With undoubtedly more famous wine-producing nations close by and my home country slowly but surely turning into a serious player, why am I permanently trying to persuade you to give up the Chardonnay for a splash of Riesling once in a while? Why am I, along with a handful of other wine bloggers, trying to get the Pinot fans looking to Spätburgunder for a Tuesday night wine instead of the vastly overpriced French stuff?
There are a number of reasons and I'm going to explain them point-by-point, structured - something you're probably not used to if you've ever read any of my other posts.
1. Because German wine is great
Long gone are the days of sweet, syrupy wines like Liebfraumilch. Germany is a producer of high-quality, mostly-dry wines from designated production regions. With the implication of modern, efficient winemaking techniques, there is little bad wine left in Germany and most of that is exported to old ladies in the UK!
From the crisp, floral and discreet Rieslings of the Mosel right up to the lime-driven, sour-packed and fruit-loaded drinks using the same grape in the Rheingau and Pfalz, terroir, climate and local micro-climate plays as much of a role in German winemaking as anywhere else in the world.
What's more is that Germany produces some of Europe's and the world's best white wines. The steep banks of the Mosel are probably some of the most character-defining regions of the world and the fermented grape must that makes it out of those cool-climate parcels of vegetation make up some of the most saugt-after bottles on the planet.
2. Because it changes every year
Whereas the German vintner loves tradition, unlike most of the other European nations, they're always ready to change. Although winemaking laws are strict and contra-productive methods introduced by VDP to raise bottle prices have been put into place, many young vintners are experimenting with newer varietals, unique 'German-style' cuvees and even the red grape quota is rising but not just in terms of quantity - every vintage appears to get better and better.
3. Because of the environment
Nowhere apart from in Germany and Austria are the environmental aspects of winemaking and viticulture taken so seriously. With a limit on waste, a limit on production and a limit on fertilisation as well as a profound and self-awareness of Nachhaltigkeit (sustainability), German vintners are at the forefont of environmentally-friendly agriculture.
Organic wineries have existed in Germany for many years and a handful of existing ones have adapted their concepts towards appeasing the Organic revolution (I have however some reservations when it comes to organic wine which you can read here).
If you live in Europe, the other bonus of course is that the wine isn't being produced and shipped from all that far away. The carbon foorprint of a bottle from 500 road miles away is greatly better for the environment than one shipped by road, rail and sea from 12,000 miles across the seven seas. What's more is that this shipping has an affect not only on the environmental price but the one you'll be paying to buy 75cl of the stuff.
4. Because of the price
Although the big-name Grand Crus (Großes Gewächs) also have big price tags, everyday quality German wine is cheap. Also if you want to go for something a bit more special, forget the 30 and 40 euro wines of the Bordelaise, the 25eur Chablis and the other big-priced wines, German premium wine (single vineyard varietal Qualitätswein, Prädikatswein and those from the Große Lagen) is priced usually at only a few euros more than the standard wines, all of which themselves are perfectly enjoyable.
5. Because of wine tourism
All of the 13 wine producing regions of Germany have visitable wineries where you'll be treated to a comprehensive tasting whether you're buying all of last year's vintage or a 175ml bottle for your Granddad.
The regions themselves possess great beauty and the local cuisine is made all the more enjoyable with the regional wine.
Germany, despite not being the obvious holiday choice, is a fantastic place to visit and cheap too! Not only that but it's easy to get to from wherever you live and the costs for food, accomodation and, most importantly, wine are tremendously low.
So what are you waiting for?
I'm doing this for nothing. Nobody is telling or paying my to promote German wine, I do it because I believe that it is one of the world's best making nations of wine, particularly white. This is a message I want to spread: German wine is fantastic, don't let me to be the one to tell you though: get out there and try some - it won't dissappoint.