Top 10 cool climate wine regions

1. Ruwer River region, Germany

GST: 13.8 8169133_orig

Plantings: 8,800ha (including rest of Mosel region)

Main grapes:  60% Riesling, 12% Muller-Thurgau; 6% Elbling

Including its tributary rivers Saar and Ruwer, this is classic cool climate territory.

“Cool climate wines have always more playfulness, balance and elegance”, said Annegret Reh-Gartner of Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, which has vineyards in all three river valleys. “The main reason is that the plant struggles more to ripen. In our region the slate soil adds to it as it is pretty poor in nutrition and the roots have to go deep down, 7-15 m depending on age, to find enough nutrition. This gives them more subtlety and many different aromas. The long ripening season of the cool climate – 120-150 days between flowering and harvest – adds to the aroma and vibrancy of these wines.”

Ruwer, she added, “is generally cooler as there are no forests on top of the slopes to protect against cool winds, [which] you have on Saar and Mosel.”

Slopes are key this far north (in the northern hemisphere); steep slopes concentrate the sun’s rays.

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