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Pfalz Wine Region

Pfalz is a Key Wine Region in Germany

Pfalz, which is commonly known as the Palatinate, is one of the key wine regions in Germany.
This region, which has its location in the Western Germany, is sandwiched between the Rhine River and Haardt Mountains. This is just a narrow stretch of land with Rheinhessen to its north and Alsace to its south.

Pfalz, which was called as Rheinpfalz until the year 1993, has a longer history of winemaking.

It is believed that the first vine plantings were brought to Pfalz by the Romans during the first century A.D. This important wine region of Germany is showing a great promise for the country’s future wine industry.

Wine grape varieties

Now, let’s explore Pfalz as a key wine region here…

Climate and Soil of Pfalz

In terms of climate, I would say that the region has more or less the ideal conditions for vine cultivation by being one of the warmest regions of the country.

Here, the summers are found to be dry, but not very hot and the winters are found to be mild.

These characteristics of the climate in Pfalz are found to be creating Mediterranean types of microclimates.

The vineyards of this region are found to be receiving about 1800 hours of sunshine in a year. When we take a look at the soils of Pfalz, we can understand that the region has a wide range of soil types with the most common types of soils being:

  • Sandstone
  • Limestone
  • Marl
  • Loess-loam
  • Granite
  • Slate

A Look at the Vineyards of Pfalz

With more than 58,000 acres of vineyards, this region is found to be the second largest wine region in Germany and is also one among the thirteen quality wine regions of the country.

There are around 10,000 wine grape growers in Pfalz involved in the cultivation of both white and red grapes.

Of course, with whites occupying almost 60% of the Pfalz’s vineyards.
The white varieties are known to be the most successful varieties here. Like several other wine regions, Riesling is the major grape variety in this region too.

This single variety is found to be occupying more than 14,000 acres of land thus making Pfalz as the world’s largest Riesling-growing region.

This region is known to be contributing almost 15% of the world’s Rieslings. The Riesling wines that are produced in Pfalz are found to be exceptionally richer and riper when compared to those that are got from other regions.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Wine Styles of Pfalz

We can see that the region has some similarities with its southern border French Alsace, which is mainly because both these regions are sandwiched between the ‘Rhine River’ and the Haardt Mountains.

Thus, the wine styles of Pfalz are found to be similar to that of Alsace.

It is not just because of the similar climatic conditions, but also due to the grape varieties used.

The wines that are produced in the warmer dry regions of Pfalz are found to be more concentrated and full-bodied than those that are produced in the cooler wet regions.

Major Grape Varieties in Pfalz

In total, 45 white varieties and 22 red varieties are permitted for cultivation in the Pfalz region.

Although Riesling is the dominant grape variety, we can see the Pinot varietals occupying most parts of the Southern Pfalz thus making it as the country’s largest red wine region.

At present, this region is highly regarded for the following red varieties:

  • Pinot Blanc
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Noir

However, Pinot is not the most planted red variety of Pfalz. The most planted red variety is found to be the Dornfelder which is occupying more than 3000 hectares of vineyards.

Other dominant grape varieties of Pfalz are:

  • Müller-Thurgau
  • Kerner
  • Morio Muscat
  • Portugieser

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Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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