Scheurebe or Sämling 88 is a white wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

 variety. It is primarily grown in Germany
German wine
German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions ...

 and Austria
Austrian wine
Austrian wines are mostly dry white wines with some luscious dessert wines made around the Neusiedler See. About 30% of the wines are red, made from Blaufränkisch , Pinot Noir and locally bred varieties such as Zweigelt...

, where it often is called Sämling 88 (English: Seedling
thumb|Monocot and dicot seedlingsA seedling is a young plant sporophyte developing out of a plant embryo from a seed. Seedling development starts with germination of the seed. A typical young seedling consists of three main parts: the radicle , the hypocotyl , and the cotyledons...

 88), and some parts of the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

. Scheurebe wines are highly aromatic, and the variety is often used for sweet wines, although dry Scheurebe wines have become more common in Germany.

History and parentage

Scheurebe was created by German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 viticulturalist Dr. Georg Scheu (1879–1949) in 1916, when he was working as director of a grape-breeding institute in Alzey
Alzey is a Verband-free town – one belonging to no Verbandsgemeinde – in the Alzey-Worms district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is the fourth-largest town in Rhenish Hesse, after Mainz, Worms, and Bingen....

 in Rheinhessen
Rheinhessen (wine region)
Rheinhessen is the largest of 13 German wine regions for quality wines with under cultivation in 2008. Named for the traditional region of Rhenish Hesse, it lies on the left bank of the River Rhine between Worms and Bingen in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate...

, by crossing Riesling
Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally...

 with an unknown wild vine. According to the German grape-breeder Helmut Becker
Helmut Becker
Helmut Becker , German viticulturist, was chief of the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute. He viewed viticulture from a global perspective and promoted the globalization of a quality wine industry. Dr...

, Scheu's purpose was to create a superior version of Silvaner
Sylvaner or Silvaner is a variety of white wine grape grown primarily in Alsace and Germany, where its official name is Grüner Silvaner. In Germany it is best known as a component of Liebfraumilch and production boomed in the 1970s to the detriment of quality, but it has long enjoyed a better...

, with more aroma and greater resistance to frost damage and chlorosis. It was long assumed that Scheurebe was Silvaner x Riesling, but DNA analysis in the late 1990s ruled out Silvaner as a parent, while confirming Riesling as the father. It is known that Scheu was working on wild vines, so it is possible that a misidentification of the cross took place.

Seedling (in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 Sämling) number 88 was simply Scheu's serial number for the vine plant selected for its properties. It was named in Scheu's honour in 1945. The Rebe suffix is simply the German word for vine. Scheurebe received varietal protection and was released for general cultivation in Germany in 1956, after Scheu's death.

Varietal character

When produced from fully ripe grapes, Scheurebe wines are dominated by rich blackcurrant
Blackcurrant, Ribes nigrum, is a species of Ribes berry native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia, and is a perennial....

 aromas supplemented by grapefruit
The grapefruit , is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit"; it has also been misidentified with the pomelo or shaddock , one of the parents of this hybrid, the other being sweet orange The...

. Well-made dry Scheurebe wines can be quite full-bodied, but dry wines made from not fully ripe grapes tend to be dominated by the grapefruit component, and display it in an aggressive manner which makes for a clumsy, unattractive wine. Scheurebe therefore tends to be easier to use for sweet wines made from grapes that are fully ripe, overripe or affected by noble rot
Noble rot
Noble rot is the benevolent form of a grey fungus, Botrytis cinerea, affecting wine grapes. Infestation by Botrytis requires moist conditions, and if the weather stays wet, the malevolent form, "grey rot", can destroy crops of grapes...

. Well-made sweet Scheurebe wines can show intense aromas of blood grape and honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...


It has been pointed out that Scheurebe retains quite a bit of Riesling character, although it is somewhat less acidic and can tend to be more clumsy. Just as Riesling, its wines tend to show terroir
Terroir comes from the word terre "land". It was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestowed upon particular varieties...

variation, and it has been called the single new breed variety of German origin that deserves serious attention for the quality of its wines.


In 2006, there were 1781 hectares (4,400.9 acre) of Scheurebe in Germany, or 1.7% of the total vineyard surface. Plantings are most common in Palatinate
Palatinate (wine region)
Palatinate is a German wine-growing region in the area of Bad Dürkheim, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, and Landau in Rhineland-Palatinate. Before 1993, it was known as Rhine Palatinate . With under cultivation in 2008, the region is the second largest wine region in Germany after Rheinhessen...

, Rheinhessen and Nahe
Nahe (wine region)
Nahe is a region for quality wine in Germany, along the River Nahe in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. On the region's of vineyards in 2008, white wine grapes dominate with 75% and Riesling is the most common variety with 27.2%...

. The trend for planted area is decreasing, just as for all other German white "new breeds" since the 1980s. It is possible that the reason for Scheurebe's continued decline, despite being appreciated by many international wine critics, is because it is associated with sweet wines while there has been a large-scale move to dry wines in some German regions where Scheurebe has been commonly planted. While overall German plantations of Scheurebe has continued to decrease, some top estates in the Palatinate have in fact reintroduced small amounts of Scheurebe in their vineyards from the mid-1990s.


In Austria, the variety is found primarily in Burgenland
Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. It consists of two Statutarstädte and seven districts with in total 171 municipalities. It is 166 km long from north to south but much narrower from west to east...

 and Styria, but the total amount of Scheurebe cultivated is much smaller than in Germany. It is however used for some highly rated sweet wines, such as concentrated noble rot-affected Trockenbeerenauslese
Trockenbeerenauslese is a German language wine term for an intensely sweet dessert wine-style wine....

n in the Neusiedlersee region, where producers include Alois Kracher
Alois Kracher
Alois Kracher Jr., was one of the most successful winemakers of Austria, and was known under the nickname "Luis". The wines from his vineyard Weinlaubenhof Kracher reached a world reputation and high acclaim from international wine critics such as Robert M...


Other locations

Some Scheurebe is grown in California
California wine
California wine has a long and continuing history, and in the late twentieth century became recognized as producing some of the world's finest wine. While wine is made in all fifty U.S. states, up to 90% of American wine is produced in the state...

 and Oregon
Oregon wine
The state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state's borders which are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the...

 and Western Australia.


Synonyms for Scheurebe include Alzey S. 88, Dr. Wagnerrebe, S 88, Sämling
thumb|Monocot and dicot seedlingsA seedling is a young plant sporophyte developing out of a plant embryo from a seed. Seedling development starts with germination of the seed. A typical young seedling consists of three main parts: the radicle , the hypocotyl , and the cotyledons...

, Sämling 88, Scheu, Scheu 88 and Scheu Riesling.
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