Not so RIESsearchING at Sandro De Bruno

Hi Riesling fans,

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There came some sad Riesling news last week from the Hugel Famille in Riquewihr, Alsace.                         On 9 April 2016 Etienne Hugel past away at the age of 57.
He was in charge of promoting the Hugel wines abroad.
The passing of a great Riesling man, hits the wine world hard.
RIESsearchING’s heart is with the family in these times!

 

 

 

Now for “not so RIESsearchING” at Sandro de Bruno!

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I stayed at Musella, so I had to drive 20 minutes to Pergola (Verona) near Soave.
Once I came into the neighborhood of the winery it was clear the area was called Pergola. Because all vines I saw were trained in Pergola style.

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I arrived at the quite new winery, and the scene was breathtaking!

Cherry blossoms were blooming, the sun was shining. It was just so right.
And quite new because there first bottled vintage was 2007. And next year is the 10th anniversary of the winery.

 

Alessandra gave me a tour of the winery. She was very welcoming from the very start. Which was very nice.

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We started outside where she pointed out where the vineyards where on the volcanic mountain of Soave.
Also closer by on the plain area they own some vineyards of Durella.

 

 

This is a grape variety that only grows here in this particular area.
The grape is generally used for sparkling wines, because of the great structure and amazing high acidity. So perfect for a sparking base wine.
But Sandro (the owner and winemaker) did make a still wine from this grape.
It is something quite different, it had quite a deep color, very mineral from the soil of course. You had lemon and fresh, crisp apple some pineapple, some yeasty notes and a strong medium finish.

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On the principal floor, they have their stainless steel tanks where all grape most is received in and the white wine stays. They red wine and sparkling wine go to the cellar.

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In the cellar, they have this idyllic tasting room with fireplace. Where they organize food and wine pairings with their own wines.
Behind a glass wall in the tasting room you have the oak casks, where the red wine ages.
In the rear of the barrel chamber, they created a sparkling room!
A room built out of bottles of sparkling wine laying sur lat, waiting for remuage.
It’s such a nice sight!

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They work with nature in mind. They only spray chemicals hen needed and they only add the minimum required sulfur dioxide to their wines.
They also don’t filter the hell out of the wines. They’re all wines with amazing texture.

Later, I tasted the Soave Superiore 2013, the Durello still wine 2008, the Pinot Noir 2010 and the Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.

I highly recommend these wines. They are different but really nice!
The Pinot Noir was exquisite! Because it is grown on the volcanic soil of Soave, it delivers a delicate mineral and smoke touch on the palate. Which is not expected, but so wonderful! It has quite high tannin, but they’re integrated with the fresh red fruits and smokey flavors. The wine has quite a long finish as well.

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And the name Sandro de Bruno. I thought de Bruno is Sandro his last name.
This is not…
Sandro’s last name is Tasoniero.
Bruno is the name of his father, who passed away when Sandro was very young.
It was Sandro’s dream of starting a winery in honor of his father.
That’s why Sandro de Bruno! It’s like Sandro son of Bruno!
This makes me even respect the wines more, there is a whole story about the winery! It’s not exactly an “Oh, let’s just start another winery” story!
That’s what I love about this place.

Azienda Agricola Sandro de Bruno has a particular place in my hart!
It’s a beautiful company, with beautiful wines and beautiful people!
Thank you so much for the great experience! Sandro de Bruno!
More info:
www.sandrodebruno.it

And I’ll see you guy’s the next “not so RIESsearchING” for my last winery visit in Venice!

Not so RIESsearchING at Musella

Hi you wine freaks,

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This time, not so RIESsearchING because:

I travelled back to Italy for holiday and could of course not resist going on a winery visit.
I was in the wrong neighborhood for Riesling.
But I went to some very impressive wineries!

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I stayed in a bed and breakfast of a winery close to Verona.
Called Musella.
It’s a beautiful domain 400 years ago, it was a farm and where the winery is now, was the horse stable.
You can still envision it a little. The winery works totally biodynamic. They do not utilize any chemicals, not even sulfur dioxide to preserve the wine.

Because the winery is a protected building there is nothing permanently build, all vats and bottling equipment is on wheels so it is movable.
They have some stainless steel tanks for the rose and white wines and concrete for the red wines. Concrete is a better isolater and keeps the temperature stable for up to a week without temperature control.

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All red wines are matured in French oak barrels, all half toasted.
They also execute an experiment in granite and marble containers.
I’m rather curious how that will turn out. They perform this experiment because the vines are grown on soils that contain marble and granite.

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They also have 2 concrete eggs, these are exclusively used when there is a problem with the wine. After 2 weeks the wine can go back in a new vat and it is cured of whatever the problem was.
There’s an air bubble in the egg that keeps on moving and so the wine keeps moving.

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In the winery they also keep bio cow manure to fertilize the vineyards.
The odd thing is it does not smell as cow phoo to me. It did not hold a scent.

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Outside you have the stalk remover and 4 hugh stainless steel tanks. These are the temperature controlled presses. They press very slowly and soft so you don’t squeeze the hell out of them.

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So their red wines have very mild, delicate tannin, they are present, but are very soft and integrated in the wine in the wine I tasted was a Valpollicella Superiore DOCG from 2014 with so much taste but so delicate almost like a Pinot noir!

So they make a range from a delicate white, rose, Valpolicella to Amarone. But all with the Bio lable.

 

 

As well, I went to Sandro de Bruno a winery 30 minutes drive from Musella near the village of Soave.

And I got to the only winery that’s left on the islands of Venice,                                                                                  Venissa located on Marzobbo Island. Next to Burano.

Also the weather in Northern Italy was wonderfully 20°C very sunny and a nice breeze.

For more info about Musella: http://www.musella.it/it/

The other wineries are for the next RIESsearchING!
See you guys then!

 

Riesling Masterclasses!

Hi everyone!

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It has been some time, because I was really busy!
I have done my WSET Spirits exam earlier this week.
Besides, I worked my butt off in a second restaurant.
And I gave 2 master classes!

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The first Master class was where I did my school time. Here in Antwerp PIVA!
It was fun to do and we gave an amazing Riesling tasting!
We, are me and my mom!
She gives wine classes in Aalst at Tanerra under Wine in Words!
www.wineinwords.be

Anyway. We got going off the tasting with a sparkling Riesling Sekt from Solter, who is based in the Rheingau, Germany.
It has a nice mousse, was delicately refreshing and complex and after it had the time to breath the amazing petrol aroma came up!

As, second wine we had also a German wine from the Mittelrhein.
The base wine from Toni Jost a Riesling Trocken.
It’s refreshing, fruity and mineral with a quite short finish which is a little acidic.
Hence, it’s a fresh glass of wine.

The next wine is from the USA, Ancient Lakes AVA. The Kong Fu Girl Riesling!
This has a little more residual sugar, but has enough acidity to make it still a fresh wine. This wine is surprisingly complex, very mineral, fresh fruit and some tropical fruit and the wonderful petrol aroma jumps out of the glass! A long finish makes it altogether, even more fantastic!

Than as sweet wines we had a Fine Herb from Fritz Haag, from the Mosel, Germany.
Normally fine herb is a flabby sweet wine which Germans drink all day long.
But not this one!
It had a nice texture, the acidity balances out the residual sugar and there is a fresh mineral touch. So, really good for a fine herb!

As second sweet and last wine, an Auslese from Karthäuserhof out of the Ruwer region in Germany.
It’s a lot more concentrated, had a deeper color.
The wine is sweet, with a lot of complex flavors, minerality, petrol and still freshness.
Also a long finish makes this a nice stopping point!

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We also presented a second Master class in one of the classes of my mom in Aalst.
Where we gave one more wine to taste.
A Selected Harvest Riesling out of New Zealand.
We served the year 2000 which was so complex! Very sweet! With candied fruit, tropical fruits and a good deal of acidity to counter all the sweetness!
A long, complex finish made this tasting amazing ass well!

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Besides, an ex colleague of mine came over.
He works now for a London spirits brand: Sacred!
They distill Gin, Vodka, Bitters and Vermouth.
They use vacuum distillation, which implies they do need a lot less heat.
And the botanicals do not decompose as much as in a normal Pot Still.
So, you have more the pure flavors of your botanicals!
I tasted their whole range!
-Sacred Gin
-Juniper Gin
-Coriander Gin
-Cardamom Gin
-Orris Gin
-Liquorish Gin
All have very pure flavors! Very nice!
The bitter Rosehip cup is like Campari, but much more elegant!
The Sacred English dry vermouth is a wonderful mix vermouth.
The Sacred Amber Vermouth is for sipping on the rocks and has a nice complexity.
The Sacred Spiced English Vermouth has a spicy complexity to it also for sipping
on the rocks.
There Organic Vodka is so aromatic!
And to finish Balder made me a Sacred Negroni.
Which is 1pt of Sacred Gin, 1pt of the Rose hip cup and 1pt Spiced English Vermouth, this all served over ice is an amazing aperitif cocktail!
Thank you Balder for the tasting of Sacred distillery!
For more info: http://sacredspiritscompany.com

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And Prowein was again this year!
I went for 2 whole day’s of RIESsearchING!
More later!

See you for the Prowein RIESsearchING!

 

Riesling in Russia!

Hi you Riesling fans,

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It’s been a while, because I started studying for the WSET Diploma Spirits exam.
Which, is coming up very soon…

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I did taste something unusual, simply fun.
Riesling Mate Winter, which is a Riesling wine infused with spices like ginger, star anise, cinnamon and a lot more.
To me, it’s like an unfortified vermouth, refreshing, tasty and not very sweet.
It is red colored which initially threw me off, but it’s quite nice!
I purchased it from a crowd funding Called Mari Mate join the Lama.
http://www.jointhelama.com/en/start/

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Likewise, I shared the drinks business Riesling Masters article on my fb page:
https://www.facebook.com/Riessearching/

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But the theme of today, Riesling in Russia.

Overall in Russia there are a lot of wines made from imported grapes who are low to mid priced. But the premium let’s call them home made, wines are wining space!
But still only 20% of the wines produced from grapes grown in Russia are sold in Russia.
The wine growing regions in Russia have a moderate continental climate with severe winters. In regions like Rostov and Stravopol the vines need to be banked with sand against lethal frost bite in winter.
Krasnodar is one of the southern regions and the most important wine region in Russia. Takes in a quite long autumn where grapes can ripen fairly. So also Riesling ripens quite well. Here in the soil is an honest amount of chalk and marl.

Likewise, there’s some ice wine made from Riesling in Russia.
But overall I can’t find tasting notes from 100% Riesling only ice wines.
I will taste some on prowein if there is, but I think there will be and I will discuss it when I did taste some.

What is also, I have not yet discovered a Russian wine in Belgium and I don’t think there is a lot imported or really a market for it right now.

Enjoy reading and I’ll see you the next RIESsearchING!

Sources:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/rbth/10023097/russia-wine-expert-view.html
Jancis Robinson.com and the Oxford companion

Riesling in Bulgaria!

Hi Riesling fans,

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I wish everybody a happy and prosperous new year. I hope for all your dreams to come true and it will be a wonderful year!
And I do hope you did leave last year behind in fun.

This year I hope to taste more wonderful Rieslings, visit a lot of wineries, pass a lot of exams and of course write a lot of RIESsearchING posts.

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So let’s try again: Bulgaria.
Last time I did not get enough information on Bulgaria to write a post.
I have done it better this time.

Riesling in Bulgaria!
There’s growing 1170ha of Riesling in Bulgaria.
Most are grown in the Black Sea region and the Rose Valley region here’s a continental climate.
Over Bulgaria you find different soil types:
Some alluvial soils, gray forest floor, maroon soils and some deep sand soils.

There are 3 other wine regions as well: Danubian Plains, Thracian Lowlands and Struma River Valley.

I believe it is quite difficult to stick a flavor palate on these Rieslings, because the huge diversity in soil types. Because Riesling does reflect the soil type it grows on very easily. Which makes it the most amazing grape variety for me.
I leave comment on Riesling tastes from Bulgaria when I actually have tasted some.

Something else to look forward to.
I know this is not much yet, but there will be an update when I know more!

See you guy’s the next RIESsearchING!

Sources:
The wine grape book by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz
http://www.winesofbalkans.com/index.php?balkan-states/bulgaria
http://english.bulgariandrinks.com/drink-types/wine/186

Riesling in the Republic of Moldova

Hi Riesling fans,

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Merry Christmas to all of you!

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It’s all ready been a nice day!
Went to Cru, a kind of fresh market near Brussels.
I know the manager and we have tasted already a lot of wine today.
So thank you Dennis!
I bought some Riesling there! One of them is a Riesling from Robert Weil.
I have his book! It’s a very nice book about his winery!

So I wish you guy’s a very happy Christmas and a wonderful new year!

Today I speak about Riesling in Moldova!
There’s growing 1343ha of Riesling all over Moldova.

There are 4 historical wine regions in Moldova:
Valul lui Traian (south west), Stefan Voda (south east), Codru (center), and Balti (North).
Most Riesling is grown in the southern regions: Valul lui Traian and Stefan Voda.
Here in Moldova a continental climate rules. Which is great to grow Riesling.
65% of the soil all over Moldova consists of Chernozem which is a black humus soil rich in humus and calcium oins.

image This is a picture of a Chernozem soil.

They also make some ice wine here in Moldova.
But overall the dry Riesling does a good job as well.
Also here in the Riesling the aroma of quince and peach is found white flowers,
overall a little less mineral, but that won’t be all of them I’m sure!

So enjoy reading and see you the next RIESsearchING!

Sources: wine grape book by Jancis Robinson,…
www.winesofmoldova.com
http://www.britannica.com/science/Chernozem-FAO-soil-group

Riesling in Croatia!

Hi Riesling fans,

Ever been to Croatia?
Not me. But it should be an amazing country.
They make wonderful wines. Istrian wines are almost popular!

Also Riesling, here called Rizling Rajnski grows in Croatia.
1072 ha which is 3% of the total vineyard plantings of Croatia.
And good news also for Riesling is that 2 out of 3 bottles wine made is white wine!
Riesling is mostly planted on the Hungarian and Serbian borders,
where a continental climate rules.
On the coast of Croatia rules a continental climate.
Overall the soil exists of rocks and some alluvial deposits.

In earlier days Riesling was almost always made into cheap table wines.
But now wonders are made!

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Like the winery Bolfan! They make wonderful Riesling (and a lot more white wines).
The winery lies in Zlator, here the soil exists mostly of loess and limestone.
The goal of this winery is to become a 100% natural.

Their Riesling has aromas of golden apples, pear and honey and a tutch of petrol and a wet stone minerality.

Source used: the wine grape book by Jancis Robinson,…
Winepages.com
Winesofcroatia.com
Bolfan.com

Enjoy reading and I’ll see you the next RIESseachING!

Riesling in Slovenia!

Hi everyone,

I skipped a week because I was very busy. I still am, but found some time to write about Riesling!

Today I’ll talk about Riesling in Slovenia.

When you type in Google Slovenia and wine you get all links to Tesco websites.
Tesco is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the UK and they do sell a lot of wine.
If you are following the drinks business magazine, from time to time the name Tesco passes on the screen.
But I did not know they sold a lot of Slovenian wines. Apparently they do…

But on with Riesling!
Here in Slovenia Riesling is called, Renski Riesling.
In Slovenian Istria there grows 591 ha of Riesling and true out the rest of the country another 52 ha.

Riesling is grown in the Bizesljsko wine region, which lies on the border with Croatia.
Where a cool climate rules and the vines grow on a sandstone soil.

Also in the Prekmurje region grows Riesling on sandstone and clay soils
and here a continental climate rules.
This region lies between the Austrian and Hungarian borders.

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And one of the very best producers of Slovenia should be the Devri Pax winery.
This winery lies in the Stajerska wine region (Steiermark in Austria), so lies on the border with Austria.
They make a lot of white wine, but only have 2 Riesling wines in their assortment.
They have aroma’s of peaches, pineapples, blossoms and a touch of honey.
They are medium bodied, with a highly refreshing acidity, are bone-dry and packed with flavor!

As sources I used: the wine grape book by Jancis Robinson,…
Devri-pax.com
Slovenia.is
Sloveniaforyou.com

Enjoy reading and see you the next RIESsearchING!

Hi everyone!

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There has been happening a lot lately!
The RIESsearchING blog has been recommended by another blog, as a good blog to read where Riesling all comes from. Which is true, of course!
www.vriendenvanderiesling.wordpress.com
And I am pre selected as last year for the Sommelier of the year competition in Belgium!
www.sommelieroftheyear.be
Vote for me!

But let’s get on with Riesling!
Today I am talking about Riesling in Slovakia!

The first name that pops up when you mention Riesling and Slovakia on google is Egon Muller.
He makes an amazing Riesling wine in Slovakia named Kastiel Bela Riesling.
For this Riesling Muller collaborates with the castle owner Baron Georg Ullman de Baronyava.
The estate lies in the region Sturovo on the Hungarian border.
There’s a lot of loess in the soil, which make interesting Riesling wines with a base flavor of peach and notes of spices, wet stone and some smokey touches.

There grows about 998ha of Riesling in Slovakia and most is planted in Pezinok.
Pezinok lies about 20km north west from Bratislava.
The climate is continental and has modest rainfall.
Most rain falls in march, which isn’t that great for flowering but ok.

In Pezinok there’s a festival which dates back to the 13th century.
Back then they celebrated in there cosy wine cellars, but nowadays it’s a real festival!

Most fantastic Rieslings is made in a village within Pezinok, called Modra.

Sources used are: the wine grape book by Jancis Robinson,… Websites: winesofslovakia.com, winesearcher.com and winespectator.com

Enjoy reading and see you the next RIESsearchING!

Riesling in the Czech Republic

wine harvest riesling, Czech Republic

Hi Riesling fans,

Today, I am going to talk about Riesling from the Czech Republic.
I know I said I was going to write about Bulgaria, but that needs some more work…
Because Bulgaria does not like a country we Belgians want to know a lot about.
But ok, I’l get there.
So the Czech Republic, never been myself, but it looks like a nice place.

Riesling here calls: Ryzlink Rynsky -> as in Rhine Riesling.
Here grows 1127 ha of Riesling and it almost all grows in Moravia.
There are else very good wineries in Veké Zernoseky who make fantastic Riesling.

Most of all vines grow in Moravia, 95% of all vines planted in the Czech Republic grow in Moravia!
Here is Moravia there rules a cool continental climate with occasional maritime influences carried in with the winds from the Atlantic.
The climate is similar to the Neha or Pfalz in Germany.
It’s relatively dry here and there are more as 2000 hours of sunshine each year!

So we have the perfect climate for Riesling to grow well and ripen fully into the long Indian summers.

The soils here are mostly made out of Loess and sweet water sediment.
There are also sub regions within Moravia, which have a limestone soil, gravel and clay.

image This is a soils with a lot of loess in it!

So room for a lot of different Riesling styles here!

Riesling here has, overall peach character with a spicy note, linden bloom and honey notes.

Enjoy reading!
And see you the next RIESsearchING!