southern end of our map you can see the border following the Rhine, with the Vosges mountains parallelling it to the west.  That’s Alsace.  North of Strasbourg the border turns abruptly left but the river and the Vosges mountains (now called the Haardt range) continue north.  This is the Pfalz.
Thanks to the rain shadow of the mountains, this is the driest and sunniest of Germany’s wine regions, just as Alsace is in France.  The grape varieties are mostly the same, and the wines are noted for their full-bodied dry style (by German standards, anyway) that is closer to that found south of the border than to the rest of Germany.
One point of difference is the prevalence of red wine.  Over 40% of the grapes planted are black (compared to 10% in Alsace) with Dornfelder now the second most planted variety after Riesling.  Few of the reds (and rosés) produced here are exported, however, being drunk enthusiastically by the Germans themselves.  You’re much more likely to see Riesling, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc).

Decanting Club wines from: Pfalz

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