The variety Spätburgunder belongs to the Pinot grape family, one of the first varieties obtained from wild vines in western Central Europe. The Lake Constance region was reached around the year 900. In the Rheingau region it was first cultivated in the 13th century.
Some 11,800 hectares of Spätburgunder are cultivated in Germany, which represents more than ten percent of the total vines in the country. The majority of Spätburgunder vineyards are located in Baden (almost 5,900 hectares) and in Palatinate (almost 1,600 hectares). Other important growing regions are Rheinhessen, Württemberg, Rheingau and the Ahr basin.
This noble and very old variety demands a lot of care and places great demands on the climate and the soil. The best results are given in Riesling locations. If the conditions for its growth are good, the Spätburgunder develops its full form and rewards the efforts with the most beautiful reds of the world. The variety is mostly bred as dry red, partly also with a certain residual sugar.
Sometimes there are pink Spätburgunder and also cavas. If the grapes are pressed immediately after harvest, white juice can also be used to produce a "blanc de noirs", a white wine from red grapes. The superior qualities are raised by the winemakers also in barrels.
The flavor of the wines made with Spätburgunder grapes is ample and velvety; its aroma, fruity and reminiscent of almonds. The typical Spätburgunder has a slightly sweet aroma, reminiscent of red fruits, from strawberry, cherry and blackcurrant to blackcurrant. In barrel aged wines, vanilla and cinnamon flavours are added.
The modern Spätburgunder, with a strong red, more tannins, less acidic and often short storage in small barrels, is becoming increasingly important today. Spätburgunder wines are ideal for winter. Drink them at room temperature of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius.