The Flurbereinigung restructuring of the 1980s raised the quality of the area's vineyards to modern standards and by the end of the 20th century, Palatinate wines were garnering international notice for their quality.
The Palatinate wine region overlaps with, but is not coextensive with, the traditional German region of Palatinate, making up only 5% of its area. The wine region is an 80-km stretch situated under the lee of the Palatinate Forest on the Haardt Mountains, a continuation of Alsace's Vosges Mountains. Its climate is much like that of Alsace and it is the sunniest and driest of German wine regions. The vineyards are planted on a mixture of sandstone and volcanic soil.
The Southern region located south of Neustadt an der Weinstraße has significant plantings of the varieties Grauburgunder (Pinot gris) and Weissburgunder (Pinot blanc) but also produces some Riesling. The soil here ranges from sandstone to slate. The region includes the villages of-
The wines of the Palatinate are traditionally dry (trocken) with a full body, though some examples of sweet Portugieser still exist. The red wines often reach alcohol levels of 13% and go through malolactic fermentation and spend some time in oak. Since the 1990s there has been increased production in the sparkling wine (Sekt) made from Riesling.
Unlike in other German wine regions, wine is served in 50cl glasses called "Schoppen" (meaning 1/2 litre) as well as in the typical 25cl ones called "Viertel" (meaning 1/4 litre). They are of a special shape specific to the region and are known as the Dubbeglas, widening from bottom to top and featuring indentations or large dimples (Dubbe) that give the glass its name. The undimpled cylindrical half-litre Schoppenglas is also frequently seen in the region. The German Wine Route (Deutsche Weinstraße) traverses this wine region. The region also produces spirits, sparkling wines, wine vinegar, and grape seed oil.