The Pfalz aka the “Palatinate” lies to the east of the Haardt Mountains, a continuation of the Vosges Mountain range in France. Just as the Vosges acts as a rainshadow from westerly rains for the Alsace wine region to the south, so does the Haardt provide shelter for the Pfalz. It is the among the driest and warmest German wine regions, allowing for a wider variety of grapes to be grown. In addition to the Riesling, the Pfalz grows white mueller-thurgau aka rivaner (as in “Black Tower”), kerner, silvaner, weissburgunder (pinot blanc), grauer burgunder (pinot gris/grigio), gewurztraminer and scheurebe (as in “shoy-re-be”). In addition to the red Spatburgunder aka pinot noir, the Pfalz grows the lighter and easy-to-drink portugieser as well as the heftier dornfelder. Plus international varieties. One of our favorite weingut for tasting a wide range of wines plus their friendly tasting venue was Weingut Knipser. Knipser is a VDP producer.
To narrow things down for you, we discovered that the highest quality producers not only produced excellent riesling, but also exceptional weissburgunder (pinot blanc), grauerburgunder (pinot gris) and gewurtztraminer which is no surprise since these are also the main grape varieties of Alsace.