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MAIN Arrow to Wine Directory Wine Arrow to  Wines of Europe Europe Arrow to  Wines of GermanyGermany Arrow to Wines of the Saale-Unstrut region of Germany Saale-Unstrut

The wine-growing region of Saale-Unstrut is the northernmost of Germany's wine-growing regions and one of the smallest, divided into the Thuringia and Schloß Neuenburg areas.

Freyburg vineyard
Vineyard on the Unstrut
River at Freyburg.

This wine growing region was in the East German zone until reunification, and the wines and their reputation suffered under the communist economy. Today, there is no reason to think that the region's gifts should be permanently lost due to a period of political experimentation.

With a long tradition of grape-growing and wine making, the vineyards of the Saale and Unstrut river valleys are once again producing some top quality wines.

The first official records of wine growing in the Saale-Unstrut-Gebiet date back to 998. This region survived the onslaught of the Phylloxera epidemic and began grafting Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner and Weißburgunder (Pinot blanc) grapes to American rootstocks in 1887.

The romantic Saale River valley, the scenic Unstrut River valley, the hills near the towns of Freyburg and Naumburg and a few small vineyards near the Süssen See produce a soft, dry white wine. Since the region is so far north, Spätlese and Auslese wines are very rare, but the earlier harvesting of QbA and Kabinett wines results in some exceptional wines that taste best when young.

The Rotkäppchen Sektkellerei was founded in 1856 in Freyburg and the production of this well known ("Little Red Riding Hood") German sparkling wine has continued in the Saale-Unstrut without a break even during the Communist years. The area also produces a small amount of red wines from the hearty Blau Portugieser, Dornfelder and Blue Late Burgundy grapes...

More information about Saale Unstrut wineries around the Web:


The Network for Small European Wine Area - Saale-Unstrut - A beautiful site, Vinest covers the smaller European wine growing regions well. The information on this region includes the wine history, current trends and tourist attractions in this scenic area.

Saale-Unstrut Wine - The wine and sparkling wine sections here are brief but nicely done. Also check out the main Wine Menu for more on the region's wine roads, wine estates and taverns.



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