The Pfalz Region
The Pfalz (aka ‘the Palatinate’) is the wine growing area that lies between the Haardt Mountains and the Rhine River in southwest Germany, directly north of France’s Alsace region. As in Alsace, the mountains protect the area from cold and wet Atlantic weather, making it one of the warmer and drier areas of Germany.
Because of this unusually warm and dry climate, surprising things, such as almonds, figs and lemons are grown in this region, which is known to tourists as “the Tuscany of Germany.” Naturally, wine grapes also do quite well here where it is possible to achieve full ripeness in every vintage.
The predominant soil type in this area is a well-drained, weathered sandstone. It produces wines with a fruit-driven purity and a stony structure. Outcroppings of limestone and basalt in certain vineyards add complexity and distinctive textures to the wines from those sites.
True Pfalz facts
- Germany’s second-largest wine region, with 23,445 hectares (57,934 acres) of vineyard.
- Riesling is the dominant variety, representing 24% of the total vineyard area.
- Average temperature during the growing season: 13°C (55.5°F)
- Average annual sunshine hours: 2,088 (compared to 1,358 in the Mosel)
- Average rainfall: 478mm / 19” (the Mosel averages 706mm / 27.75”)