Sachsen, known as Saxony in English, is one of Germany’s smallest wine-production areas and also its easternmost. Records show the wine trade has been alive here for more than 800 years. The region once boasted 5,000 hectares of vineyards.
Today Sachsen vineyards cover 492 hectares growing along the steep, terraced slopes of the Elbe River. Close to82% are devoted to white varietals. Müller-Thurgau, Riesling and Pinot Blanc are the leading grapes with Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir also cultivated in this region’s continental climate.
Major towns are Dresden, Radebeul and Meissen where Sachsen’s largestwine festival takes place. A unique feature of this picturesque region is the historical connection between winemaking and architecture. Many buildings, both sacred and secular bear features of this past. We love the vintner houses and vineyard churches.
Handpicking is the norm and yields are low leading to a high quality dry, complex wines that barely make it outside the locale. Sachsen wines are rare indeed which is why we are so delighted to share our top finds with you. As well as the three leading whites of this area, more obscure varietals like Elbling, Gutedel or the bright and floral Goldriesling, almost exclusive Sachsen, find a home here.
In spite of its tiny size, Sachsen has a vibrant wine tourism scene, a charming backdrop to its splendid wines. We have enjoyed whites and reds in welcoming wine taverns and fine dining spots, at fall festivals and in chic wine shops. What we enjoy most though is trying wines directly from the wine producers. There is plenty of opportunity to do this along the 55-kilometer Sachsen Wine Route or during the Sachsen Winery Open Days. More than 25 wineries open their doors for visits, vineyard tours and tastings on the final weekend of August.