WINE TRAVEL: Exploring Baden, Germany

Baden is the southernmost and third-largest wine region in Germany. Baden’s climate is warm, with plenty of sunshine, unlike that of any other German wine region, and so the grapes develop differently. Baden is the only German wine region climatically comparable to France’s Loire Valley and Alsace.

Baden has many different soil types, ranging from clay to limestone to granite to sand. There’s plenty of volcanic soil around the Kaiserstuhl, itself an ancient volcano.

Baden is, unusually for Germany, best known for its red wines. Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) rules the vineyards here. For every acre of Riesling (the dominant variety in almost every other German region), there are five of Pinot Noir. The next most commonly planted variety is a white wine grape Müller-Thurgau, followed by Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder) and Pinot Blanc (Weißburgunder).

The diversity of Baden wines is so pronounced that the region has been subdivided into districts. Within these districts, winegrowers plant many types of grapes on different soils, where you won’t find is stereotypical descriptions of Baden’s wine.

The Baden wines of most interest and complexity are produced in the Kaiserstuhl, Ortenau and Kraichgau districts.

To discover this wine region, we suggest you to taste the 2015 Weingut Salwey Henkenberg Spatburgunder Grosses Gewachs.

Hand-harvested Grosses Gewachs wines come from the old vines in best vineyards. This typical Pinot Noir from Kaiserstuhl, Baden is grown on volcanic soils and has light red colour. The elegant, fresh and fruity wine has pronounced aromas of red cherry, currants, smoke and forest floor. Over the palate come flavours of minerals, cranberry, oak with tart cherry and a hint of spice. High acidity is greatly structured with supporting soft tannins.

Amsterdam, January 13th 2020