Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Baden, germany’s longest wine region, stretching over 400 km/250 miles from the border with franken in the north across the Rhine from alsace to Lake Constance (the Bodensee) and German-speaking switzerland in the south (see map under germany). The general and local climate, the varying soils, and the height above sea level have a marked effect on the wines of Baden’s nine districts, or bereiche, which had a combined vineyard area of 15,822 ha/39,080 acres in 2013. In this southernmost growing region of Germany spätburgunder, grauburgunder, and Weissburgunder (pinot blanc) account for 36, 11, and 8% respectively of the region’s vineyard area, making it Germany’s Pinot stronghold, and total red wine production surpassed 30% in 2011. Warm, dry conditions and frequently steep, terraced sites of volcanic origin typically combine to yield wines of naturally abundant alcohol, although, as in many other respects, this huge region harbours considerable diversity, and there are enough cooler sectors for growers so-inclined to bottle Pinots that are downright delicate, as well as to support a 7% vineyard share of riesling. Around 70% of Baden’s vine acreage is farmed by growers who belong to one of the region’s 80 co-operatives (Winzergenossenschaften), a number approaching half of Germany’s total.