Baden is a wine universe of its own, embedded in a rich cultural landscape. On one side, there is the Bodensee (Lake Constance), with its view of the Alps; on the other side, the wonderful landscape of the Tauber River Valley. Here, the gently rounded hills of Heidelberg; there, the massif of the Kaiserstuhl that majestically overlooks the Rhine Valley. Viticultural diversity here is not merely a whim of the times, but rather something that has evolved naturally, as have its climatic and geological differences. Such extreme differences in landscape naturally result in very distinctive microclimates, soil conditions and levels of inclination. The subsoils, for example, range from gravel to limestone, shell-limestone, loess, volcanic stone, granite, gneiss and keuper. The climate in a region whose vineyards are up to 400 km (250 miles) apart is no less diverse than the soils. Baden’s leading producers are savvy enough to regard viticulture from both a Romance and Germanic perspective. They have long been as familiar with cultivating Pinot grapes as with dealing with Riesling. Baden is Pinot country. Led by Spätburgunder, the main grape variety, the Pinot family accounts for over half of Baden’s total vineyard area. Although Riesling accounts for only about 8 percent of the growing area, it is no less significant. Riesling wines of exceptional quality are produced in the Riesling enclaves of the Ortenau, Kraichgau and Kaiserstuhl. With the Pinots, they are the center of Baden’s wine character.

VDP.Growers in this growing area: