Tag Archives: German Wines

RIESsearchING at Balthasar Ress!

Hello there you Riesling fans,

In the mean time, I quited my job at Nathan… which means I’m searching for a new adventure!

For the time in between I’m working at Merkat and Cru!

Today I will be speaking about my RIESsearchING at Balthasar Ress:

Before we get started, I just wanted you guy’s to know you can lease a vine from Balthasar Ress!
I got wine for my birthday! So, you get a vine actually, and once a year you get an invitation to come and collect the bottle of your vine!
Or they will ship it to you as well.

Anyway!

 

They are situated in Hattenheim in the Rheingau on the Rhein river in Germany.
Christain Ress is already the 4the Generation of Ress, who leads the winery.
He also realizes different project like the Veritable wines. That helps other smaller wineries to get their wine out there!

Balthasar Ress is certified Bio now and is working towards Biodynamic. They want to make native wine.
This is what they envision as a wine where there is not being too much intervention. Thus, the terroir brings out, the grapes it’s own flavors. Likewise, only natural yeast is used in the cellars.

They produce a wine named RESSpect with a fancy label! And this is a wine produced in total respect for nature. No intervention what so ever (only the necessary intervention, as a small bit of sulfur added to the wine).
A really great initiative.

 

Anyway!

We went off our visit on the ground floor where the bottling machines are and packaging and shipping finds place.
Next floor the cellar!
Here all wine lies, some is still fermenting, others are in barrels, there are a bunch of very small stainless steel tanks, to really vinify every parcel separately.
You actually smell the wild yeasts working!

After our cellar visit. We had lunch with the staff there. They had sausages with their Pinot Noir processed in them.
And just some salad and some bread. It was nice to meet all these people.
Later we went to the old winery building a little further, where they still organize weddings and stuff.
They own a nice tasting room and great offices!

We also went trough the vineyards, where you discover that even the vines are not pruned very much. Because if you trim a part of your vine. Every time it asks to repair its self. Then why not just let it grow and just cut off the grape bunches that grow to many.
As well the soil is being looked after very well! Last year Juli and August were very rainy. Thus, they used a lot of chalk and copper sulfate already on the vines so they would not get mildews. This helped, but, most of what they were appropriated to use was already gone through. And the years not over, however!

                

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We got back to the new winery and we tasted a whole lot of their wines in the winery shop.

Their longstanding basic for the winery Von Unserm: which means from ours.
Is a really nice wine, dry, fresh fruits like apricots and peaches, some citrus as well. Very mineral medium body, quite complex and has a medium finish.

I also like to talk about the RESSpect 2014:
Medium dry, very concentrated apples, peaches, yeasty flavors. Full bodied, very complex, with a very long finish.
This is a biodynamic wine so this is a Riesling with characters which we would not give to a Riesling.
The matter also with biodynamic wines is that they have to have a malolactic fermentation to balance the wine out more!
Which also hens the fuller body!

We tasted a whole lot more wines, but as always! Buy them! Taste them! Love them!
I can tell about them, but it’s not the same as you taste them yourself!

For this visit I’d like to thank: Christian Ress, Clements von Eltz who showed us around! And the whole Balthasar Ress team!!!

If you want more information you can always ask me or visit the website: http://www.balthasar-ress.de/en/chronicle/

Enjoy your glass of Riesling, enjoy this blog and I’ll see you the next RIESsearchING!

RIESsearchING at Robert Weil!

Hi Riesling lovers,

Obviously, it’s been far too long.

 

In the mean time I have been RIESsearchING for over 2 years now! I still love it so much!
Only time is what stands in my way from time to time…

 

 

Also, I passed my WSET sparkling examination!
Next up is Spirits again… Which I am starting for right this second! It’s not that much, but it just does not interest me at all! = Problem! I don’t drink this ever! But I guess I need to the next couple of weeks.

This RIESsearchING is about my visit at Robert Weil!

They are situated in Kiedrich in the Reingau in Germany. The winery stands on a beautiful property! Huge even!

We were first taken to the back where we could see the vineyards from the balcony, The Kiedricher Turmberg
Which is real steep and has slate, loess and loam as soil.
Also the vineyard Kiedrich Gräfenberg you can see from here, this one is quite steep also, with a loess and loam base, has some stony components and phyllite in the soil.
The other vineyard the Kiedrich

Klosterberg is on the other side of the street what we could not see from where we were standing. This vineyard is more in the direction of Eltville. This soil is made up of colored slate, phyllite and some volcanic elements.
The full amount of hectares owned by the winery is 20 ha! This is a lot!

Then we went downstairs to the cellar! First cellar floor where huge stainless steel tanks and a reasonable amount of them!
We too saw the pneumatic presses, they had 3 or 4!


The next floor where barrels and the stock of the winery!
There was also a newer cellar, part with special temperature controlled barrels! In a state of the art room which also had a wall where water was run over to control the humidity in the cellar!

We eventually came back up! And had a tasting in a nice tasting room!

We tasted all there Rieslings (they only make Riesling). Also, we tasted a special bottle!
An Auslese from 2004!
This one is very mineral, complex, full bodied, sweet, but with a nice balancing acidity, dried fruits (like apricot, peaches) a little nutty also. So much Pertol! Love it! And a superb long finish!
Great wine!

They also have Sekt made by Solter. Which have been aged for 18 months sur lattes.
This one is very dry, has a lot of small bubbles, apple, honey, bread, brioche taste also quite mineral and has a creamy, medium finish!
Also great!

I could go on about the others, but you can buy them almost in every country! Then, buy and taste the greatness of Robert!

I also got a little gift after visiting the winery, which I am very thankful for!
I too want to thank Nicolas Pfaff, who set up the visit for us!

If you want any additional information, please contact me or visit the website: http://www.weingut-robert-weil.com

Thank’s for reading and I see you the next RIESsearchING!

RIESsearchING at Ansgar Clüsserath!

Hi Riesling fans!

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Again, a long time ago.
Still working my butt off at Restaurant Nathan!
But hard work makes me a better Sommelier everyday!

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It’s almost a year ago I went for winery visits to Germany.
But still I have wineries to tell you guy’s about!
One more in the Mosel, Ansgar Clüsserath in the village Trittenheim.

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This is RIESsearchING at Angsar Clüsserath!

We were shown around the winery by Mrs. Clüsserath. She did not speak English, but that was not so bad. Because German and Flemish is quite alike.
The wine is made by Ansgar’s daughter Eva Clüsserath-Wittman. She studied oenology at the Univerity of Geisenheim in the Rheingau. She also worked at a great VDP winery in the Pfalz region.
Today she divides her time between Trittenheim and Westhoffen in the Rheinhessen, where the winery Wittman of her husband is established.

Mom showed us the cellars and storing where Ansgar was working!
Always working, she said. I suppose like everyone who has his own business.

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Later we went to the tasting room which had an idyllic interior of wine things.

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I already knew the sweet wines Auslese and Spetlese from Ansgar Clüsserath from working with at Lam en Yin! Loved the sweet wines! So, the dry wines must be good as well was my thought.
We tasted almost everything!

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We started with the Weissburgunder or Pinot Blanc. A bunch of wineries in the Mosel plant Weissburgunder as well as Riesling. Because Weissburgunder also reflects the great minerality of the soil!
The wine was dry, white fruits, mineral, high acidity and a long finish!

We tasted the Riesling Vom Schiefer Trocken 2014 and 2015!
Love to taste 2 years next to each other!
Both were very mineral driven, fruity (apricots and white fruits) but 2014 has more Petrol aroma’s which I enjoy so much!

Steinreich Riesling Trocken 2014 is more off-dry, very mineral and fruity and a honey note.
The 2015 is drier, but has a bitter touch to it, which will disappear with age. You can already taste the potential of this wine!

The Vom Schiefer Feinherb is a lot sweeter, but however with fresh fruits like fresh peaches, green apples.
Still holds a nice minerality and a medium finish!

Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Feinherb is sweeter with a high acidity is also really concentrated and will have a long finish in time.

We also tasted the whole Trittenheimer Apotheke range.
Which exists off: Apotheke Kabinett Riesling 2015, Apotheke Spätlese 2015 and Apotheke Auslese Goldkapsel 2015.
These ones are all sweeter, more concentrated and more compote of fruits, dried fruits, honey, yeasty from the botrytisch.
Nevertheless a little young, but have wonderful potential! Absolutely enjoy the wines!
I took almost one of each with me!
But no problemo! Here in Belgium they are distributed by Vinikus en Lazarus.

We also tasted a grape liquor they make. Very sweet, very concentrated grapey flavors and candied apple and peaches. Absolutely addicting! Love it!

We purchased quite an amount of wine, but that happens when you taste great ones!

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Thank you at everybody at Ansgar Clüsserath for the hospitality and for making great Riesling!

If you would like some more information about the winery, please visit their website:
www.ansgar-cluesserath.de or contact me!

Enjoy your Riesling and I’ll see you the next RIESsearchING!

RIESsearchING at Brixius Bölinger!

Hi Riesling lovers,

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Again, it’s been some time I posted…
I took in a lot of work making the wine chart for Nathan.
Work is crazy busy and I am loving it.
It’s really a lot of fun.

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As well, I wish you guy’s a happy 2017 and hope all your wishes come true and you taste some amazing Riesling of course!

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For this RIESsearchING I talk around my visit to Brixius Bölinger.
We also stayed overnight on their winery and it was an amazing stay!

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We ran into the winemaker Manuel Brixius for the first time last year on Pro Wein Dusseldorf.
There he was at the fair with Same but different, he made a wine with coffee!
It’s been an amazing success. And it sold out very fast!
He infused coffee beans with Riesling and Spätburgunder and it delivered a nice roasted, smoky taste to the wine, but of course different as barrel aged wines.

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Brixius Bölinger lies in Maring-Noviand. Centuries ago the Mosel ran trough the valley’s but it broke trough the hills and today it runs straight along Lieser instead of calling for a turn to Maring.
You can still see where the Mosel once ran and that’s why they can also make amazing wines here on the steep hills.

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Manuel and his mother and father welcomed us on their estate and offered us a glass of Secco.
This was our first encounter with Secco and we did not know this was made here in Germany.

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After our glass of secco, Manuel took us up to the vineyards. Where he showed us where the Mosel once ran! And where the stream Lieser run’s now.
As well, you can see the vineyards have the same great exposure as on the Mosel.
He explained us the training systems here and which grapes grow where on the hillside.
Riesling mostly highest on the hill, Spätburgunder somewhere in the middle and Rivaner (Mullerthurgau) on the bottom.
Also, he took a cool box with him, with a bottle of he’s Riesling Trocken 2015 and a bottle of water. What do you need more as a great vineyard view and a full glass of Riesling!?
Here the vineyard work at this time was stripping the leaves further down for the last sun rains to reach the grapes for the last ripening stage.
Brixius Bölinger has 7ha of vineyards planted with Riesling, Rivaner and Spätburgunder.
Also, they try to work as natural as possible. But they had experienced a lot of rain so they had to spray some chemicals to get mold out of their vineyards.
It was the first time ever actually a winemaker took us to the vineyards like this!
I absolutely loved it!

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The breakfast that Manuel’s mother prepares was amazing!
Simple but everything was there!

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The day after Manuel took us for a tour of the estate. The new building houses there stock and the old cellar beneath the house is the winery. They too have a natural spring under their house! So that water is used for watering plants and washing the car and so on.
It was nice weather, so the tasting took place on the terrace!

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He still has some wine under the old label of Brixius Bölinger and most Rieslings and new style wines have his own label BRIX.
From Brixius his family name but Brix is in the united states also a term to measure the sugar content in grapes!
So the wines are called after the amount of Brix the grapes had when harvested.

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We tasted the entire assortment, again, maybe boring to read. So, not too much.
I would say my favorites, but they’re all amazing! Crisp, fresh and elegant!

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The 20 Brix Riesling Spatlese trocken: is dry has a high acidity is very mineral, has concentrated fruit like apricots it has something bready as well and a medium to long finish.

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The 18 Brix kabinett Riesling: medium sweet, very fruity with fruits like peaches, apple, citrus, has a high acidity and of course has some minerality to it, with some developing Petrol notes.

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Also the Brix Spetlese is something to mention!
Made on the Maringer Sonnenuhr! Is a sweet wine with a high acidity which makes it amazingly pleasant to drink, has very ripe fruits like apricots, peaches, citrus and even some exotic fruit notes. Has a great minerality to it and already has a long finish!
This wine is only going to get better!

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A few weeks ago, I went back for a day trip to the Mosel.
And of course I visited Manuel again!
We tasted the new harvest, which was fermenting for only 2 to 3 weeks.
This has been the first time ever I tasted wine in such an early stage!
It was so interesting! You can see it’s not fruit juice anymore, but it’s not wine yet.
Amazing experience!
You still have the fruit juice feeling, something pear juice and over ripe banana wise in some beginning wines. You taste the yeast that’s working to get the alcohol produced.
I am so grateful we could taste that! So, thank you Manuel!

I have a confession to make…
On the Germany trip I actually learned Kabinett or sweeter Rieslings can be great!
The sweetness actually adds to the flavor and complexity of the Riesling!

I want to thank Manuel and his parents for the great hospitality and amazing wines and tour!

If you like more information ask me or go to the website :
http://www.weingut-brixius-boelinger.de

Thank’s for reading, RIESsearchING and I’ll see you the next one!

RIESsearchING at Dr. Loosen!

Hi Riesling fans,

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I have some great news to report.
I am hired in a new Restaurant, which is about to open this November in Antwerp!
As real Sommelier! I am so happy about this!
Also last month (during my Germany trip) I received the amazing news that I passed my WSET Diploma Case Study about Social Media Marketing of wine!

So, only great news today and great wines of course, because today’s RIESsearchING is at
Dr.Loosen at the Mosel!

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We were a little too early, but Marcus the guide already let us in.
We talked a little from where we are and what we do and he decided to have us see the private cellars of Ernst Loosen.
Like all Beerenauslese and Eiswein is stocked in there. He keeps it for special occasions.
Ernst Loosen is the owner of Dr.Loosen winery.
The winery is already 200 years in the same family, which is quite rare.

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The other people started to come in for the tasting and we took off.
First a short introduction of the winery and how the VDP works because that can often be confusing.
So the VDP is the Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter.
This is an alliance of German winery owners and winemakers who taste the entries and decide who becomes a VPD and who not. It’s sort of the elite club of German Wine.
There also is a classification as there is in Bourgogne.
At the base layer you have the VDP Gutswein: this is a Regional wine that reflects a grate basic quality standard that has been set by the VDP.
Then there is the VDP Ortsweine or Village wines: These wines originate from the village better vineyard sites, that are planted with regional grape varieties and there are yield restriction.
And so, we go on the Erste Lage: Which are the Premier Cru vineyard let say.
These wines are from the first class vineyards with a distinctive Character, they also provide perfect growing conditions and must be planted with regional grape varieties.
And at the very top we have the Grosse Lage: or the Grand Cru vineyards. These are the very best and most famous vineyards who have a very distinct character. These wines can be rather expensive and have great aging potential. They are planted with regional grape varieties.

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Now we have an idea of how the VDP works we move on to the tasting.
Dr. Loosen has wines made from 6 famous vineyards:
-Bernkastler Lay
-Graacher Himmelreich
-Wehlener Sonnenuhr
-Ürziger Würzgarten
-Erdener Treppchen
-Erdener Plälat
They all have a specific soil type all slate, but different types of slate and all bear a different exposure to the sun.

We started off with their Pinot Blanc.
Pinot Blanc, (maybe you already noticed) is becoming a hype in Mosel. So everybody has a Pinot Blanc.
This wine has 8 to 10 months ripening on the lies in big bariques.
What is a thing here at Dr.Loosen is that they make wine in the real Mosel style!
Which is really very interesting. So the Pinot has a slight sweetness to it is a little buttery, very fruity with medium acidity and a medium long finish, also some minerality can be found.
The mineral notes is a reason why the Mosel wineries like Pinot Blanc. It’s a variety that reflects the soil well also.

Then 2 blends were tasted the Blauwschiefer and the Rotschiefer.
Then we started out going on the single vineyard ones:

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-Graacher 2014 which delivered 12 months ripening on the lies in big Mosel barrels.
This is a wine from the vineyard Graacher Himmelreich, the Kingdome of heaven of
Graach.
The soil is formed out of multicolored slate.
The wine is rather dry with a high acidity to counter and salty, mineral tastes with
citrus and stone fruit you can also taste a little bitterness of almonds. The wine has
a quite long finish!

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-Ürziger Würtrzgarten 2014 or the Herb Garden of Ürzig.
The wine is grown on red volcanic soil of ürzig, this is a unique soil in the Mosel.
This Iron rich soil gives a little spiciness to the minerality of the wine. The wine is also very fruity, apricots and nectarines has a little alcoholic feeling trough warts the other wines. And besides a little CO2 prickle which makes it quite pleasant.

We also tasted their Feinherb. This was absolutely what I remember it to be…
Flabby, too sweet, not enough acidity, little mineral, but with a very short finish.
These sorts of wines are not to my likings but you know it is an authentic Mosel styled wine and that’s what the winery stands for!

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-Kabinet Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2015 or the sundial of Whelen.
This Sundial in the vineyard actually shows how a great exposure the vineyard has to the sun!
Because you can read the time from it, its perfectly south facing, and then that’s only good news for the vineyard. Also in this vineyard there is almost no topsoil, only beautiful blue slate.
This wine has a nice sweetness to it with a refreshing acidity, very ripe stone fruit and red apples, and a fresh wet stone minerality with a long finish.

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-Spetlese Erdener Trepchen 2013 or the little stairway of Erden.
This vineyard actually has a stairway going up the hill through the vineyard. There occurs the name from. Also, it’s a vineyard you recognize right away when you see it!
I also climbed a bit of the Erdener Trepchen with my mom (because you can do that!) but it was so freaking hot that day we didn’t climb it whole. It is an experience I have to say! This is the only way to know what the vineyard workers have to go through almost each day. I can tell you, it’s hard. Even harder because I am afraid of heights, which is not very useful if you’re going up a steel vineyard…
Anyway… Because it’s a Spetlese this is (almost always) a sweet wine. With high acidity making it still fresh,
Honey notes very ripe to overripe and baked stone fruit and white fruits and a minerality that does make me dreamy! Choo polish, petrol, a little smoky even and such a long finish! Way too young of course but it’s already awesome!

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-Auslese Ürziger Würzgarten 2014:
Again a wine from the volcanic soil of Ürzig (I know the name is almost unpronounceable).
This time a lushes sweet one. Also with a mountain high acidity which you would not say because it just counters the sweetness. This is a very concentrated wine! Caramel notes, honey, dried stone fruits or even candied, also again a spicy minerality and a short finish, which only says this wine needs decades more of bottle maturation to develop all complex flavors! This is on his path to become a fabulous wine!

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A further post will follow of all famous vineyards of the Mosel in a while!
So you don’t miss out on the amazingness that’s going on in that beautiful soil over there!

Oh, and in the evening we went to a restaurant in the Richtershotel and who sat the table next to us?! Mr. And Mrs. Loosen their selves! My mom made sure we have proof!

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That’s that for this RIESsearchING!

If you want to know more about the Dr. Loosen winery pleas ask or visit the website: dr.loosen.com

Enjoy and see you the next RIESsearchING!

RIESsearchING at Dr. H. Thanisch

Hi Riesling lovers,

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Today another winery I visited on the Mosel in Germany.
RIESsearchING at Docter H. Thanisch!

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We visited the Docter Cellar behind the picturesque village of Bernkastel-Keus.
First, we saw the vineyards. Erik Rundquist let us discover the Doctor vineyard which also has a Roman Presshouse up the hill and is restored for touristic visits.
Besides, they do everything organic in the vineyards sins a year.
This year they stopped spraying by helicopter and perform almost everything by hand.
There is no other option cause the hill is so steep!

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We were greeted at the cellar door by his wife Barbara Rundquist-Müller.
The cellar door tells the story of the winery.
An elected Prins, Kurfürst was very ill and no one could heal him. Then he went to his castle on the Mosel.
A winemaker gave him a barrel of his finest wine and said to the prince this was the best medicine in the world.
The day after he drunk the wine the prince was better and called the winemaker to his caste and called the winemaker his Docter and gave him a vineyard that he called the Doctor vineyard. The only real doctor!
Since that day that vineyard was called the Docter and till today there is made wine from these vines at the doctor vineyard and cellar.

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It’s a very old cellar, 350 years old to be precise.
They still employ it for fermenting and maturing the wines and storing of their treasury (meaning very old wines of the estate) and to hold tastings.
It’s all year round between 8 and 10°C which they say it’s the ideal temperature.
At that time when I was there 3 weeks ago, it was really sunny and warm, but the week before it had been raining for so long! The ground was still quite wet. And the cellar was carved out the slate soil and rock, and then water was constantly pouring out of the soil in the cellar through the door onto the street.
But that totally adds to the charm of everything!
Because it’s an old cellar, it was rather dark inside. But again that adds to the story!

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They have 12ha of vineyards spread over the Bernkastler Docter, Bernkasteler Badstube, Bernkasteler Graben, Bernkasteler Lay, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich and Wehlener Sonnenuhr.

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The wines are made organically no addition of sulfur or anything else for that matters, the grapes are crushed and macerate for 2 to 4 hours before being gently pressed.
Also, no yeast strains are added after 350 years the yeast has settled in the cellar and does his work well!
Also the filtration is really light and gentle. And everything happens in the typical 1000 liter Mosel barrels.

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We tasted 6 of their wines.
They are made in the real Mosel style.
Quite full bodied (because of the natural fermentation),
Deep in color as well, with a nice residual sugar content and a sky high acidity to counter the sweetness. As well, almost all wines were very concentrated!
They also have something unique, wild but very pleasant to it!
Most have a medium to long finish. It’s not for everyone I believe because of the little wild side, but it is still typical Riesling! A nice minerality, and ripe white fruit and peaches.
I like the wines very much and I think they are best drunk with matching foods.
Seafood, fat fish, foigras, spicy foods and the very concentrated ones even with meat!

So this was it for the RIESsearchING at Dr. H. Thanisch.

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If you require more info, please me or visit the website: dr-thanisch.de

Enjoy reading and enjoy your Riesling!

Till the next RIESsearchING!

Generation Riesling!

Hi Riesling fans,

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It has been some time now…
I know!
Constantly on the move.
Besides, I had a case study to prepare last month about Social Media wine marketing.
Which I have learned a bunch about!

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Anyway.I am redirecting my focus on Germany for a bit.
Because, this summer I go for a 5 day trip to Germany.

For yes, you know it: Riesling!

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With my case study behind me and a lot of Riesling in front of me.                                                    I am going to talk about Generation Riesling today.

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Generation Riesling!

This is an innovation of the German Wineinstituut.
To attain a positive look on German wine again!
Because, let’s face it, folks. Previous generations do not drink German Riesling…
It is very logical and has good reasoning.
Wines such as Schwartze Katz and liebfraumilch.
Huge mass production and nearly good enough to produce a sauce with.
Lately they are better, but even so this is not at all covering what german wine
Is all about and has to offer a lot more!

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Why the name Generation Riesling?
Easily, the members cannot be over 35 years old.
It’s entirely about having a fresh take on German wines.
Not only Riesling. But Riesling is the most important grape variety in Germany.
It’s born there!

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This year they are celebrating 10 year Generation Riesling!
10 years ago, they started with 80 members, today their over 500 members!
Their task is to promote German wine as ambassadors on trade fairs and events.
And they are good at it!

 

 

First time I came in touch with Generation Riesling was this year at Prowein Dusserdorf.
They are innovative, interesting, young winemakers who do not want to throw away tradition, but embrace it in different en new way’s!
They utilize new materials and less chemicals to make the wine.

DWI / PROWEIN in Düsseldorf / Foto: Jakob Studnar

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In today’s marketing word of mouth is really important!
And by attending events and trade fairs Generation Riesling
generates this.
Also social media is important word of mouth!
And younger generations are subject to this!
As, for instance the International Riesling Foundation (also something to blab about!)
Shared an article about Millenials their input in reviving Riesling wines!
The wine has to taste good and look fun and be easy to sway around.
That’s a winning streak recently.

For the 10 year anniversary this year Generation Riesling does some events in Germany.
And the events already had some outstanding feedback!

In the Netherlands they also did some events with the support of Alain Jacobs.
He is the man who manages events and works for the German wineinstituut in Belgium and Nederland.
He is the man around here that’s involved in Riesling!
He also does fun things on prowein every year.

For more information, go here:
Generationriesling.com
http://www.winesofgermany.co.uk

On my trip, which I will be writing about!
I also visit a lot of members of Generation Riesling!

See you the next RIESsearchING!