The Wine Show’s Joe Fattorini on Germany’s vintage vineyards

The Rheingau and Moselle Valley are full of bargains - and don't miss Baden's rich reds

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Joe Fattorini would like to see Germany back on British wine lists.

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“The Victorians adored German wine, but we barely see it any more,” laments the presenter of The Wine Show (ITV). “It’s partly because Germans love drinking it themselves — they have a great sense of their vintners’ heritage and love a bargain. They have a saying for it: Geiz ist geil, which roughly translates as, ‘It’s sexy to be stingy’. And there are plenty of bargains to be had. The same quality elsewhere would cost five to ten times as much.”

Here are Joe’s top places to head to sample a delicious German tipple, or two…


Historic Rheingau

“The most famous of Germany’s 13 wine regions, the Rheingau sits on south-facing slopes of the Rhine in the west of the country. It’s arguably the greatest wine region in the world, certainly for white wines. They’re not the priciest, but have an extraordinary range of characters.

“Here, as in most German wine regions, Riesling is the thing to try, although you’ll notice big differences between each area. There’s more weight to the Rheingau and a more floral, bright, sherbet-y feel in the Moselle.

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View through vineyard over Rudesheim

“At the heart of the Rheingau is the town of Rudesheim, which boasts the oldest drinkable wine in the world. Try 17th-century wines from barrels named after the 12 apostles, but be warned: drinkable doesn’t always mean delicious!”

Magical Moselle

“The Moselle (or Mosel in German) is a river that twists its way through one of Germany’s most beautiful valleys from Trier to Koblenz, where it joins the Rhine. You couldn’t do anything else other than grow grapes here — it’s so steep.

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Moselle River Valley

“Riesling likes climates just on the cusp of not being able to make good wine. So in bad years, it’s pretty rubbish, but in good years, it’s magical. There’s an amazing balance between flowers, fruit and a rather minerally, pebbly acidity.”

Beautiful Baden

“German reds are hugely underrated. Historically, they’ve only accounted for around ten per cent of its wine, but that’s increasing. The Baden region stretches from Franken in the north to Lake Constance in the south and is known for its reds — particularly what the French call pinot noir and the Germans call spätburgunder because the dark grape comes from Burgundy. It’s worth seeking out good pinot noir in Germany.”

You might also like: 11 vintage trips for wine lovers


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