Germany was responsible for about 3 percent of the wine produced in 2009, no small accomplishment when you consider the fact that beer, not wine, is Germany's national beverage. The majority was white wine that relied heavily on the Riesling grape grown on or near the Rhine River in the western part of the country.
German wines are often sweet, with a good balance of alcohol content to acidity. The best vintages are the result of lots of seasonal sunlight that produce sugar-rich grapes for harvest. Other popular grape varieties used in German wines are Silvaner and Muller-Thurgau. About 85 percent of German wine is white, but there's a growing movement to produce more red varieties like Pinot Noir for local distribution.