Varieties & Quality

These varieties display distinct terroir variation:

Müller-Thurgau Harvested in late September, it is a full flavoured, fruity wine, with hints of muscat.
The Müller-Thurgau grape is a cross between Riesling and Madeleine Royal.
Scheurebe Harvested early October, Scheurebe is rich & aromatic, with flavours of currant and peach.
The Scheurebe grape is from Riesling crossed with an unknown variety and it’s most similar to Sauvignon Blanc.
Silvaner A clear, very elegant flavour with distinct minerality and a long, complex finish. Arguably some of the best Silvaner wines are from Franconia. The grapes are harvested in middle October.
Riesling Picked in late October, Riesling is fruity with distinct citric minerality, giving it a racy freshness. It has flavours of peach & young apples.
Morio-Muskat As with many great varieties the ‘parents’ are disputed, seemingly an ‘offspring’ of Silvaner and a further variety it produces surprisingly aromatic and ‘grapey’ wines. Morio is increasingly rare because of the high work intensity in the vineyard required to discourage rot. Vineyard locations also have to be especially favourable as the grapes need to be very ripe to match the wines natural acidity.

It’s very important to note that Franken style wines are often substantially drier, earthier, more mineral, and arguably fuller bodied than white wines from other regions of Germany. For example, Scheurebe and Riesling from Franconia tend to be more complex and drier than other German wines.

Dry – “Trocken” in Franconia means no more than 4g of sugar per litre, while in the rest of Germany these wines can contain up to 9g of sugar per litre.

From a certain must sugar level (Mostgewicht), measured in degrees “Oechsle”, wines are deemed Prädikatsweine and are not chaptalised (no sugar added):

Kabinett 73°Oechsle
Spätlese 85°Oechsle

These classifications denote the level of sugar measured in the grapes at harvest, not, as often mistakenly reported, picked at different harvest times. The sugar levels are measured by the winemaker, using a refractometer, simply held up to the sun.

These dessert wines have a lower alcohol level and are harvested considerably later:

Auslese 95°Oechsle
Beerenauslese 125°Oechsle

See also:

Silvaner Kabinett dry… clear fine herbal and slightly mineral citrus and stone fruit fragrance, with floral nuances. Polished, lusciously fine, not completely dry fruit, herbal tones, slightly earthy minerality in the background.
Wein-Plus Guide 2014