The Deutsches Weininstitut is commendably meticulous both in maintaining records of the German wine industry and in making them available to a wide audience. Each year they publish Deutscher Wein Statistik, which includes information concerning vineyard area, wine production imports and exports. These are available, with varying degrees of detail, back to 1990. By compiling statistics from these reports, long-term trends in the German wine industry become more readily apparent.
Apart from the Mosel, each of Germany’s 13 recognised wine regions has maintained a near-constant vineyard area over the past quarter century. As a result, the total German vineyard area has stayed roughly constant during this time at around 100,000 ha.
Yet while Germany’s vineyard has maintained a near-constant area, there have been substantial changes in the cultivars being grown. This is clearly apparent from looking at the respective areas of black and white cultivars. In 1985 black cultivars totalled 12,800 ha and made up only 13% of Germany’s total vineyard. By 2005 the area of black cultivars had risen to 37,500 ha, which represented 37% of the total. With the total vineyard area remaining roughly constant at ca. 100,000 ha, the growth in black cultivars has been mirrored by a corresponding drop in the vineyard area of white cultivars. Since 2005 the areas of black and white cultivars have remained roughly constant with the latest vineyard figures (2012) being black cultivars 36,600 ha and white cultivars 65,600 ha. This means that Germany’s overall vineyard consists of 35.8% black and 64.2% white cultivars.
The main casulty in the loss of white vineyard area has been Müller-Thurgau, which has dropped from 25,500 ha in 1985 to 13,100 ha in 2012. This has left Riesling as far and away the most planted cultivar with 22,800 ha in 2012. The black vineyard increase is largely due to increased plantings of Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) and Dornfelder which are now the third and fourth most planted cultivars respectively.
Winestats would like to thank Nicole Stierstorfer of Deutsches Weininstitut, Mainz, for kindly supplying some of the data used to compile the charts in this posting.