Palatinate is the second-largest of the 13 German wine regions. Prior to the early 1990s, it was known officially as Rhine Palatinate. The wine region of Palatinate and the federal state of Palatinate overlap, but the wine region accounts for only 5% of the total area of the much larger federal state. The region of Palatinate consists of an 80-kilometer stretch of wine growing land.
Overall, 45 different types of white grapes and 22 different types of red grapes are grown in Palatinate. The mix between white wine varietals and red wine varietals is 61/39. By far, the most popular varietal is Riesling, which accounts for 23.2% of all wine produced in Palatinate. In addition, Dornfelder (13.5%), Müller-Thurgau (9.8%), Blauer-Portugieser (9.3%) , and Spatburgunder (6.8%) are popular wine varieties.
Wine grapes have been grown in Palatinate since the ancient Roman era. In fact, some Roman landhouses having been discovered in the region. It is only since the 1980s, however, that Palatinate has started to appear on the radar of international wine enthusiasts.
In terms of climate, Palatinate is known as one of the warmest, driest and sunniest German wine regions. By way of comparison, the local microclimate is similar to Alsace in France (located to the south) and Baden in Germany (located to the east).
A popular wine drink in Palatinate consists of local wines mixed with sparkling water to form “schorle.” This wine drink is typically consumed in a special glass known as the dubbeglas that hold either 1/2-liter or 1/4-liter of liquid. Each wine-producing city or village in Palatinate typically hosts a wine festival each year, where both wine and “schorle” are consumed.
Here is a brief audio guide on Palatinate wine region. Check it out.