Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Wine Culture in Germany
In Germany as elsewhere, wine culture has determined the rhythm of life of people in wine-growing regions for centuries. This gave rise to numerous customs, seasonal festivals and a vocabulary of its own, as well as familiar phrases such as "pouring pure wine" which means to tell the truth.
Facts & Figures
- Crucial date: Throughout the year
- Inscription: 2021
- Domain: Oral traditions and expressions, traditional craftsmanship; Knowledge and practice concerning nature and the universe; Social practices, rituals and festive event
- Where to find: Nationwide (and abroad)
The wine culture has been shaped by people meeting and socializing at wine festivals. A special feature are the numerous seasonal wine taverns (Strauß- and Besenwirtschaft), which serve only self-produced wine and contribute their part to a lively, versatile and modern wine culture.
The vineyard culture has a long tradition, because every vineyard produces wines with different flavours. Over the centuries, it has become clear which wine thrives in which location. Cultivation has subsequently shaped entire landscapes, the maintenance of which is an essential part of wine culture. Today, regional cultivation promotes the interaction between climate, soil and people in the spirit of sustainable development.
Rich flora and fauna on terraced vineyards
On the steep slopes of the river valleys, wine growing if often the only feasible form of agriculture. Such terraced vineyards are home to a rich flora and fauna, but their cultivation can only be done with laborious manual work. The preservation of this cultural landscape is the responsibility of the winegrowers.
Guided tours through vineyards and on wine culture are popular and, with their diverse offerings, make an important contribution to the preservation and communication of wine culture.
Effects of climate change
The looming climate change crisis and related weather extremes represent a major challenge for wine culture in Germany. Dry periods and rising temperatures can lead to a loss of quality and yield in the vine due to heat and drought stress. The risk of late frosts increases, because at higher temperatures the growth period starts earlier. High temperatures also increase the risk of diseases in the vine, for example, infestation and the rapid spread of heat-loving pests. Extreme weather events such as heavy rain or hail can also cause serious damage.