Sachsen and Saale-Unstrut
10 Sep 2008 by Jancis Robinson

In a nutshell: A work in progress and few wines exported.

Main grapes: Müller-Thurgau, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Riesling, Traminer (white).

Saale-Unstrut, the area south-west of Leipzig around the confluence of these two rivers, and Sachsen (Saxony), almost on the Polish border, were East Germany's two main centres of wine production before the reunification of Germany. They are still in the process of reconstruction and it’s likely to be many years before their light, dry produce is widely exported. Günter Born and Lützkendorf in Saale-Unstrut and Schloss Proschwitz and Zimmerling in Sachsen have shown that these regions are capable of producing dry wines of greater substance, though their northerly location and continental climate make grape ripening anything but a foregone conclusion. Winters can be so severe here that vines are fatally injured by the cold.