You might think that Germany is a country only about beer. But once again, it has something that not many people outside of the country know, and it is about their wine. Yes, you read correctly, Germany has wine, a lot of it.

Alright, but not the whole country produces this beverage. In fact, there is a region known for its finest and delicious wines. We are talking about the Franconia region. Located in the north of Bavaria and at the same time it is the only wine region in the Federal State of Bavaria.

Let’s talk a little bit more about the geography of this hidden gem. The greatest part of the wine region is situated in the administrative district of Lower Franconia around its capital Würzburg along the Main River. There are a few areas in Middle Franconia mainly in the Steigerwald and a very small part in the area of ​​Upper Franconia around Bamberg. The bends of main have been used to define the region’s three districts, two of which take their names from their respective geometric shape.

Enough about the location, let’s jump to why the beverage here is so good … Because of the special soil and the mild climate along the Main River, wines with a very high mineralization can be harvested. The amount of minerals in the wine is a factor in the quality testing every Franconian wine has to overcome. This is unique in Germany. The majority of the wines are made from one grape variety at a time. Cuvées are rare. It is said that the wines of the typical Silvaner are the best wines from this grape in the world.

Most Franconian wines are dry. Although in German law dry wines are allowed 9 grams of residual sugar, many German wineries are still using the term Franconian dry (Franconian dry) for wines with 5 grams of residual sugar or less. About 12,000 to 14,000 wines from Franconia pass the official testing. 40% are Franconian dry.

Obviously, if you are ever around this region, you must try (every) wine!

That is why here you can find the ultimate guide about the different grapes, their characteristics and why you should try them.

Let’s jump into it:

  • Müller-Thurgau:

Created by Hermann Müller from the Swiss Canton of Thurgau in 1882. It is a crossing of Riesling with Madeleine Royale. It is used to make white wine in Germany.

The color of it is from a white to greenish up to the most mature, which are straw yellow. Regarding the bouquet: pungent, fragrant and harmonic. White flowers, grass and a whole series of herbaceous and mineral hints, white fruit such as apple and pear, sage, lime, broom, and myrtle. In the mouth, it’s dry and fresh, lively, slender, with distinct hints of citrus, but good balance.

  • Silvaner:

Is an ancient variety that has long been grown in Central Europe, in Transylvania. In Germany it is best known as a component of Liebfraumilch and production boomed in the 1970s to the detriment of quality, but it has long enjoyed a better reputation in Franconia than in other German wine regions.

It’s not easy to make any generalizations about the flavor profile of the grape. More often than not, mouthfeel characterizes Silvaner better than its bouquet does. Whether fermented and aged in stainless steel or in large traditional oak barrels, Silvaner is an elegant, subtle, well-balanced and digestible wine. It is made in different, mostly dry styles: appetizing, fresh and light.

  • Bacchus:

Created by viticulturalist Peter Morio at the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding in the Palatinate in 1933. He crossed a Silvaner x Riesling cross with Müller-Thurgau.

Bacchus wines are known for their powerful flavors, but only when given the chance to mature fully. Its lack of acidity makes it difficult to blend with high-acid musts, and it is often used for blending into Müller-Thurgau to strengthen the latter’s character.

  • Riesling:

Originated in the Rhine region, is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked.

  • Kerner:

Is an aromatic white grape variety. It was bred in 1929 by August Herold by crossing Trollinger (a red variety also known as Schiava grossa or Vernatsch) and Riesling. It has a transparent straw yellow, sometimes with golden reflex. When it comes to aromas, it is fresh, which offers a tasty blend of mixed white fruits, with hints of apple, grapefruit and a tropical whiff of mango.

  • Pinot blanc or Weißer Burgunder:

Is a point genetic mutation of Pinot noir. Pinot noir is genetically unstable and will occasionally experience a point mutation in which a vine bears all black fruit except for one cane which produces white fruit. In Alsace, Italy and Hungary, the wine produced from this grape is a full-bodied dry white wine while in Germany and Austria they can be either dry or sweet.

  • Scheurebe:

Created by German viticulturalist Dr. Georg Scheu (1879–1949) in 1916, when he was working as director of a grape-breeding institute in Alzey in Rheinhessen, by crossing Riesling with an unknown wild vine. When produced from fully ripe grapes, Scheurebe wines are dominated by rich black currant aromas supplemented by grapefruit. Well-made dry Scheurebe wines can be quite full-bodied, but dry wines made from not fully ripe grapes tend to be dominated by the grapefruit component.

After reading this list, you might notice that we have only listed the grapes used for white wines, and that is because the Franconia region is (mostly) known by its white wines. That doesn’t mean that in this region the red wine is not produced. On the contrary there are plenty of grapes in order to make this beverage.

But we believe that the red grapes should have their own article. Don’t you agree?

Stay tuned to find out more about the Franconian red wine.