Author: by Dieter Braatz, Ulrich Sautter and Ingo Swoboda
Publisher: University of California Press, 2014
An essential guide for anyone interested in German wine, The Wine Atlas of Germany is the most complete reference available today. Written by three German writers—Dieter Braatz and Ingo Swoboda from Der Feinschmecker and Ulrich Sautter of Wein A-Z, it covers every major winemaking region in the country, from Baden in the south to Saale-Unstrut on the 51st parallel. Photographs bring to life what the maps don’t: the stunning steepness of some slopes, the crumbly slate cascading down them, and the red and black soils that fi ll others; the strange beauty of a bunch of riesling shriveling with botrytis mold. There are some issues—the maps could be more detailed, as they lack much topographical detail, and the organization can be a little maddening, as the authors have chosen to divide the vineyards in each region into three categories (Exceptional, Superior and Good) without a whole lot of explanation as to what exactly went into their decisions. Some notable vineyards aren’t even mentioned—what, for instance, of Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg? Yet they do an admirable job of explaining the country’s convoluted classification schemes, and include a wealth of vineyards and producers. It’s a goldmine of information for the novice and the thirsty German wine lover alike.
This story appears in the print issue of December 2014.
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