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Pfalz Wine Region

Also known as:  Rheinpfalz. The name of the region was officially changed in 1995 from Rheinpfalz to Pfalz.

Location
The Pfalz wine region is located in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). It is bordered by the Rheinhessen wine region to the north and France to the south. It runs for 52 miles (85 km) along the forested Haardt Mountains.

The Pfalz region is divided into two areas: the northern "Mittelhaardt-Deutsche Weinstrasse" (Middle Haardt German Wine Route) and the "Südliche Weinstrasse" (Southern Wine Route).

Size
Germany's second largest wine region.
57,876 acres (23,422 hectares); 6,800 wineries

55 million gallons (2 million hectoliters) of wine are produced annually in the Pfalz region (19.7% Prädikatswein; 71.9% Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete). This accounts for 23% of the volume from Germany's entire wine region.

Climate & Geography
The region experiences over 1,800 hours of sunlight per year, making it the sunniest area in all of Germany. The average temperature in Summer is 68 ° F (20° C). Warm, moist westerly winds keep the area mild in the Winter and not-too-hot in the Summer. The region is also protected from cold and frost by the Haardt Mountains.

Almost every soil type in which grapes thrive is found in the Pfalz region: sandstone, limescale, clay, granite, slate, and marl.

Grape Varieties
45 white and 22 red grape varieties are planted in the Pfalz region. The dominant grapes are the Riesling and Müller-Thurgau. Other important grapes are listed below.
  Riesling 20.8%
  Müller-Thurgau 15.2%
  Portugieser 11.1%
  Dornfelder 9.8%
  Kerner 8.2%
  Spätburgunder 5.4%
  Silvaner 5.2%
  Scheurebe 3.1%
  Weissburgunder 2.9%
  Grauburgunder 2.6%
  (Statistics from www.wein-plus.de)

Characteristics of Pfalz Wine
Wines from the Pfalz region belong to Germany's favorite wines. Every third bottle of wine sold in Germany was produced in the Pfalz region. Wines from the southern area, where the soil has a high clay, sand, and stone content, tend to be hamonious, fruity, and fresh with a spicy acidity. Wines from the northern area, where the soil is primarily loose sand, tend to be soft, mild, and full-bodied.

History
Wine production in the Pfalz region dates back to 2000 years to the time of the Romans. At the end of the Napoleon era, the region was governed by Bavaria (Bayern) and was given the official name of "Rheinkreis." Later, after World War II, the region was renamed "Rheinpfalz." This name remained until 1995, when it was changed to "Pfalz."



Pfalz Wine Region




Pfalz Wine Region
Photo: © Fotolyse - Fotolia.com



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