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German Wine Guide Hardcover – 20 May 1999

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; 01 edition (20 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789205777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789205773
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,728,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Armin Diel was raised on a vineyard and is the owner of one of Germanys leading wine estates. He is also one of the countrys most respected wine and food critics.

Joel Payne is an American living in Germany who has been a wine critic for nearly twenty years.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


This is the sixth annual edition of our German guide, the first to be published in English. In that time the German wine industry has matured considerably. A new generation of young winemakers has emerged that is determined to change the international perception of German wines. This guide is intended to give them a voice.

At the end of the 19th century German Rieslings from the Mosel and the Rheingau were the most expensive wines in the world, commanding prices higher than those of the top growths in Bordeaux. Although the quality of the finest wines remained high, the fall from zenith to nadir took less than 50 years. Only two decades ago German wines were synonymous for cheap, sweet plonk. Even today some well-heeled German wine lovers still prefer to drink French.

Since then dry wines have become immensely popular in Germany, heralding a rebirth in national pride for the quality of wines "made in German." At the same time it created a schism for the producers. In the German market many estates sell only dry wines; on the export market, nothing but delicately sweet Spatlese and Auslese. Nonetheless, as beer and spirit consumption wanes, wine sales are booming and today's generation is also willing to spend more money on finer wines, creating new markets for quality oriented producers. Wine lovers have always sworn by the varietal Riesling. The wine consumer has tended to acknowledge its inherent quality, but not to buy it. This guide's mission is to bring the two poles closer together.

Everyone in Germany realizes, although politicians are loathe to discuss it in public, that their future cannot lie in exporting Liebfrauenmilch. Total volumes are down significantly in recent years, but a quarter of Germany's annual wine production is still exported at prices that barely cover the costs of production. Few shippers can seriously speak of a return on investment. Labor costs are so high that the producers must increasingly concentrate on their unique sales proposition, which is clearly the expression of pure Riesling fruit from the finest sites. The collective world of wine is changing quickly, obliging even modest estates to produce better wines or perish. Today no producer can sit on his laurels and expect his clientele to remain faithful forever. The buyer wants a product that is unique, well made and eminently quaffable. Quality on the one hand, value for money on the other, have become the bottom line, and the consumer benefits.

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on 14 January 2000
Format: Hardcover
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on 28 December 2013
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