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Regions / Germany / Ahr

Ahr

Ahr Wine Regions, its Climate, and Popular Grape Varietals

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Located in the valley of the river Ahr (a tributary of the Rhine river), Ahr is one of the smallest of Germany’s 13 wine regions. It is located within the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate and is the world’s northernmost wine region with red wine grape production. The region is known particularly for its Pinot Noir (known in Germany as Spatburgunder) wines, as well as its Portugieser and Riesling wines.

 

Compared to the Pinot Noir wines of Burgundy, Ahr’s red wines are much paler in color and have a much higher oak-dominated flavor. Until the 1980s, wines from Ahr were lighter in color (almost resembling a Rosé) and were sweeter.

 

While these Pinot Noir wines might not be as dark and rich-bodied as those from France, they are very much in demand within Germany. This is because Germany has a very limited production of red wine grapes such as Pinot Noir, and there is a high domestic demand for them, leaving little availability for export.

 

Ahr is unique among German wine regions for its red wine production. In fact, red grape varietals account for 86 percent of all wines produced in Ahr. The region’s unique micro-climate, which is warm and Mediterranean in nature, accounts for the ability of red wine grapes to thrive.

 

The history of winemaking in Ahr traces back to the ancient Roman period when the narrow Ahr river valley became a place to grow red wine grapes. Despite its northern location, the relatively warm micro-climate encouraged wine production.

Here is a brief audio guide on Ahr wine region. Check it out.