I want to present you with a great tool that I have been using for a while now. It is called Weinlagen Info, and gives you a chance to see exactly where the grapes in the bottle that you are drinking come from. This is because a lot of wine labels tell you quite exactly where the grapes for the wine were grown and harvested.
Take for example a German wine label. As soon as you go for wines above table wine, the label will tell you the village and vineyard that the grapes were grown.
If you are not familiar with labels, that can be quite confusing. But once you figured out that the word that ends in “-er” stands for the village and the following word for the vineyard, things get easier. For example, “Erdener Prälat” comes from the village Erden, and the vineyard is the famous Prälat. The same is true for all other village denominations in German, like “Nackenheimer Rothenberg”, the vineyard Rothenberg in my hometown Nackenheim. So, please, when talking about the village, drop the “-er”.
Armed with this information, Karlheinz Gierling from Heidelberg has had an awesome idea. He dove into publicly available information on the exact locations of vineyards and marked them on Google Maps. He thus produced a database containing many of Germany’s and other European countries’ vineyards. For the lesser vineyards, the database is still patchy, but it contains pretty much every important vineyard in Germany. The website can be accessed here:
I superficially checked the content for Austria, France, Italy, Hungary, the US (!), and Spain, the other countries in the database, but the content is still very limited, so for now it is best as a German vineyard resource. Right now, it is only available in German, but it is pretty straightforward because of its drop down menus. It begins with Country, Area, District, Town, and that followed by vineyard. My Google Translate did a decent job of translating that into English…It also has a search function which makes things even easier!
So here it goes. Next time you have a bottle of Mosel wine or other area contained in the database and you are curious how big it is, or what it looks like, you just use Gierling’s database to get a visual. It has helped me a lot, and gives me chance to virtually visit the birthplace of wines…
To give you a feel for it, here is the Erdener Prälat: