Scheurebe – a vine with franconian roots

A Scheurebe – for wine drinkers this has always been synonymous with rather fruity, sweet wines. This need not be the case, as a visit to two Franconian vintners in Iphofen and Huttenheim impressively demonstrated. But first, a look at the history of a grape variety that has only been around for 100 years. How did the idea for the new vine cultivation come about in the first place?? It was, as is often the case, an emergency birth. Shortly after 1900, viticulture in Rheinhessen was in decline. The phylloxera crisis and economic dislocations took their toll on winemakers. A challenge for Georg Scheu as head of grapevine breeding in Alzey.

His goal: to breed a variety that is yield-proof, appealing and aromatic. Scheu succeeded with the 88. Seedling of his experimental series. Actually, Scheu wanted to bring about a cross between Riesling and Silvaner. And so it is still written in most textbooks on wine and vine lore. In the meantime we know better. The crossbreeding parents Riesling and Silvaner had been the subject of discussion by experts time and again, and modern genetic engineering provided the proof in 2012. Although Riesling was involved in the breeding process, the mother vine was not the Silvaner, but the Bukettrebe. This vine carries Franconian genes in itself. It is the DNA-crossing of the Silvaner and Trollinger grape varieties. Responsible for this was a Sebastian Englerth from Randersacker, who succeeded in this breeding in 1864.

But back to the Scheurebe. Or better of the grape variety S 88 or also Samling. In Austria it is still known under this name today. The Scheurebe has been named after its creator in Germany only since 1955. In the 30s of the last century, when the vine was first cultivated on a larger scale, it was initially called "Wagner vine, named after the Gauleiter of the NSDAP, who was responsible for the Rheinhessen region at the time. The name was soon to be forgotten, the vine remained.

Since 1947 it is also cultivated in Franconia. And it experienced a real boom in the 1950s and 1960s. The exotic aroma and the development with residual sugar fully corresponded to the taste of the time.
Until dry wines became more and more fashionable and pushed the Scheurebe back. Today it again takes its deserved place in the Franconian vineyards. It serves the winegrowers as a valuable addition to the wine offer. For the wine consultant of the district of Lower Franconia, Hermann Mengler, no wonder. Because, according to the wine expert during a tour, the Scheurebe is a supplier of great wines. Whereby good sites are necessary so that the variety can also shine.

In the vineyards around Iphofen and Huttenheim this is certainly the case. And the tasting always surprised. Depending on the soil, the expert prefers to use the word "terroir", the Scheurebe develops its very own aromas. It has everything from peach, citrus, lime and currant to nutmeg, lime blossom and peppermint – unbelievable. Even a connoisseur like the Lower Franconian District President Erwin Dotzel (CSU) was surprised. "So a dry Scheurebe as in Iphofen I have not been offered anywhere else" said the politician who was surprised by the quality.

Wine expert Mengler had only a broad grin left for it. He knows what a gypsum-skeuper soil with a correspondingly high sulfate content in combination with the Scheurebe can ignite for a firework of aromas. And that on the basis of dry or semi-dry wines developed. Tasting at two wineries in Iphofen and Huttenheim confirmed: The times of sweet Scheurebewein wines are over, with the exception of the Auslese wines.

Info: Grape varieties from A – Z

Acolon 1971 succeeded in Weinsberg in Wurttemberg this new breed from Lemberger and Dornfelder. The strong, fruity red wine is still a rarity in Franconia.

Bacchus The Franconian classic was bred in 1933 in the Palatinate from Silvaner, Riesling and Muller-Thurgau.

Burgundy In the best sites of Franconia thrive the gray and the white Burgundy.

Domina Thanks to Peter Morio, this rich red wine also saw the light of day in 1927. Crossed from the Blauer Portugieser and the Spatburgunder.

Elbling This exotic is one of the oldest grape varieties, so old that its origin can no longer be accurately traced. Probably the Romans brought this wine over the Alps 2000 years ago, and it has survived in Franconia in a few old vineyards (Gemischter Satz).

Muller-Thurgau The everyday wine popular in Franconia was actually bred by a Mr. Muller in the Swiss canton of Thurgau, as early as 1882 from the grape varieties Madeleine Royale and Riesling.

Riesling The very best vineyards in Franconia are reserved for this noble grape variety.

Silvaner The Franconian wine par excellence probably comes from the Alpine region. The first cultivation in Franconia took place in 1659 in Castell (Steigerwald),

Zweigelt The most widespread red wine in Austria leads a niche existence in Franconia.

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