After finishing Prowein, Wines of Germany took around about-15 of us through the German countryside to meet with producers for three days. Due to my departing flight I was only able to be part of the travels for two days so had a quick go of it. It was of course lovely to taste the wine. Along with the tasting, I have to admit one of the most interesting parts of the trip was learning about the culture and wine scene of the countries and cities in which our fellow travelers live. One night during dinner a handful of us simply compared restaurant-wine culture in London, NYC, San Francisco, Moscow, and Rio. Pretty remarkable really.
Here’s a look back at the two days in Germany as shared during our travels via Instagram.
Saying good bye to Prowein to head out on the road through German wine with the United Nations of world wine including representatives from Korea, Singapore, China, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, the US, the UK, and Canada. #germany #prowein #germanwine #wine @prowein_tradefair @wines_of_germany xx
A comprehensive tasting of current release wines from Sinß of the Nahe region in Germany. Riesling is the most prominent variety of this, one of Germany’s smaller winegrowing areas. Styles of Riesling from Nahe are quite diverse as soils are profoundly varied through the region including sandstone, slate, chalk in sands, gravels, and organic mixes. The area is relatively cool showcasing bright acidity that avoids hardness. #germany #nahe #wine @wines_of_germany
Getting started with a tasting at Wasem within the Rheinhessen region, the largest wine growing region of Germany. Wasem is unique for the broader region in that it makes a larger proportion of red wines than whites, as the subzone within it resides – Ingelheim – is full of wind blown fine sand that is both high draining and also heat retaining, which better suits reds than whites. Underneath the beach-like sands are chalk stone with fossils, into which the roots push with age to access water. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @wines_of_germany @wasem_wein
One of the lesser known varieties of the world Frauburgunder, also known as Pinot Madeleine, grows in only around 300 ha across Germany. It is an earlier ripening member of the Pinot family that drinks like a fast action, ultra compact, power box thumping through the midpalate. The Wasem 2016 with a fistful of pure fruit. Wasem serves as a nursery of the variety for the area and has helped to preserve its presence in Germany. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @wines_of_germany @wasem_wein
Winegrower Jens Bettenheimer of Weingut Bettenheimer in the Rheinhessen region of Germany discusses his viticultural practices. To capture the highest quality in the resulting wines, he believes it is important to focus on biologically-minded practices. At the core of this approach is soil health but also a holistic view of what that means. He follows moon cycles as has long been traditional in farming all over the world but also judges those cycles in relation to the weather at the time. While his farming is organically-minded he chooses not to be certified. His university thesis looked at the impact of copper use on soil health and soil biology. Copper is one of the primary treatments available for vineyard maintenance in organic farming. His studies showed that copper builds up significantly over time in the soils and effectively depletes the micro flora and micro fauna of the soils, which then reduces the vines ability to uptake nutrients from the soil. In rainy conditions under organic farming higher copper use becomes necessary as rains effectively wash necessary treatments from the vine. To avoid this increased copper use in especially rainy years he opts instead for products such as phosphoric acid that are not officially recognized by organic certifications but that he has found reduce overall impact on the site, and especially soils, while maintaining vine and fruit health and reducing disease pressure. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @winesofgermany @jens_bettenheimer
Weingut Bettenheimer grows in sandy wild blown soils over chalk stone (with lime). The focus as a result is on varieties especially suited to these soils from the extended Pinot family, such as Chardonnay, Frauburgunder, and Spatburgunder, though also Sylvaner. Bettenheimer does also make a small proportion of Riesling but by shifting the focus to the Pinot family they have effectively distinguished themselves within the German market. While Chardonnay is less commonly thought of in relation to German wine, it appears throughout the country in small quantities. Jens Bettenheimer takes a particular interest in Chardonnay as he feels it is especially suited to the underlying chalky soils. He also enjoys working on honing the particular expression of the variety to the region with the idea of age-ability in mind. Here we taste a small lot experiment he has done of Chardonnay vinified without sulfur with skin contact. He also experiments with blocking malolactic conversion, for example, to see what creates best expression for the site with ageability and drinkability. In the end the various small lots are blended to create the finished Chardonnay. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @jens_bettenheimer @wines_of_germany
Johannes and Julia Landgraf of Weingut Becker Landgraf introduce their J2 wines. Though it is relatively unusual for German Riesling, Becker Landgraf Riesling goes through malolactic conversion (ML). The resulting wine is still incredibly bright while also dry. In their view bringing the wine through ML helps to soften the high natural acidity while creating better balance for a dry style. The process has also lead to a pleasing silken, viscous texture in the wines we tasted. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @wines_of_germany
Though Riesling and Spatburgunder (aka Pinot Noir) are crucial for the export market of German wines, within Germany blends of Weissburgunder (aka Pinot Blanc) with Chardonnay hold a broader appeal as they tend to be quite versatile with a range of foods and across a range of palates. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @wines_of_germany
Soils through Rheinhessen are quite varied especially due to the size of the region. Here in the Gau-Odernheim portion of Rheinhessen are two examples. In the first photo, fossilized shells in chalk appear throughout the area. Mussel fossils appear from 35 million year old chalk-lime stone. Snail fossils from 25 million year old chalk-lime stone. In the second photo quartz formed in the earth’s crust then pushed up into now-ancient seabed, which has since become the region’s surface soil, and thus spotted with algae chalk fossils. Clay marls also appear in this portion of Rheinhessen. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @wines_of_germany
Sticking to the medium level of carbonation for continuity sake while pursuing the ongoing study of Europe’s regional mineral waters. Here Terra, which on the side makes a point of listing the exact milligrams of each mineral present, though not their proportions to each other as the previous German water did. #germany #water @wines_of_germany
Volker Raumland began making sparkling wine for his Sekthaus Raumland in 1981 from both the Rheinhessen and Pfalz wine regions. In 1986 he helped open up the German sparkling wine market by creating a mobile disgorgement and bottling machine that he advertised as a traveling service for all of Germany. After placing the advertisement in 1986 he quickly received over 100 phone calls from small producers all over the country who needed help disgorging their sparkling wine. For the next sixteen years he drove his machine in every direction across Germany. Without assistance or expertise it can be so difficult to disgorge traditional-method sparkling wine that producers will lose a lot of volume just by opening the bottles to release the yeast plug. It proved more economical to pay Volker for help, and his services, as a result, helped expand availability of quality sparkling wine from Germany. #germany #rheinhessen #pfalz #wine @wines_of_germany @sekthaus_raumland
Beautifully harmonious integration of elements here in Raumland 2013 Cuvée Katharina brut nature – powerful structure yet lacy presentation, faint echoes of richness move into purity and grace on the close. Lovely lightness, clarity and length. I’d love a case to age and age. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @wines_of_germany @sekthaus_raumland
World wine professionals in their natural habitat, exhibit 2.3.56.b: Out to dinner in Germany discussing the restaurant wine scene of respective home markets. From left: @jolory of London, @drunkcru of Moscow, me, Ilya Kirilin of Moscow, Marcelo Copello of Rio, @suskostrzewa of NYC. #germany #rheinhessen #wine @wines_of_germany
Among the world’s greatest wonders is getting to see friends in unexpected parts of the world. What a blessing and how cool is this. Rafael and Ivannia are from Costa Rica. We met in Montreal as Rafael and I were in grad school together there. The week they became Canadian citizens, now so long ago, our grad school cohort took Rafael and Ivannia out to jokingly deliver a Quebecois citizenship ceremony. (We ate poutin served with a side of hotdogs and cabbage.) They have since lived in multiple Canadian cities, a US city, and now Germany, as is the life of an academic. I have since lived in multiple US cities, left academia, and become a wayward traveler of wine. And here we are meeting up for dinner in Düsseldorf tens years after the last time we saw each other in Quebec. Incredible. So great to see you two! Thank you for making time to visit! #germany #friends
Copyright 2018 all rights reserved. When sharing or forwarding, please attribute to WakawakaWineReviews.com.