German wine is typically associated with Riesling, the nation\u2019s most heralded and widely planted grape. Yet, beyond Riesling\u2019s bright glare, Germany boasts a diversity of intriguing white wines.\r\n\r\nIn Rheinhessen, varieties like Silvaner, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc grow alongside Riesling. In Franken, Silvaner reigns supreme, while in Baden, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are dominant. Additionally, developments in cross-breeding have introduced varieties like Scheurebe, M\u00fcller-Thurgau and Bacchus.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s a part of our tradition to also grow Silvaner and the Burgundy varieties [Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris],\u201d says Philipp Wittmann, one of Rheinhessen\u2019s finest Riesling producers. He says that while many examples can be found around the globe, a unique character lies in the \u201cfruitiness and elegance of our German style. Grown in Germany, the wines are typically lower in alcohol.\u201d\r\n\r\nKatharina Wechsler, one of Rheinhessen\u2019s new generation of winemakers, grows Silvaner, Scheurebe and a few other white varieties in addition to Riesling.\r\n\r\n\u201cI am deeply in love with Riesling,\u201d she says. \u201cNevertheless, I am closely connected to my origin, Rheinhessen, and the varieties that express and fit our soil type and climates. These varieties have a long history in this region, and it is a great feeling to interpret their stories my own way.\u201d\r\n\r\nWith history, tradition and a wealth of world-class producers that make unique, site-expressive bottlings, it\u2019s time to consider Germany\u2019s\u00ad \u201cother\u201d white wines.\r\n\r\n\r\nPinot Gris \r\nGrauburgunder, or the \u201cGrey Burgundian,\u201d may not sound familiar, but it\u2019s an alias for the trusty standby known as Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio. A pale-skinned mutation of Pinot Noir, the grape originated in Burgundy and was planted widely in the north of France. Historians believe the variety was most likely introduced to Germany by Cistercian monks via Alsace, the French wine region opposite Pfalz and Baden across the Rhine River.\r\n\r\nUnlike other global examples that might contain some residual sugar, Grauburgunder is typically dry. Off-dry or sweet versions, often more floral in perfume, can be labeled as Rul\u00e4nder. Grauburgunder has a fuller body than Pinot Grigio, with bold pear and citrus flavors, exotic spice and a hint of bitterness.\r\n\r\nIn the loess and shell-limestone soils of the Pfalz, Winemaker Hansj\u00f6rg Rebholz, of Weingut \u00d6konomierat Rebholz, produces luminous, fruity Grauburgunder that bursts with notes of stone fruit, hay and almond.\r\n\r\nPlantings of Grauburgunder at the organically farmed estate are less than its Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, but they hold historic significance for both Rebholz and the region itself.\r\n\r\nMarc Weinreich, an organic winemaker in Rheinhessen, says the region\u2019s cool, dry and sunny climate produces Grauburgunder with \u201cdepth, smoothness and minerality\u201d in addition to a \u201cbalance between ripe and creamy notes as well as acidic structure.\u201d\r\n\r\nSince taking over his family\u2019s winery in 2009, he has added plantings of the Pinot varieties as well as Chardonnay. While Riesling is produced at various quality levels, its sales are outnumbered by the sum of Weinreich\u2019s other white wines.\r\n\r\nFarther south, in Baden, the region\u2019s most iconic bottlings, like those from Weingut Salwey, Weinhaus Dr. Heger or Weingut Franz Keller, are often sourced from old vines planted on the volcanic slopes of the Kaiserstuhl district.\r\n\r\nUnlike easy-drinking, fresh-fruited styles that are vinified in stainless steel, premium Baden Grauburgunder is frequently fermented and matured in wooden barrels. Often identifiable by their\u00a0Grosses Gew\u00e4chs\u00a0(great growth, or GG), Grosse Lage (grand cru) or Erste Lage (premier cru) classifications, they boast firmness, textural richness and smokiness that make the wines exceptionally ageworthy.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSalwey 2014 Eichberg GG Pinot Gris (Baden); $59, 94 points. Lavish layers of vanilla, spice and cashew are exceptionally integrated in this medium-bodied but textural wine. Fresh pear and grapefruit flavors are concentrated but crisp, accented by complex notes of earth and crushed mineral, well as a delicate phenolic grip on the finish. It drinks well now but should improve through 2024, hold further. Rudi Wiest Selections.\u00a0Editors\u2019 Choice.\r\n\r\nFriedrich Becker 2016 Kalkmergel Grauer Burgunder (Pfalz); $40, 93 points. With its pale orange-pink hue and delicately tannic fringe, there's a firmness of structure in this full-bodied wine, that the producer attributes to old vines. The palate is exotic and complex, melding flavors of ripe pear with hints of raspberry, forest floor and spice. Dry and intently mineral, it's a fascinating wine to enjoy now through 2030. Rudi Wiest Selections.\r\n\r\nTh\u00f6rle 2016 Grauburgunder Trocken (Rheinhessen); $22, 91 points. Fresh citrus and pear flavors are highlighted by racy streaks of lime and tart pineapple in this unusually zippy Grauburgunder, or Pinot Gris. It's light in body yet creamy in texture with a long, lingering finish marked by crushed stones and salty minerality. Ingenium Wines.\r\n\r\nVilla Wolf 2016 Pinot Gris (Pfalz); $12, 90 points. Gorgeously peachy from nose to finish, this vibrant, fruity Pinot Gris offers wide appeal along with a gentle price tag. Dry on the palate and refreshingly zesty, it's an elegantly balanced sip. A touch of stony minerality lends complexity to the finish. Drink now through 2019. Loosen Bros. USA. Best Buy.\r\n\r\n\r\nPinot Blanc\r\nA white mutation of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc originated in Burgundy, though plantings are far more widespread throughout Alsace and, to a lesser extent, in Champagne and northeast Italy. Around the world, the grape is often vinified identically to Chardonnay, and it\u2019s even used as a stand-in when Chardonnay is scarce.\r\n\r\nIn Germany, Pinot Blanc has developed a reputation of its own. Known regionally as Weissburgunder, or the \u201cWhite Burgundian,\u201d it\u2019s a historic grape with a strong foothold in Baden and the Pfalz. Increasingly, it\u2019s embraced as a variety that reflects distinctions of German terroir.\r\n\r\n\u201cChardonnay is forgiving with regards to terroir, but Pinot Blanc is not,\u201d says Rudi Wiest, a veteran German wine importer. He says that Chardonnay can be grown almost anywhere and vinified to reflect any taste, while Pinot Blanc is more nuanced in its expression of origin.\r\n\r\n\u201c[Weissburgunder is] the Burgundy variety best adapted to our cool climate, one that reflects the expression of terroir and the fingerprint of our sites very well,\u201d says Wittmann.\r\n\r\nLight-footed, mineral Weissburgunder sourced from steep, slate slopes of the Mosel could not be more different from the pristine, fragrant expressions of the grape in Rheinhessen, or the bold, muscular wines of Baden.\r\n\r\nRebholz is a master of Pinot Blanc in the Pfalz. Despite being Germany\u2019s foremost producer of Chardonnay, he treats Pinot Blanc with reverence, and grows it on prized limestone vineyards that highlight the grape\u2019s subtle features.\r\n\r\nIn classic Burgundian style, Rebholz ferments and matures Chardonnay in small French barriques, but he maintains the fruit purity of Pinot Blanc. He vinifies even his premium bottlings in stainless steel.\r\n\r\n\u201cPinot Blanc has a lot of natural structure, but you lose the influence of acidity and minerality with Pinot Blanc in oak,\u201d says Rebholz. \u201cYou lose the freshness, the finesse.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u00d6konomierat Rebholz 2016 Im Sonnenschein GG Dry Weissburgunder (Pfalz); $100, 95 points. Weissburgunder, or Pinot Blanc, is often noted for its neutrality, but it is unctuously rich and textural in this wine, with invigorating strikes of white peach, lemon and lime. This is anything but neutral. Full-figured yet stately, it's a lavish complex wine that lingers long on silken streaks of honey and waxy lemon peels. Enjoy now through 2031. Rudi Wiest\u00ad Selections. Editors\u2019 Choice.\r\n\r\nSch\u00e4fer-Fr\u00f6hlich 2016 Weisser Burgunder Trocken (Nahe); $28, 93 points. While subdued on the nose, exuberant white-grapefruit and green-apple flavors penetrate through this dry full-bodied white wine. It's a richly textured wine offset by zesty crushed mineral tones and vibrant lime acidity. The finish is long but crystalline. Enjoy now through 2021. Rudi Wiest\u00ad Selections.\r\n\r\nRudolf F\u00fcrst 2016 Pur Mineral Weisser Burgunder (Franken); $40, 93 points. The name \u201cPur Mineral\u201d is an apt descriptor for this intensely mineral wine full of dusty slate and river rock complexities. It's luminously fruity too offering pristine Muscat grape and pear accented by a hint of exotic spice. It is dry in style yet rich and expansive in mouthfeel. Rudi Wiest Selections.\r\n\r\nPfl\u00fcger 2016 Quarzit Pinot Blanc Trocken (Pfalz); $22, 90 points. Zippy and fresh, this dry, medium-bodied Weissburgunder, or Pinot Blanc, offers loads of pristine apple and tangerine-peel flavors. It's concentrated yet sprightly in mouthfeel and finishes with lingering complexities of sea salt and smoky nuts. Drink now through 2022. Valckenberg International, Inc.\r\n\r\n\r\nSilvaner\r\nSilvaner is the comeback kid of Germany\u2019s\u00ad white wines. An ancient cross between lesser-known grapes Traminer (also known as Savagnin) and \u00d6sterreichisch-Weiss, its cultivation here has been recorded since at least the 17th century.\r\n\r\nWhen pushed to high yields, Silvaner is a formidable workhorse that was historically used in fruity, forgettable bulk wines. In its cool, continental heartland of Franconia, however, Silvaner was esteemed for its green-fruited, herbaceous attributes and opulent, textural palate.\r\n\r\nIn recent years, winemakers throughout Germany, but especially in Franken and Rheinhessen, have sparked a renaissance for the much-maligned grape.\r\n\r\nAt Weingut Rainer Sauer in Franken, 61% of the estate is planted with Silvaner. The winery\u2019s top site, Escherndorf Am Lumpen, is a steep, south-facing \u201clump\u201d of weathered shell-limestone acclaimed for creating muscular, concentrated wines, often with lingering earthy complexities.\r\n\r\nSilvaner was once the dominant grape in Rheinhessen, but it waned, and plantings were ripped out as the region shifted toward premium wine production over the past few decades.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen my father took over the winery in 1985, Silvaner covered nearly 50% of the vineyards,\u201d says Sebastian Strub, a 12th generation winemaker in Rheinhessen. He says that his father focused on Riesling and, \u201cafter some years, Silvaner was totally erased in our portfolio.\u201d\r\n\r\nStrub fell in love with Franconian Silvaner while he studied at Geisenheim University, and he decided to revitalize the variety at his family winery. Rather than planting the typical Rheinhessen clones that he found uninteresting, Strub opted for rare 19th-century clones from W\u00fcrzburg, in the heart of Franken. The gamble paid off\u2014he says the vines thrived in the winery\u2019s red sandstone and slate vineyards.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s absolutely clear that Silvaner deserves its place among the best classic grape varieties in Germany,\u201d says Strub. \u201cIt\u2019s not just the clone that makes Silvaner unique. Silvaner reacts sensitively to the soil it is grown on and brings the minerality of the terroir into the wine. It\u2019s necessary to grow Silvaner on extraordinary soil to make it unique.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nRainer Sauer 2016 Escherndorfer Lump Erste Lage Silvaner Trocken (Franken); $70, 94 points. Blossomy and perfumed, this silky full-bodied Silvaner offers loads of fragrant melon, grapefruit and pear accented by a slick vein of honeycomb. It's a mouthfilling creamy wine balanced by crisp acidity and a delicate hint of lime pith on the finish. Rudi Wiest Selections.\r\n\r\nSchmitt\u2019s Kinder 2016 Randersackerer Sonnenstuhl Erste Lage Silvaner Trocken (Franken); $33, 93 points. Tart tangerine acidity and a hit of white pepper lend zingy freshness to this elegant Silvaner. While dry in style with a rich mouth-filling texture, it's also vibrantly citrusy and fruity with a long lean finish marked by lime and bitters. Rudi Wiest Selections.\r\n\r\nWittmann 2015 Silvaner Trocken (Rheinhessen); $22, 92 points. This elegant dry Silvaner showcases the grape's characteristically brisk green plum and herb tones against a bounty of ripe white peach, melon and peach flavors. Hints of smoke and slate and a zesty backbone of acidity lend complexity and structure through a long, lingering finish. Loosen Bros. USA. Editors\u2019\u00ad Choice.\r\n\r\nMichael Fr\u00f6hlich 2016 Escherndorfer Ortswein Silvaner (Franken); $23, 90 points. Lively lemon and tangerine acidity brighten this zingy dry Silvaner. It's crisp and apple-driven on the palate, accented by hints of nut, fresh herb and chamomile. This is a light bodied but sleek wine with a lingering, satiny finish. Drink now through 2023. Winesellers\u00ad Ltd.\r\n\r\n\r\nScheurebe\r\nScheurebe isn\u2019t what most would consider a shy variety, or a straightforward one. It often exhibits pronounced and layered characteristics, from intense, tropical lychee and passion fruit to black currant bush and mint, lime sorbet and feline essence. It\u2019s sweet yet salty, brassy yet floral, and everything in between.\r\n\r\nCompared to ancient, pedigreed grapes like Riesling or Silvaner, Scheurebe is a modern and ignoble grape developed in 1916 by German viticulturalist Dr. Georg Scheu in Rheinhessen. It\u2019s a unique cross between Riesling and a wild vine called Bukettraube, an aromatic variety also known as the \u201cbouquet grape.\u201d\r\n\r\nScheurebe was first established in Rheinhessen, though it proliferated subsequently throughout the Pfalz, Nahe and Franken. While bred primarily for resistance to frost and iron deficiency, its ebullient, fruity flavors, bold perfume and pert, acidic backbone can yield dry, off-dry and dessert-style wines of surprising elegance and quirkiness.\r\n\r\nThe grape\u2019s fresh-fruit characteristics and herbal, earthy inflections make it an easy alternative to the more common Sauvignon Blanc, as well as an ideal companion for vegetable-heavy dishes. In the best of hands, producers like Weingut Hans Wirsching and Weingut Schmitt\u2019s Kinder in Franken, or Weingut Pfeffingen in the Pfalz, the variety can yield surprising complexity and ageworthiness.\r\n\r\n\u201cScheurebe used to be a variety for cheap, sweet wines, easy to drink, but with no character,\u201d says Wechsler. \u201cTimes have changed.\u201d\r\n\r\nWechsler\u2019s Scheurebe varies from new plantings to 45-year-old vines. She believes that when harvested from Rheinhessen\u2019s limestone soils, and particularly chalk, Scheurebe takes on an effusive, pink-grapefruit\u00ad expression.\r\n\r\nTogether with his brother Jan, Weinreich\u00ad produces a second label of wines called Nat\u00fcrlich Weinreich. It\u2019s an irreverent, experimental lineup inspired by natural wine pioneers in France, Italy and Spain. For Weinreich, grapes like Scheurebe and Bacchus\u2014another German variety bred initially for productivity and cold heartiness\u2014are compelling as local alternatives to international varieties like Sauvignon Blanc.\r\n\r\nPfeffingen 2016 Scheurebe Auslese (Pfalz); $36,/375 ml, 93 points. Light as a feather yet intensely penetrating, this medium-\u00adsweet wine is a laser-edged explosion of fresh white peach, pineapple, strawberry and lychee flavors. It\u2019s lavishly fruity and floral, but nuanced by savory hints of saffron and caramelized sugar. Fresh, lemony acidity and a lingering honey tone lead the long, piercing finish. Rudi Wiest Selections. Editors\u2019 Choice.\r\n\r\nHans Wirsching 2015 Iph\u00f6fer Kronsberg Alte Reben Scheurebe (Franken); $40, 92 points. Lusciously fruity yet substantial and complex, this dry, full-bodied wine is plump in pineapple, grapefruit and yellow plum flavors. It\u2019s tropical in tone yet stately, nuanced by fresh, leafy undertones and savory hints of cashew and smoke. Rich yet briskly balanced, it should evolve well through 2023. Rudi Wiest Selections. Editors\u2019 Choice.\r\n\r\nWechsler 2016 Scheurebe Trocken (Rheinhessen); $28, 91 points. Fresh white blossom and grapefruit perfume this light-bodied but deeply textural white wine. Dry in style, it's a spry citrusy Scheurebe balanced by zesty notes of lime and gooseberry. The finish is long and intently mineral. Drink now through 2022. Valckenberg International\u00ad Inc.\r\n\r\nK\u00fchling-Gillot 2016 Qvinterra\u00ad Scheurebe Trocken (Rheinhessen); $24, 90 points. Buoyant aromas of pineapple, cantaloupe and tangerine abound in this intensely fruity but zesty dry white. Pristine white grapefruit and green plum flavors are offset by a backdrop of leafy green herb and a hint of smoky minerality on the finish. It\u2019s a sprightly, light-bodied wine to enjoy now\u20132020. MS Walker.