Pinot Noir powerhouse: the Ahr Valley

Ahr Valley Pinot Noir
Thomas and Philip Nelles

At just 85km long, the Ahr river runs along a valley that’s home to arguably the finest Pinot Noir-producing region in Germany. One of the country’s smallest wine regions, the Ahr yielded about 6.1 million bottles a year on average from 2017-2022. The fervent local demand for Ahr Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) means that, frustratingly for Pinot lovers around the globe, only meagre quantities find their way onto the export market.

The region takes its name from the Ahr, a winding, twisting tributary of the Rhine, better described on most days as a creek. But a devastating flood in July 2021 transformed this diminutive river into one of Germany’s most catastrophic natural disasters, overshadowing the fame of the region’s wines.

More than 130 people perished in the Ahr valley and all but a handful of the region’s 42 wine producers suffered flood damage, many losing their homes and wineries entirely.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores for 20 Ahr Valley Pinot Noirs