Germany takes sixth place among the wineproducing nations of the world. Much of the production is intended for export, while Germany itself imports huge volumes of wine. This demonstrates the complexity of the German position. It seems as though the best German wines – but unfortunately also some of the worst - disappear into export markets while the Germans themselves tend to prefer beer or imported wines.
Compared with a country like France, the consumption of wine in Germany is quite low. Changes are also apparent though in Germany. Although the German government has always maintained that the German system of wine control was watertight and the best in Europe, in reality things were sometimes not right with the cheaper German wines.
Some wine traders were clearly more interested in quick profits than being ambassadors for the German wine industry. Creations with names such as 'Alte Wein Tradition' and 'Kellergeister' have done much to damage the reputation of German wines. On the other hand with the absurd prices of Bordeaux wines, in particular those of Sauternes, increasing numbers of people have been looking for cheaper alternatives. These can be found in Germany at prices that are quite attractive.
The demand for good quality but affordable German wine has increased in the past decade or so. The demand for dry German wines has also grown explosively. Most of the growers were quickly able to adapt themselves to the market situation. Growers constantly seek to find ways to guarantee the wine's quality while keeping the prices acceptable for everyone.