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The co-operative movement has historically been important in Germany and Ruppertsberg is easily one of the best and most reliable. This impeccably full, fruity white made from silvaner and riesling grapes is tailor made for us, the original co-operative wine merchant! What's more, 2018 is a sensational vintage.
Product Code: GE12371
View all products by Ruppertsberger Winzerverein
The Ruppertsberg cooperative, brilliantly managed by wine-maker Gerhard Brauer, is situated in the heart of the Pfalz's best vineyard. Because of their success, they have recently taken over two neighbouring coops at Königsbach and Meckenheim, so they now control 450 hectares, planted 40% with riesling and 40% red grapes, chiefly dornfelder. The Society buys only their best wines which comes from their original holdings in Ruppertsberg, including their top site Hoheburg.
The vineyards of Forst were once the most valuable agricultural land in Germany, and today the four villages of Forst, Deidesheim, Wachenheim and Ruppertsberg have outstanding potential, being fully realised again after a disappointing patch in the 1980s when the vineyards were being reorganised. Full, spicy, essentially dry wines.Germany has suffered something of an image crisis in recent decades when its fame for quality wines that at one time rivalled the first growths of Bordeaux in price was diluted by a sea of cheaper white wines from undistinguished vineyards, often made by undistinguished co-operatives. However, the high-quality wines were always there, made by conscientious and often brilliant winemakers from very specific sites of historical repute. There is a history of winemaking in Germany dating back to the 1st century BC and throughout the years of the Roman Empire when popular Rhenish wines were exported to Britain. Today, though there are still many mass produced wines, Germany has seen something of a revival, sometimes called the ‘Riesling Renaissance’, and produces more great wines than ever in a wider range of styles, often drier and increasingly red. A new generation of winemakers has arisen who have learned new ideas, often having spent time overseas making wine. In this they have been aided by the warming effects of climate change, giving them consistently ripe grapes to work with, and an increasing pride in German wines within the country itself.Germany possesses 13 wine-producing areas, called anbaugebiete. These are sub-divided into districts called bereich and within these bereichs are communes, clusters of neighbouring vineyards called grosslage, and named vineyard sites or einzellage that have proved themselves over the centuries to be the places where the elements of terroir all come together in an essential harmony. The majority of these anbaugebieten are in the south and south-west of the country and often along river valleys, with the most famous clustered along the Rhine and in the valleys of the rivers Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. It is in these latter two areas that Germany’s most prestigious einzellage reside and from whence come the most famous wines. The rivers have a moderating effect on temperatures, helping to keep them up when it is cold and lowering them a little when it is hot. Steep slopes and the soils found on them can have an effect on the ripening of the grapes by providing propitious aspects and by acting as storage heaters and reflectors of sunlight respectively.The German wine regions enjoy a continental climate of cold winters and warm summers, with the additional benefit of long, warm autumns allowing grapes to mature fully in the more northerly latitudes. Soils vary greatly from region to region with the weathered slate of the best Mosel-Saar-Ruwer vineyards being the most famous.German wine law, while perfectly logical on one level and created to protect the interests of growers, is not always clear and user-friendly for the consumer unfamiliar with it. While geography and grape varieties are governed the distinguishing feature of German wine law is the central role that the sugar level of grapes at harvest plays, expressed in degrees Oechsle. It is the main factor in determining the classification of the wine. The riper the grapes the higher the degrees Oechsle and potentially the higher the classification no matter the location or reputation of the vineyard. Incidentally, this needn’t always translate into sweetness in the finished wine as a must high in sugar may still be fermented to dryness. The levels of classification, above the most basic Wein and Geschützte Geographische Angabe (equivalent of vin de table and vin de pays respectively) are as follows: Geschützte Urspungsbezeichnung, previously Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA) – meaning Protected Designation of Origin.Qualitätswein – a chaptalized wine, one to which sugar has been added before fermentation to increase its alcoholic strength, from a named grape variety. The wine is tested for quality.Kabinett – naturally dry or off-dry (ie unchaptalised) with a distinctive character. Usually lightest of the quality levels but can still be very high-quality.Spätlese – Spät means late and lese means harvest. Sweeter and fuller-bodied than kabinett due to later harvesting or a particularly beneficial site leading to higher sugar levels, though the wines are sometimes fermented to dryness.Auslese – Translates as ‘selected harvest’. This level has higher sugar levels at harvest than spätlese’ and may be made from selected bunches of particular ripeness that may have been affected by botrytis or noble rot (known in Germany as edelfaule).Beerenauslese – Beeren is berries in German so wines at this level are usually made from individually selected berries probably affected by edelfaule. They are luscious sweet wines.Trocken beerenauslese – Trocken translates as dry. This refers to the shrivelled nature of the berries, affected by botrytis until there is little juice remaining in the grape. They are only made in great vintages and have very high levels of sugar balanced by high acidity. They are mouth-coating, rich wines of great concentration, rare and expensive.For a fuller description of Germany and its wines and wine regions please see our How To Buy German Wines page on our website.German wine law German wine legislation has done its best to make things complicated. Logical in their way, and designed to be democratically fair to winegrowers, the rules lack a common-sense awareness of what wine drinkers want to know. The four most important pieces of information on a German wine label are the name of the grower, the origin of the grape variety, the vineyard and an indication of whether the wine is dry or sweet. The recent move to simplify estate names and origin of the grapes and to remove Gothic script, which made names unreadable and hard to pronounce for linguistically challenged Brits, is welcome.Germany has a continental climate and this far north it is close to the limit for ripening grapes. Consequently early-ripening varieties are the most successful with riesling chief among them. Though the latitude is not helpful, and rain can come throughout the growing season, the presence of the rivers and the shelter of the valleys ameliorate the effects of cold and heat when it comes. Autumns are often warm and long, providing the conditions for ripening and often allowing vines to hang on the vines well into the colder winter months to be made into sweeter styles.LabellingGerman wine legislation has done its best to make things complicated. Logical in their way, and designed to be democratically fair to winegrowers, the rules lack a common-sense awareness of what wine drinkers want to know. The four most important pieces of information on a German wine label are the name of the grower, the origin of the grape variety, the vineyard and an indication of whether the wine is dry or sweet.The recent move to simplify estate names and origin of the grapes and to remove Gothic script, which made names unreadable and hard to pronounce for linguistically challenged Brits, is welcome. The German home market, which buys most German wine, prefers wines that are totally dry to go with food. A high percentage of the wine that most estates produce is therefore dry. The only grape variety for which this does not necessarily always work well is the one that makes Germany’s greatest wines: riesling. The natural balance of wine made from riesling is often made complete by the retention of natural sweetness. The bouquet is enhanced, the wines keep better, and the alcohol level (because not all the grape sugar is fermented out) is lower, which suits the style of the grape.German wine laws classify the quality of a wine according to the degree of sugar the crushed grapes contain, but this is a pretty unhelpful guide. A wine may be called Spätlese (literally ‘late-picked’ but in reality, not necessarily so) if the minimum must weight (also Oechsle) is about 80° (a potential alcohol of 10%). But Spätlese wines are often made from grapes with higher must weight than this, and can be fermented out dry to 10% alcohol, or left with some sweetness at 8.5%. Auslese (literally ‘a selective picking’) has a minimum must weight of about 90° Oechsle with a potential alcohol of 12% if the wine is dry, although in this country we are more used to Auslese being sweet, and around 8% alcohol.Remember, however, that a German wine with a sweetness of 4 or 5 (medium dry to medium sweet) will be delicious as an aperitif and with food, because the natural sweetness is always balanced by fruit acidity. Think of a perfect British-grown ripe Cox or Ribston apple.Many other grapes are grown in Germany successfully, particularly in the warmer more southerly vineyards, and there are increasingly fine pinot noir wines from the Ahr valley, but they produce wines that can be equalled and usually bettered in other parts of the world. Riesling, of course, is successfully grown elsewhere, but nowhere does it produce such delicate, multifaceted results as it does in Germany’s great vineyards. Reds are increasingly made and some 40% of Germany’s total vineyard area is planted with red varieties.
"Full of flavour and excellent value as always from the WS. Bought on a whim as not used to this style but pleased I took the risk!"
I would recommend this wine
"Thought this was really good value when I first tasted this....tastes great - refreshing, fruity and rounded.
But after a couple of weeks with it, we both realised that we were getting hangover characteristics after just having a couple of glasses a night.
I rarely get hangovers at all and was getting all day headaches.
Will just use it for cooking from now on....and will try something else next time !!"
"Fruity, soft and round with a bit of character. Good value. Recommended.
I would recommend this wine
"Full of flavour and excellent value as always from the WS. Bought on a whim as not used to this style but pleased I took the risk!"
There are no press reviews for this product.
"At this price, fabulous."
Mr Stephen Butler (17-Nov-2019)
"A dry, but not too dry, fruity wine that slips pleasantly down. A lovely enticing bouquet and I would love to see this back in stock. Ihighly recommend it if it returns."
Mr Trevor Aver (26-Sep-2019)
"Delicious and easy to drink. Tremendous value. Can't understand the quibbles of others on here. "
Mr Andrew Howe (06-Sep-2019)
"Second time round this seems a bit green and stalky. You know how good wines might be herby - it's always the leaves, isn't it. This one not so much. It's okay, but as I felt the first time I had it, there are probably similar better wines for the money."
Mr Lee Pilich (13-Aug-2019)
"It's high in alcohol for a German white. "
Mr Mark O'Sullivan (15-Jul-2018)
"A little disappointed, probably good value for the money but did not stand out, very average, will not be re-ordering."
Mr Martin Reeves (11-Jul-2018)
"I confess to being wary of German wine due to the cheap sickly whites of the distant past. However, we took a chance on this and it is lovely. There is a lovely subtle flavour and a delightful tiny hint of effervescence. Our problem is that it is too quaffable and so hard to resist having just one more glass!"
Reverend Nicholas McKee (15-Jun-2018)
"A handsome, complex, vivacious German white. Has a Palladian feel; it is austere in the best possible way. Dry, but with strong emergent flavours of grape and green herbs, and a slight fizz. Not immediately accessible but satisfying, great with food, and somehow rewarding to think about."
Mr Patrick Vickers (02-May-2018)
midweekwines.co.uk (2nd Aug 2018)
"Slowly we are
realising just how much we miss by persisting with last century's
misgivings about German wine – but this excellent dry blend of riesling and the
underestimated sylvaner should help change a few more minds. Alive with lime
based and citrus peel freshness, [this wine] also provides contrasting hints of
mango sweetness – wrapped in greengage depth and suggestions of nutmeg. - Brian Elliott"
"Tasted this alongside the Society's Riesling, and it stood up well to comparison. The Riesling got a better mark because, in my view, it was the more balanced of the two, but this is great value wine and was lovely with a crab linguine."
Mr John Carr (01-Apr-2018)
"Great value wine, which was a good match with roast pork and apple sauce. Highly recommended."
Mr Chris Brinklow (27-Mar-2018)
"Goes down very easily. Goes well with food but is also an excellent companion on its own. Recommended."
Mr Steve Jones (05-Mar-2018)
Mr Piers Beckley (03-Jan-2018)
""great wine at this price! Off-dry, nice balance between fruitiness and minerality. Has a very slight fizziness, almost as an after-effect. Must be cold enough.""
Ms Marianna Vogt (29-Oct-2017)
"German or Alsace riesling is my favourite wine of all, and when I first bought Ruppertsberg in 2013 I thought it the best German riesling-style wine in Britain under £7. It went through a bad patch one year when the alcohol content was raised to 13%, but it came back down and the 2016 is as good as it has ever been. Still a tad too high at 12.5% alcohol - I find 11.5% optimal for dry rieslings - and now only just under £7: but it has few competitors at this price point, and I even prefer it to many more expensive German rieslings that can be too intense in their flavours."
Mr Alan James (20-Sep-2017)
"Light easy to drink pleasant wine. Suitable for relaxed drinking."
Mr Paul Wood (03-Sep-2017)
"Easy-drinking refreshing wine. Not too dry - well balanced. Can be drunk with food or as an aperitif. A 'go to' everyday white wine and well worth trying at this price."
Mrs Caroline Villar (16-Aug-2017)
Scotland on Sunday (25th Jun 2017)
"This gently textured
but savoury-edged white … centres on aromatic apple and pear fruit with taut
lime acidity and touches of basil that add depth and complexity. - Brian Elliott"
"For anybody unfamiliar with German wines this blend is a splendid starting point. Ruppertsberg is neither the largest nor the best-known Winzerverein,but this Rivaner ( an assemblage of Riesling and Sylvaner) has good balance and benefits from the sunny climate of the Pfalz.It is a most welcome alternative to wines from over the hills in Alsace,which,at this price point,simply cannot compare."
Mr Paul S Chambers (09-Jun-2017)
Mr Alex Downham (28-Mar-2017)
Mr Alex Downham (01-Mar-2017)
"Great stuff - cant fault it, just the right balance."
Mr Giles Manners (22-Feb-2017)
"Really good everyday drinking wine! Nice clean fruit flavours and obviously very well made. Bought this on top of the same producer's Riesling Kabinett and this is just as enjoyable.
Great value for money!"
Mr Nick Foster (04-Jan-2017)
Wines of Germany Top 50 (1st Apr 2017)
well-balanced wine with pretty floral notes. Great value."
"Not tasted this wine for a couple of years but new version is delicious and now down to 12% alcohol which feels about right. For the money it is great and a good alternative to Alsace Pinot Blanc or even Chablis."
Mr Mark Jones (11-Dec-2015)
Harpers (1st Apr 2016)
"Winner in Wines of Germany Top 50 2016: Rich
honeyed nose. Good concentration on the palate with vibrant and complex
stonefruit flavours and a long finish."
Stylist (7th Oct 2015)
"Great value. - Rachel Walker"
"Nice refreshing wine with good fruit, balanced nicely as it is off dry, will order more soon as this might be one of my 'go to' everyday white wines, well worth a try if you haven't already."
Mr David Mitchell (17-Nov-2014)
"Well made fresh enjoyable off dry wine. Good value and I will buy more.
Dr John Baston (27-Aug-2014)
"Lovely, easy to drink. One which pleases both fussy and unfussy palates. It's great to support a co-op, and particularly one which produces such a pleasant and balanced wine, with a glorious scent!"
Mr Craig Mitchinson (12-Oct-2013)
"Excellent in every respect and impossible to fault at this price. Good with food. Fantastic value. If you appreciate dry wines from the Alsace you will enjoy this. I agree with previous reviewers that at this alcohol level it is a food wine and not an aperitif."
Mr Mark Jones (11-Aug-2013)
"I have to agree with Nick Chadwick's comments on the alcohol, the last vintage (2011) was 11.5%, this is 13.5%. The wine is still delicious, tangy and refreshing, but It's now better suited to drinking with food rather than as an aperitif, for an extra 25p I will buy the Hoheburg Riesling Kabinett 2012 from the same producer."
Mr Jeremy Gwyn-Williams (01-Jul-2013)
"I'm rather sorry that, in common with so many wines, the alcohol level in this wine seems to be climbing relentlessly with each vintage and has now reached 13.5%."
Mr Nick Chadwick (25-Mar-2013)
"Very enjoyable and excellent value for money, lovely zesty, crisp wine. It's dry but probably has a touch of residual sugar present, which makes it very drinkable as an aperitif, yet there is enough weight to enjoy it with food. At 11.5% abv it's refreshingly light, ideal for alfresco dining, but I would buy all year round, not just for summer drinking."
Mr Jeremy Gwyn-Williams (16-Mar-2012)
"Fresh and zesty with nicely balanced acidity. Went down well with a party of 60."
Mr David Knowles (26-Feb-2012)
"This was really enjoyable - it's light enough for an aperitif but has enough depth of flavour to get you reaching for the next glass (and, dare I say it, the next!)"
Ms Katy Benson (15-Feb-2012)
East Yorkshire Journal (12th Feb 2015)
"...close to perfection, particularly when you
take the price into consideration. We tried a bottle over the
weekend and, blow me down, it had been drunk quicker than you could pronounce
the name. In the sub-£7-a-bottle range it's as good as it gets and, at a low
10.5% vol alcohol, what's not to like? - Phil Parrish"
The Times (4th May 2013)
"Floral, tangy, from the best vineyard in the Ruppertsberger co-op’s in-tray - Jane MacQuitty"
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