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1997 vintage guide for Germany

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A good vintage in every German wine growing region

Weather Conditions

Late frost in April, difficult rainy conditions at the time of the flowering in June and localised hailstorms all caused problems. However, great heat in August and a warm and sunny September literally “dried up” all diseases on the vines and compensated for the difficult start. Apart from a frost at the time of the Riesling vintage, the weather held and the top estates continued to pick until the second half of November. Their reward was a very small vintage of wonderfully ripe grapes with little botrytis, resulting in wines with ripe fruit and a high level of acidity.

Best Appellations

Perhaps the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer produced the most sensational Rieslings in 1997 but the Rheingau, Pfalz and Nahe also made a small but exquisite vintage. Franken (Silvaner, Riesling and the burgundian varieties) also rejoiced in this great vintage. Baden had a plethora of very rich wines (up to 15% alcohol!) that often lacked acidity and structure and Wurttemberg had an average vintage.

Best Producers

With their Rieslings the most famous estates of the Mosel/Saar/Ruwer excelled in this vintage: Karthauserhof, Fritz Haag, Egon Muller and von Schubert. In the Rheingau, Robert Weil in the Pfalz, Burklin-Wolf, in Rheinhessen, Keller were all outstanding. In Baden, yet again Bercher and Dr. Heger made outstanding Grauer Burgunders.

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