German Pinot Noir? Laugh not, my friend. With global warming, Germany may be the future of the grape. Actually Germans have been growing Pinot Noir (locally called Spätburgunder) since it was brought there, probably by Cistercian monks from Burgundy in the 14th century. Pinot Noir does best in cool climates, but until recently most of Germany was too cool, and the few good ones were too expensive. As conditions have warmed, it has become easier to ripen the grape in this, the most northern commercial grape growing area in the world. Pinot Noir cultivation in Germany has grown steadily in recent years to almost 12,000 hectares making Germany the third largest Pinot Noir producer in the world!
Friedrich Becker and his family own about 36 acres of vineyards in the southern part of the Pfalz region. He is one of the best producers in the Pfalz and one of the best Pinot Noir producers in Germany. A full 60% of his production is Pinot Noir, grown primarily on stony, chalky soil. Friedrich Becker Jr. and his sister, Helena, have taken over most of the responsibilities at the winery along with co-cellar master Stefan Dorst. The estate has been bottling and marketing its own wines since 1973. The vines are heavily pruned to restrict yields.
This is a delicious Pinot Noir and competes favorably with any American Pinot in its price range.