When many people think of Germany, they associate the country with lederhosen, dirndls, celebrations of Oktoberfest and large steins of beer. This comes as no surprise seeing as how their national alcohol drink is beer - who would have thought? There is a sophisticated side to all the debauchery though, and it comes in the form of wine. Germany has a landscape and climate that allows for a great and varied wine production. The history of their wine dates back to the ancient Romans around 100 B.C., and many of the most famous vineyards that still exist today were cultivated by monks during the Middle Ages. The majority of German wines are known for having a lesser alcohol content comparatively to the rest of the world. Interestingly enough, many of the wines they produce are not sweet - a misconception that was formed because it is thought that during World War II, a large amount of the wines produced were made cheaply and sweetened in order to create cravings in Germans who had poor diets due to the war, as well as to be more in line with the tastes of American GI’s who were stationed there. The sweetness was a nice treat because during the war, sugar was in high demand and was often rationed. In 2018, Germany placed 8th for total world wine production, and over the past decade it has steadily remained in and around the top 10 producers. The German word for wine is ’weinberg’, which translates to ‘wine hill’ - fitting because many of Germany’s top vineyards are situated on hills with a slope of around 70%. The steepest vineyard in the world, Calmont, boasts a 76 degree incline near Germany’s village ‘Eller on the Mosel,’ where the hill is so steep it appears as though the grape vines are defiantly clinging to dear life. Overall, the country is known for creating pristine wine that is well respected world-wide.
83.02 million (2019)
357,386 sq km (137,988 sq mi)