Wish You Were Here! Love, Bodensee
By Christoph Raffelt
Ask a German about their favorite domestic vacation spots and Bodensee — aka Lake Constance — routinely sits near the top of the list. The country’s largest lake offers plenty of water and winter sports, proximity to Switzerland and Austria, the island of Mainau, and the Reichenau peninsula with its medieval history and churches.
Then ask about dream winegrowing destinations, and watch Bodensee slip way, way down the list. With a reputation for simple wines that do little more than embody lake life, it is no wonder that in recent times Bodensee has struggled to be taken seriously. But a small group of young winemakers has come together to change the perception and horizon of this new lake terroir.
Germany’s rising cool-climate region
It is true that Müller-Thurgau, a variety bred over 100 years ago as a high-yielding vine, contributed to the dilution of German viticulture in the 1970s and 1980s and even now continues to symbolize a certain typically light and fruity style. Yet this perception masks a revolution long since underway with fires burning throughout the region. In Meersburg, for example, at the estate of Johannes Aufricht, or at Vollmayer, which cultivates the Hohentwiel, the highest vineyard in Germany. One bright spot in particular is a tiny part of the lake encompassing the small towns around Nonnenhorn and Lindau.
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