22 German Winemakers to Watch in 2021 – by wine region

A perfect wine tour in Germany will most certainly include a number of classic wineries and wines, say Dr Loosen in Mosel, or Schloss Johannisberg in Rheingau, von Winningen in Pfalz. But then, wouldn’t it be great to discover some of the newcomers, those German vintners/winemakers that are all the rage with German wine lovers? This is the 2021 list of winemakers who made it onto the radar of German wine lovers – and it’s not only about newly founded wineries, but also about estates that are changing their way of winemaking. Exploring their wines is a bit like exploring the back alleys of Berlin after having seen Checkpoint Charly and the Brandenburg Gate. Go for it!

In the wine region of AHR

Winery Bertram-Baltes: Neither Julian Bertram nor Benedikt Balters are new to winemaking. But with their activities now merged, both as a couple and in the vineyard, they are higher than ever on wine lovers watchlists. Another estate to watch is Pollig & Schmitt, which is very much of a newcomer by comparison (founded in 2015) and extremely small (1/2 hectare of vineyard), but their Pinot Noir speaks of a great future.

In the wine region of BADEN

With both biodynamic winemaking on the rise but also Landwein being increasingly recognized as a (non-conformist) wine category, the estates of both Ina Wihler, and

Ronald Lindner garner increasing attention. Also, check out newcomer Estate

Max Jäck, named Talent of the year 2021 in Vinum magazine, and Winery Hornstein am See has been named newcomer of the year 2021 in the Eichelmann wineguide.

In the subregion of Kaiserstuhl: see if you can get to taste Weingut Peter-Wagner’s minimal intervention wines.

In the wine region of Franken

For Franken (Franconia) Bastian Hamdorf in Klingenberg has been named Talent of the year 2021 in the Vinum wine guide – for his sublime Sylvaner wines. One to watch as well is Stefan Vetter, who is in business for ten years only, but makes wines in a most ancestral way – to the praise of many in social media wine groups. Also, recommended by Eichelmann’s wine publication, Sekt-manufacturers Laura Burkhardt & Sebastian Schür should be on watchlists for Franconia-aficionados.

In the wine region of Mittelrhein

Kay Thiel – a self-taught vintner gets not only hist first mentions in the wine guides, but also very positive reviews. And in Bacharach, in vicinity of well-established estates Tony Jost and Dr Kauer, the estate Marco Hoffman is touted talent of the year for the region.

In the Mosel River Valley

Plenty of young talents are tackling the challenges of steep vineyard winemaking in the Mosel area.  Amongst them Daniel Fries, Lars Görgen and Richard Böcking. In Winningen (basically door-to-door with talents such as Julien Renard and the Materne and Schmidt) Daniel is taking over as the 9th generation winemaker – to plenty of very positive feedback. Towards the upper end of the Mosel, Lars Görgen founded his estate only 3 years ago, but already now his wines speak of a very promising future.

In the Nahe wine region

Rainer and Victoria Marx, upgraded to 3 Grapes in the Gault Millau Guide in 2019, the estate has now been awarded ‘Talent of the year 2021’ for the Nahe region in the Vinum wine guide. It is particularly their achievements with the pinot blanc varietals that get praised.

In the Pfalz area

The estate Seckinger is one to keep an eye on. Founded not yet a decade ago, this is one of the most touted family wineries of Pfalz. But also, Johannes & Philipp of the estate Reibold have been moving fast in the last couple of years, earning the title Talent of The Year 2021 in Vinum. For wine lovers interested in grapes out of the ordinary: Weingut Galler is very successful with wines made from fungus resistant varietals (‘piwis’). And then there is Weingut Leiner… their estate getting increasingly noticed for their gorgeous biodynamically produced wines.

In the traditional Rheingau region

Carolin Weiler is taking over in the 4th generation and adds a boost to the 100 years old estate, making wines in one of the steepest areas of Rheingau.

In Rheinhessen

After years making wines at St Antony in Nierstein, Felix Peters has set up his own winery in Mainz – and became Rheinhessen’s talent of the year 2021 in Vinum. We are also keenly watching young Carsten Saalwächter and his spectacular wines, made in Ingelhei

Where to taste wines from these winemakers?

While some of the larger estates here will have a proper distribution in place or may be even exporting a selection of their wines already, some of the small newcomers will likely be available only in the regional vicinity. Make sure your plan your wine tour accordingly.